Location most critical for retail success

TopshopThere is much talk, debate and media coverage in the retail and hospitality industry on engaging the customer, brand millennials and creating an enviable customer experience. The piece of the puzzle which is missing and is in my view the most critical factor in retail success is location, location, location.

In my almost 10 years’ experience in retail design, location is a factor which can certainly grow the business but it is also the ingredient which can sink the business if robust research has not been conducted. This means looking at customer demographics, traffic patterns and square meterage costs.

Understanding the community’s demographic is just as important as looking at the bottom-line, ie the cost of renting or buying a property and the way you do this is to dig deep to uncover the real meaning behind your brand and who is wanting or talking about your product.

Having someone like a broker or a consultant who understands communities is worth their weight in gold. It is their job to understand communities, know what makes them tick, what is around the corner and how locals move through the area – the back streets they take, their favourite local cafe and corner store.

Louis VuittonIf you’re attracting young families,where are the mum’s walking the prams? If you’re attracting millennials, know where they’re catching the bus to get to university, and if it is business people, where’s handy for their work catch-ups?

Brokers or consultants as such, a little bit like the service that Spaceworks offers, can be a guide, a roadmap and the intermediary between the owner of the business and the landowner. The rule of thumb is to try and keep the location cost to under 10 percent of top-line revenue to start off on a healthy financial footing. You should know that unlike seven to eight years ago, it is now a landlord’s market.

If you have the location right and an interior which will attract your target market, then you’re set to go.

Lizzi Hines

MD of Spaceworks Design Group

Contact : 0800 2 FITOUT

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