Location can make or break a retail business. Location can determine whether a business prosper or falter. A location may have little or no competition for your product, but it doesn’t mean anything if there are no buyers. Here are things retailers should do:
- Know the target audience: It is important to properly define target audience and find out whether you properly meet their needs. You should know what can be offered and what they want.
- Find out how people behave: If people habitually walk in the area and there’s enough density of pedestrian traffic, people will likely stop to shop. Spend an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening each, to sample the number of people who walk past your prospective store. Do it also for workdays, weekend and holiday. See how many people who actually enter shops in the area and come with a bag. This simple research can mean a lot in determining whether specific location is viable for your retail business.
- Choose areas with good public transport and parking facility: If there’s no transportation and people can’t park, they won’t be able to reach your store. Make sure that the location is highly accessible and people don’t have to make the extra effort to enter your shop. Consider allowing people with wheel chairs to enter your store easily as well. During inclement weather, allow people to get shelter or cover, so they will enter and check your products. If you have poor access, you may need to spend more on promotional and marketing efforts, making it harder for you to generate sales.
- Check local competition: Even if you think that you have the most unique product in the market, you will still need to deal with competition from products in the same category. Check your competitors and be sure that you can compete with them.
- Choose the right side of the mall or street: There are the wrong sides of mall and street that people rarely go. This is often indicated by the differences in the rent. If the rent price of a shop in popular mall or street is suspiciously low, it is possible that the location is far less than ideal. When you go to any mall or business district, you can always find parts where people hardly go. Get the plan of the mall and the area. Check whether a specific location has an impact on your projected sales. A current construction work could also cause noise and dust pollution, as well as reducing accessibility, making the area less desirable for retail business.
After finding the right location for your business, make sure that you can perform negotiation properly. Retailers with limited experience on finding new locations could struggle in the beginning. If this is the case, you should seek a solid understanding about lease terms and rates. If you feel uncertain on what to do, it is a good idea to hire a retail property consultant. It’s better to invest in an expert than losing a lot of money due to a bad deal.