Retail location: how to choose it for your store
Tue Mar 23 2021
Coffee & cornetto
Location, location, location. You know it’s the most important factor for your retail store’s success. But how do you choose the right retail location for your clothing boutique?
A lot of the answer depends on your specific niche and ideal market. The bottom line is that you want your storefront location to be near where these customers spend most of their time. Of course, you also have to look at what storefronts are available and consider your budget.
Here are several things to consider as you choose a good retail location for your boutique.
How to Choose a Retail Store Location
There are many types of retail buildings, and the right one for your business will depend on the shopping habits of your ideal customer.
Some options include:
An open-air shopping center, like an outlet mall
An enclosed mall
Downtown shopping districts
The best storefront location will have enough space for your products to be clearly displayed, but the lease or rent will also fit your budget. Most importantly, it has to get enough traffic from your ideal customer base. For example, if you cater to professionals you might do better in a downtown plaza, while a family-focused boutique would want to locate near residential areas.
Spend time at potential locations during the hours your store would be open and see what kind of foot traffic comes by. This will help you verify customer counts provided by the lessor of the property and help you identify what kinds of customers frequent the area.
The first thing to do when considering how to start a boutique is to define your target market. If an area has a lot of traffic but it’s the wrong type of people, that location isn’t good for your business.
You’ll need to think about the retail shop space requirements that you’ll need for your clothing, as well as the price per square foot. Don’t be shy about comparing different options before you make your final decision.
Services, Assets, and Parking of the Location
Before you make a final decision about where to locate your store, take a look at what the parking situation is, along with other services.
Is there enough parking for all of the stores nearby? Are there requirements that your location needs a specific number of parking spaces before your business will be approved by a local or state authority? Is the area accessible for your ideal customers?
You’ll also want to note what other services are part of your location. How good is the heating and cooling? Are the plumbing, bathroom, and electrical services appropriate for a retail store? You should check into what internet service providers are available and how much they cost.
It’s also important to ask questions about the rules that govern your retail location. There could be limits on the size of sign you can use, the images allowed, and more. You should also ask if there is any construction or improvements planned in the next few years that could affect access to your store.
Check Out Your Potential Neighbors
Small businesses often benefit from being near complementary businesses, but not direct competitors. A boutique clothing store is a bit different, however, because being near other clothing stores may not be a drawback.
People who shop for high-end clothing often check out several stores, and your boutique will have a unique feel that no other brand can duplicate. As a result, having neighbors that also attract clothing shoppers is a benefit, rather than a concern.
However, keep in mind that over time your neighbors may change. Be careful about getting locked into too long of a lease, because if the demographic that frequents your shopping area changes over time, you may need to relocate in order to be successful.
Create a Strong Business Model
The importance of location in retail business cannot be overstated, but the location alone won’t make you successful if your business isn’t run well.
Be sure you understand how to buy wholesale clothing and then price it appropriately so that you attract customers and make a strong profit. Remember that people often associate price with quality, so your boutique shouldn’t make the mistake of pricing items too low.
You’ll also need compelling marketing, both online and offline. Start by deciding what it is that makes your boutique unique, and then share that message with your ideal audience. You can build your online presence through social media and your website, and combine that with ads, flyers, and coupons. A loyalty program can encourage repeat purchases and referrals.
When you have a well-run boutique business along with the right retail location, you’ll be positioned for success right away.
The Importance of Retail Location
A great business can fail with the wrong location, and a great location can fail with a poor business model. That’s why it’s so important to follow the tips in this guide to find the ideal retail location for your boutique.
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