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Archive for June, 2016

What Are Retailers Looking For?

One thing we see quite often is that communities marketing themselves for retail development don’t really know what retailers and restaurants are looking for. You might be prepared to “prove” your community is the best place for investment and have data ready, but that’s not the only thing developers are interested in. Knowing what you really need to focus on lets your community stop wasting time on ineffective marketing, and it makes securing a successful retail deal far more likely.

Reliable Data

Understanding a retail investor’s priorities and needs is a key step in forging a successful retail partnership. The first question they need to answer when looking at your community is, “Will we make a profit in this market?” Retail developers need a positive bottom line, and they won’t consider developing a market where it doesn’t look like they can make money.

You will need accurate data to present to potential retail investors, and it has to be in a format that they’ll recognize as reliable. Retail Attractions can help you with defining the trade area around your community, collecting demographic data, producing a market analysis, and presenting it all in a professional format. A third-party analysis shows retailers you take their time and money seriously, which in turn encourages them to take your community seriously.

Community Support

Even when the data indicates your community could be a profitable market, retailers also need to know they can count on your support to move the project forward efficiently. You might not even think about the regulations process when you first start marketing your community, but you can bet developers will be concerned about it. Developers don’t want to partner with a community where red-tape, delays, and fees are the norm when dealing with city administration. Streamline this process as much as possible before making retail development deals.

You can also show support for retail investors by getting infrastructure updates in place. New retail development means your city will need to expand the water and sewage systems, as well as plan for changes in traffic patterns. Showing you have a plan in place to do this is another way to show retailers that your community will support their development efforts.

Market Knowledge

Hiring a consultant who already has contacts within the retail development industry is a huge asset. Retail is a tight-knit community and having a known, respected professional like Rickey Hayes advocating for development in your community can make the difference in whether or not new retail development happens in your city.

Retail Attractions’ consulting services extend beyond just making initial contacts within retail. We’ll also help you put together the right kind of data on your community and take the external and internal steps necessary to prepare for successful retail growth. If you’d like to learn more, contact us to get your questions answered or to schedule a consultation.

Be An Opportunity, Not A Risk

Investing in retail development can be a risky proposition for a developer. If the deal succeeds, they’ve improved their bottom line and increased their customer base and market appeal. But if the deal falls through, they’ve lost a significant amount of money and time. When you’re marketing your community for retail development, you need to present developing in your location as an opportunity, not a risk. The more you understand a developer’s needs, streamline the building process, and commit being a supportive partner, the more likely retail development will be an all-around success.

Understand Developer’s Risks

Uncertainty is one of the key things that can turn a developer away from working with a community. Even if your community offers a good location that the developer is interested in, a high enough level of risk and uncertainty can still scare them away. Put yourself in the developer’s shoes. Would you invest in a community if you’re not certain it will support your retail development efforts or if the permits process sounds excessively confusing? Probably not – you’d look for a different location where you think the development deal would proceed more smoothly.

Minimize Uncertainty

Reducing the level of uncertainty a developer sees coming into your community can be a daunting prospect, especially if your community doesn’t have a history of negotiating retail development deals. Retail Attractions can help you understand what developers are looking for and provide guidance on making your community more attractive. You can start by streamlining the permit approval and document review processes before you even start talking with developers. The more simple and easy to understand your approval process, the more attractive working with your community will be. You can also assemble suitable sites for retail development and get infrastructure in place for your future partners.

Balance Community Interests

Another thing retail developers are looking for is support. They want to know the community leaders will be on their side if disputes arise regarding the new development project. Opposition to new development is fairly common, and you need to be ready to speak up and support your partner. That said, minimizing the risks and uncertainty for potential business partners shouldn’t mean sacrificing your community’s interests. You want to support your development partners and be honest with them, while still making sure the project benefits your community. One key to this is open and honest communication. Be up-front about what you will and will not do in this partnership, honor your commitments, and don’t surprise your partner with hidden costs and fees. Want help navigating the tricky world of retail development partnerships? Contact Retail Attractions today to learn more about how we will tailor our consulting process to your community’s individual needs and help you attract just the right developer for your project.