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Choosing a retail location

Researching the area – what’s important to keep in mind?

Most rents are based on location attractiveness and size in Sq.Metres.  There are other things to take into consideration when evaluating which store location may be the best for your retail business.

  • Store Characteristics – Size is important in being able to provide the level of service(s) and display of merchandise. Depending on your business you may have functional differences such as plumbing for a working kitchen for a food business versus great windows and natural light for a fashion/gift business.
     – Renovation requirements – how much will you need to spend to ensure your store is able to present everything you wish to sell. Consider the costs of painting/floor coverings, lighting, fittings for displays, technology, store signage etc. Also ensure you know what the landlord or council will allow/not allow in terms of changes.
    *Other things that may be worth considering are storage (for stock), staff space (kitchenette /toilet), access, security features and staff parking.
  • Customer Characteristics – What type of customer would you like to attract? is this the type of customer who lives/works in this area? Consider their disposable income, interests, available free time (ie; students and young parents have very different shopping habits than full-time workers who may only be around on weekends), family composition and stage of life, (singles/couples/families), age and stage of life eg; retirees, Renters vs homeowners.
  • Type of Store – Are you a destination store? Will people travel far to come to your store because you are a specialist ie; Bridal, hairdresser etc. Are you a convenience store? Will locals use you because of how close you are to their home/work and the times you are open? Ie; café, pharmacy, supermarket.
  • Precinct Characteristics – What are the other stores around you like? What type of customer do they have and would this be complementary for your store ie; Tattooist near a hairdresser and beauty salon. Café near a gift store. Physiotherapist next door to a gym.
  • Competitors – Who else sells your types of services/products?
    How many competitors do you have? (Do not forget online or nearby shopping centres also).
    How far away are they from your store? what are the key similarities (price, quality, brands etc that the customer will compare).
    How do you rate them in terms of impact?
  • Rental Agreement – Compare not only the rental charges but also the duration of the agreement and any additional charges, also the conditions for breaking the contract etc.
  • Pedestrian Traffic – number of people who walk past this location and at different times of the day and the week.
  • Car Traffic – Number of cars driving past who may notice your store, especially if near traffic lights.
  • Parking availability – Is it easy for customers to park outside or near your store? Is it limited in terms of hours and parking costs?
  • Public Transport – Ease of customers who may get to your store via train/tram/bus and also closeness to transport station/stop. Buses/Trams going past your store may be noticed by your customers.
  • Trading Area – How far away do your customers come from to shop with you? You can ask them where they live/work/study and collect information like postcodes etc to establish how “local” they are.
  • Social and structural changes in the area – What social trends may impact on shopper patterns? (ie; working from home? Is the council making structural changes in town planning, road changes, new shopping centres, housing development etc? These could be both positive/negative to your retail business.
  • Business Name
    *Could reflect the product/s or merchandise, so people know what you are
    *Choose a name first time customers can remember easily (& pass on to other friends)
    *Good graphics reflect what the shop is – classy, upmarket or is it a bargain shop?
    *Get help with the interior and your ‘branding’
    *Have clear vision of WHAT you are.