Business Transformation

An Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Retail Space

Online shopping may be all the rage right now. But surprisingly enough, retail stores remain unbeatable when it comes to the majority of customer purchases. Brick-and-mortar stores are still attractive to shoppers who prefer the whole experience as they take their time looking at shelves and trying on different clothes and accessories. If you own a retail brand and you think you don’t need a physical location to showcase your products, you might want to rethink that over.

Yes, it’s an advantage to have a website and offer your items online. However, having a retail space where customers can visit and check your products is something worth considering. A storefront for your business can make all the difference if you’re aiming for valuable profits and sales.

A retail space is different from an office location or your manufacturing area. It’s an avenue dedicated to your customers alone. Hence, the design, presentation, and other integral factors should keep the buyers in mind. From this perspective, you can start your quest to find the perfect retail space. 

Location is everything 

There’s something about entering an actual shop and browsing through the different products inside. There’s no denying that the experience is nothing like shopping online as you wonder what the material is really like. Clothes, especially, are much different in photos compared to their real appearance. Your clients would love to get a feel of the fabric against their skin. The fit, color, and pattern are just some of the things that they’d want to see for themselves.  

Location matters significantly because you can’t expect your shop to make an impression if located in a far-flung area where people don’t usually frequent. When narrowing down the perfect retail space, you need to consider several factors first, such as the following:

  • Ease of access 
  • Size 
  • Your preferred amenities 
  • Budget 
  • Presence of competitors 
  • Safety and security 
  • Your target market 

While prime locations may cost higher, they give you access to business communities and increased traffic that could mean well for your brand. Regardless of the type of service or products you’re offering, choosing the right spot for your store is essential. A New York retail space, for instance, can introduce you to a more upscale clientele while also offering a convenient and easy-to-locate address.

To rent, lease, or buy? 

Another tricky question that most entrepreneurs face when looking for retail space is whether to rent, lease, or buy. Those who don’t have the budget to buy one are left with two choices—to rent or lease. Rent is usually short-term, where you and the landlord or owner arrange to transfer the possession of the space in exchange for periodic payments, usually monthly. On the other hand, leasing involves a predetermined period of time (long-term) wherein the maintenance of the property will also be transferred to your shoulders as a responsibility.

If you have a budget allotted for buying a space, make sure you’ve carefully studied the pros and cons of that decision first. Prepare a contingency plan that consists of what you’ll do with the property if your business shuts down. This is why most retail business owners prefer to rent or lease instead of buying their own retail space. The terms are lighter, and depending on the contract or terms you’ve agreed on with the landlord, you can make changes as necessary without worrying about your huge investment.

Do you need a real estate broker? 

If you’re new to finding retail spaces, this could be a question you’re asking yourself. True enough, being a newbie in the industry is scary. You’ll want all the help you can get as much as possible. Commercial real estate brokers may be able to help you out with their access and expertise to establishments or listings available in your desired neighborhood. They also have the talent to negotiate and maybe get a better deal for you. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a nice retail space on your own.

With the proper research and thorough scanning, you can do well yourself if you’re determined to do so. It may take some time before you can find the perfect space for your business, but you’ll surely get there. You can search online for listings available. Another option is to ask your friends and family if they know of any vacant spot in their area. Be warned, though, that doing the task all on your own can be time-consuming, as you need to check the locations one by one. You’ll also contact and negotiate with landlords directly. Be sure to prepare your negotiating skills if you want to get the best deals possible.

Inspecting your potential spot 

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, the next step is to visit and inspect your potential spots for the retail space of your dreams. Doing so will make it easier for you to vet your options and pick one that’ll take home the crown. It’ll be helpful to make a checklist of your must-haves, deal-breakers, and nice-to-haves so the selection process can be quicker. 

For example, a parking space is considered a must-have. During the inspection, make it a point to check if there’s ample parking not just for your own vehicle (and your team’s) but, more importantly, for customers who’ll be dropping by. They could quickly turn their cars around if they find that it’s such a hassle to find a parking spot near your store. As you should, consider the convenience of your customers. 

Another aspect to check is the condition of the space. Is it old or new? If old, does it look like one? If you think you’ll need to spend more time and money remodeling or designing the place, it might not be a good option. Don’t forget to inspect the amenities, particularly those that you need for the business. A dressing room, for instance, is a must-have if you’re a clothing brand. Other amenities that should be present are a bathroom, a small private office or at least a cubicle, and a backspace for storage. 

Wrapping up 

As you can see, finding the perfect retail space is no easy task. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible one to accomplish. With the right resources and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can end up with the location of your choice. Decide whether to lease, rent, or buy the building. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, perform a thorough inspection of the spaces. Bear in mind that location is everything in brick-and-mortar stores.

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Alexandra Dimitropoulou

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

VP and News Editor
Alexandra Dimitropoulou is a VP and News Editor at CEOWORLD magazine, working to build and strengthen the brand’s popular, consumer-friendly content. In addition to running the company’s website, CEOWORLD magazine, which aims to help CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and other C-level executives get smarter about how they earn, save and spend their money, she also sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Business Policy Institute. She can be reached on email alexandra-dimitropoulou@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.