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How To Lease the Right Retail Space For Your Retail or Service Business

Posted by Bill Beckeman on Fri, Jun 03, 2011 @ 13:06 PM

So maybe you missed out on tying up a domain name like shoes.com. And anyhow, you’re not a web master seeking to create an Internet business that you can run from your bedroom.  You actually enjoy interacting personally with customers and you’ve already got a pretty solid business plan or are possibly seeking to expand an established business. You’ve lined up sufficient capital, done some research and begun looking at vacant storefronts, but aren’t sure how to decide where to land. So how do you select the right location to lease for your retail store or consumer service business?

 Independent Retailer xsm

Below are 10 steps to follow that will help you land the right retail space for your business:

1. Pick a town or towns that you already know pretty well

If you already know the character of a town, its people, their travel patterns and shopping habits, you’ll be much better off.   Having a network of pre-existing relationships and local contacts will help you start on the right foot, hopefully with lots of referrals from friends and positive local and social media feedback. 

2. Evaluate your potential customer base

Run demographic analyses for locations with similar successful businesses that you are familiar with and compare them to locations you are considering. A broker who specializes in representing retailers can do this for you (see #4). Consider the shape and reach of your trade area – how far will customers travel to visit your store? Is the local population growing or changing significantly? How is it changing? Do the changes create more opportunity or greater risk? Look at the daytime population. How much will your business benefit from daytime customers vs. resident population? Does the income profile of the market align with the expected pricing of your product or service offerings?

3. Evaluate your potential competition

For each location or market you are considering, map out your competitors and honestly evaluate how much of their business you will be able to steal and/or how much potential there may be to expand the pie to meet unsatisfied local demand or looming market growth. Don’t forget to consider the potential for future competition. Where might a new competitor locate that would hurt your business significantly?

4. Consider hiring a retail leasing broker to represent you

A good broker, who specializes in retail real estate, particularly representing national retailers, will have insight regarding the selection criteria used by successful national retailers. You should take advantage of the experience they have evaluating the factors that matter most to the pros. It’s also likely that they have already compared and contrasted the shopping centers in your target market for other retailers. They will also have relationships with the owners of the best shopping centers. These relationships can be vital given that there is always strong competition for the best spaces.

5. Start evaluating specific availabilities

You are now ready to start assessing individual spaces that meet your size criteria within your chosen market. First, consider how the space will ideally lay out. How much storage area will you need? If the space is narrow and deep, can you create an effective layout? How much window-line do you need? Will you need special loading/delivery capability, etc.

6.  Evaluate specific property and space attributes (more)

7.  Develop initial sales projections for the spaces that meet your criteria (more)

8.  Solicit lease proposals for targeted spaces (more)

9.  Compare proposals, compare landlords and compare management (more)

10.  Select a space, negotiate your best deal (more)

For the complete list of 10 Steps on Leasing the Right Retail Space with details, written by our CEO, simply click below:

 Selecting Retail Space Tips

Topics: Resources For Retailers, retail real estate, selecting retail space, Leasing Tips, Boston, consumer service business