Retail Site Selection: How to Choose a Great Retail Location

By July 13, 2017 March 22nd, 2024 Retail Advice

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Dave Schoenbeck

When choosing a retail location, there are many factors to consider. The more of these things you consider, the more likely you are to find an excellent location that helps your business succeed.

An aerial photo of a shopping center that symbolizes how to Pick a Great Retail Location

This article will discuss retail site selection and the most critical components to consider when choosing a location for your retail business.

Retail Site Selection: 10 Most Important Factors

Population Density
First, you must consider the population density in the area you’re considering for your business. Are there enough potential customers to make your business successful?

Be honest with yourself when answering this question. If you’re considering renting space in a new development, ask the property owner, developer, or broker when and by how much they expect the area to grow, and then do your research. I recommend that you draw your expected trade area on a map.

Location Quality
When choosing a retail location, carefully judge its overall quality. How well is it situated in the market? Do you need a central location for a single-store market, or should you strategically allow for a multi-store growth program? How visible is the site from the road and parking lots?

Consider how many walk-ins you’ll likely get based on what’s nearby. For example, how far are you from residential areas? Convenience is essential for most retailers.

Customer Demographics
Customer demographics and population density are equally crucial during retail site selection. While having large numbers of people in the area is good, it means very little if they’re not the sort of people who would frequent your business.

Therefore, you must consider area information such as median household income, average age, family size, education level, etc. This will help you determine whether your store will fit into the established community and that it will thrive. I highly recommend you create a personalized list of your business’s crucial demographic success attributes.

Customer Psychographics

Psychographics? What’s that? Let me explain.

In addition to demographics, psychographics can be extremely helpful in choosing a retail location. For instance, if your business caters to the health-conscious crowd, choosing a location in the middle of a cluster of fast-food restaurants may be challenging.

Instead, you might choose to be near a gym and a lovely park with a walking path. Knowing your customers and their tendencies will help you make an informed decision. You should think long and hard about your prospective customers and how they feel and behave, and create an avatar for your perfect customer.

Location Access
A person is much more likely to visit a business if it’s easy to access. Therefore, it’s essential to ask yourself questions about the accessibility of the location in question:

● How easy is it to get in (ingress) and out (egress) of the parking lot?
● Is the location on the “drive home” side of the main road?
● Is there a traffic signal to assist people in leaving the location?
● Is it possible for passersby to quickly stop in?

Co-tenant Quality
Believe it or not, the businesses surrounding your establishment can profoundly affect who visits your establishment and how successful you are. Consider the businesses surrounding a potential location and whether they’ll help or hurt your new spot. Cross-shopping traffic from your neighboring tenants is important.

The Economics of the Agreement
Obviously, finances should be considered during the retail site selection process. This means looking at the value a certain property can offer compared to what other options might offer. Consider the factors listed here, the cost of utilities, and the amount of maintenance you’ll be required to do.

Traffic Counts
In the same way that it’s essential to have plenty of potential customers around your retail location, it’s also vital that those potential customers see your business. This is best accomplished by securing a place on a well-used road. Retail locations on more minor roads tend to see less business. Traffic counts are easy to get, and they are essential.

Proximity to Competitors
Suppose your store will have competition in the area. In that case, it’s essential to consider how close those competitors are and whether a newer business will have trouble attracting customers from a similar, more established business in such a close range.

Parking Availability
Parking on the road or, depending on the availability of free or paid parking for customers visiting your establishment, will drive some patrons away. Ensure the retail location you’re considering has plenty of well-maintained parking.

Consider these things to find a retail location that helps your business thrive and grow. Get Coach Dave’s retail site selection checklist to help you decide. If you need help planning and operating your retail business, click here, and let’s talk.

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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