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Are You Making These Common (but Critical) Mistakes in Retail Site Selection?

The retail site selection process is more complex than ever. When you’re looking for a new retail development site, the factors that will determine whether or not your company is successful in that location aren’t always readily available to traditional site selection models. Without help from a third-party with contacts in developing communities as well as in the retail world, it’s easy to fall prey to common mistakes in retail site selection.

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Relying Heavily on Models

Companies often invest heavily in site selection models designed to explain complex retail environments. Because of the amount of money poured into these models, it’s tempting to have unreasonably high expectations for the results.

Site selection models are a useful starting point, but they’re not well equipped to handle non-standard factors in a given site or to take into account variables that aren’t easily measured. For that, you need someone who’s familiar with the site or has the connections to track down the site-specific information you need.

Oversimplifying Customer Base

Not every person within a certain number of miles of the site you’re looking at represents a potential customer. The actual trade area is defined by more complex factors than concentric rings, and the percentage of people within that area that fits your customer profile is a more important figure than the total population. Retail Attractions’ demographic analysis can supply this nuanced information, along with Opportunity Gap Analysis for a specific location that will let you know if your company can fill retail gaps in that community.

Not Rethinking Expansion

While brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going away, the rise of online shopping is changing the world of retail development. Customers still want the option to go into stores and see the products for themselves, but they don’t always buy in-stores. It’s increasingly common for customers to go home and order online, then have the items shipped to their homes or come back to the store for pickup.

With that shift in how customers approach shopping, many companies are downsizing their individual stores and working on using the store to drive online interactions with customers. This dynamic varies depending on the company and product, but it’s something to keep in mind when considering site selection.

Too Much Emotional Investment

Site selection needs to remain objective. A site can’t be chosen solely because of a desire to beat out the completion, or because the site is in a big-name city, or because so much effort has already been poured into evaluating a less than ideal site. A fresh pair of eyes in the shape of a third-party consultant like Rickey Hayes can help your company make the decision whether or not to build in a specific location based on what actually makes the most sense for the company.

Retail and restaurant site selection is a complex process, but we aim to make it easier with a simple approach: know the product, know the consumer, and find a location that maximizes sales potential. Contact us today to learn more about how Retail Attractions can help your business find the best site for your next expansion.

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