What to Consider When Scouting a Retail Location

Looking for the site of your next—or first—retail location is a process that calls for diligence, resourcefulness, and the ability to ask the right questions. The right location can increase your visibility, draw new traffic, and serve as an effective focus for your marketing and advertising efforts. On the other hand, a poor choice of location can hinder even the best marketing strategies, threatening your profits and potentially your viability.

With so much riding on the decision, it’s important to be sure the selection process doesn’t overlook certain key factors. Here are a few of the most important things to consider when scouting a retail location:

  1. You need data—hard data from reliable sources—to discern the demographic makeup of the area, and compare it to the demographic of your ideal customer. Information on factors like income level, age, consumer habits, and education will help you determine if the location’s demographic is compatible with your product or services.
  2. Taking stock of the stores—and other types of facilities—in your immediate vicinity will help you gain insight into whether this is a place that your ideal client is already frequenting. A high-end restaurant may fare better near a theater than an elementary school, whereas a store that sells sneakers would most likely benefit from a demographic that includes children and young adults.
  3. Common sense might suggest that it’s best to be the only retail location in your area selling a certain type of product or service. However there are distinct advantages to selecting a site close to a competitor. If a competitor is doing well in an area, you know that the demographic supports the product or service you are selling. If people are already coming to the location for a product or service of the same type that you offer, you can benefit from the traffic that’s already being generated. Beyond that, any advertising or marketing done by your competitors will draw customers to the area where you can also gain their business.
  4. A location may be optimally situated geographically or demographically, but if it’s hard to get to from the road, if there’s no parking, or if it’s in a section of the sites that generally experiences lower traffic, these are indications you may want to think twice about the location.

At A.F. Alber, we specialize in adding value from day one, and draw on our expertise and experience to assist our clients in every step of the process, including site selection. Contact us today to discuss a strategy for choosing the best site for your retail location!