How to choose the best location for your retail store

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We have often heard the phrase “location, location, location” when it comes to finding the best place for your retail store. But what does it really mean? Here are some questions to consider when choosing the best location for your retail store. 

1. Who are your customers and what is your product? 

It is important to have a clear understanding of who your customer is and what their buying habits are. You also need to understand what type of product you are selling. This will help you to know what type of location you are looking for. Is your product a high-end speciality product or an everyday product?

2. Do you need exposure? 

It is known that the greater exposure your store has in a location the more you will pay for the property. Therefore, it is important to know if your product is unique enough that people will drive to your store or if they are impulse buyers and will purchase from the nearest shop they have which sells the product they need. Stores which sell coffee, fast food and liquor benefit from high exposure and high traffic locations. Where speciality stores don’t necessarily have to pay a premium for high exposure and high traffic locations. 

3. Does the landlord have a merchandising plan? 

It is important to know if the landlord has a merchandising plan as this could affect what type of stores will be developed in your location. It is important to know who would be your competitors in your area and to know what complementary businesses will be available in the location you chose for your retail store.

4. Do you know the customer demographics of the area? 

Though this information may be given to you from the landlord, it is important to stake out the location for your store for a few weeks or months. This will give you a good idea of what people live in the area and what the traffic is like around the area where you are choosing to locate your shop. 

5. How safe is the location? 

You want your merchandise and customers to be safe. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the crime rate and security measures which are in place at your retail store location. 

6. What are your lease terms? 

It is tempting to sign a long-term lease which ensures that your rent will be locked in at a great rate but your business may fail and then you will still be liable for the lease. For this reason, it is important to be prudent when considering the leasing terms of your location. 

7. What are the business zone restrictions? 

Depending on the type of business you run, you will need to ask to know about the business zone restrictions. There could be noise restrictions or advertising restrictions. You may even be limited on the way you would like to design your store. 

8. What is the infrastructure of the location like? 

If you are looking at older buildings it is important to consider if it will be able to support the modern day infrastructure needs of your business. Are the power circuits good enough to power your tools of the trade? Will you have access to high-speed internet? Think about your infrastructure needs before you visit a location. 

9. Is the location suitable for you? 

As the owner of the business, it is important that you can get to your office quickly and without too much hassle. You need to consider what the traffic to and from the workplace will be like for you and your employees.

10. What is the parking space like? 

Depending on the type of product you sell you will need to consider the space around your store for parking and deliveries. You don’t want your customers to become frustrated because they won’t be able to find parking when they want to buy a product from your store.

By considering these 10 questions you will be well on your way to finding the best location for your retail business.

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