How to Choose the Ideal Retail Location: A Comprehensive Guide

Blog > How to Choose the Ideal Retail Location

David Herse | October 12, 2023

How to Choose the Ideal Retail Location: A Comprehensive Guide

Picking the right location can distinguish between business success and a missed opportunity. But with so many considerations, how do you ensure that your choice maximises your business potential?

1. Align with Your Business Vision:

Your business plan acts as a guiding star. Understanding the nature of your business, your target audience and your products can help you zero in on a location that complements your brand’s vision. Ask:

  • What impression should the store convey at first glance?
  • What spatial needs—retail area, storage, office space—do I have?
  • Who is my primary customer, and what do they value?

2. Grasp the Local Market Dynamics:

Delve deep into the intricacies of the local real estate market. Understand historical sales data, traffic trends, and growth potential of the areas you’re considering. This data-driven approach provides foresight into the location’s viability.

3. Dive into Demographics:

The more you know about your customers, the better your location decision will be. Consider:

  • Population dynamics: age, income, employment status
  • Family structures: marital and parental statuses
  • Spending habits: discretionary vs. non-discretionary expenditure

Engaging tools like demographic overlay maps like Mapulus can visually represent these factors, ensuring you’re positioning yourself amidst your target audience.

Map of Brisbane with local demographics hexbin overlay Tools like Mapulus can help you gain a detailed understanding of local demographics to find an area that matches your retail offering.

4. Prioritise Accessibility:

A strategic location should be easily accessible to your target customers. Some key points to ponder include:

  • The balance between foot and vehicular traffic.
  • Proximity to public transportation.
  • Adequate and convenient parking, considering both customers and deliveries.

Map of Brisbane with drive time isochone boundary and transit and traffic overlays Tools like Mapulus can help you understand where your customers might come from and how accessible your location it – allowing you to compare multiple locations side by side.

5. Understand Zoning and Regulations:

Engage with local zoning commissions and councils to clarify permissible activities in potential locations. Consider factors like signage restrictions, upcoming construction projects, or traffic rerouting that could impact your store’s visibility and accessibility.

6. Optimal Size and Layout:

The size of your store should align with your offerings and create a welcoming ambience. An overly spacious store can appear barren, while a cramped one can deter customers. Consider the store’s layout and how it enhances the shopping experience.

7. Type of Goods and Business Model:

The nature of your products can influence your location strategy.

  • Convenience goods: Locations with high accessibility, like busy streets or transit hubs.
  • Specialty goods: Niche markets that may be further away but provide a unique shopping experience.
  • Big-ticket items: Upscale, isolated spaces to minimise direct competition.

8. Scout Your Neighbours:

Your neighbours can either complement or deter your business. Analysing nearby businesses can ensure compatibility. For example, an upscale boutique would benefit more from being near a high-end café than a discount store.

9. Factor in Costs:

Beyond just the rent, several ancillary costs need consideration:

  • Maintenance: landscaping, heating and ventilation systems
  • Renovations: painting, remodelling
  • Ongoing: property taxes, utilities

10. Personal Touches and Infrastructure:

Lastly, think about the small things that can significantly impact your business:

  • Proximity to your residence.
  • Availability of essential utilities and services.
  • Factors like adequate protection, sanitation services, and local regulations.

In the rapidly evolving world of retail, choosing a location is as much an art as a science. While instincts and experience play their roles, leveraging analytics, demographic insights, and thorough market research will provide a competitive edge.

Remember, the right location acts as a silent salesperson, continually attracting and welcoming customers to your store. So, invest the time and resources to make this critical decision wisely. Mapulus is free to get started and a great way to start exploring locations.