Last month on the blog, we talked about capital planning that focuses on improving the stores and locations already in your portfolio to ensure they each fulfill their potential. If your capital plans include opening new stores as well, you want to ensure you are making decisions that maximize your returns.
If your town is large enough to have an economic development council, that council is probably tasked with analyzing your market in order to attract businesses and retailers to the community. To do this effectively, one of the very first steps you should take is to define your town’s trade area.
If you’re expanding your retail or restaurant chain without any sort of plan in place, hit the pause button. It’s one thing to plan the opening of one new location, but it’s an entirely different endeavor to plan for five or 50 locations.
There’s no question that recruiting retail is highly competitive and time consuming, and something many communities and cities struggle with. Most economic development councils have the same goals when it comes to retail recruitment:
If you’re a franchise organization, you know well how important it is to understand the markets into which you are expanding so you can maximize your potential and increase sales. Too often, franchise concepts come to us when they have 20 franchised locations when it would have been better to implement a consistent strategy from the start. While the shotgun approach to franchise expansion might not cause problems for a while, developing a territory plan before you sell more franchises will ensure that you don’t limit your overall capacity for growth. In other words, taking a smart approach to franchise development will allow you to sell more successful franchises in the long run.
Retail site selection done right is all about using data to your advantage. If you’ve been largely successful in leasing vacant space, it probably means you have a good process in place to determine what retail and service gaps are missing in a trade area and fill those demands in your shopping center.