How to uncover success in your retail or other chain business in 2023 and beyond
Everywhere you turn, there’s talk of rising interest rates, inflation and an impending recession that has every consumer on edge.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers reported by the Wall Street Journal that affect everyday consumers:
- Mortgage interest rates are above 7% for the first time in 16 years.
- Retail spending was flat between August and September 2022, but when excluding gasoline and autos, grew 0.3%.
- High inflation means consumers are getting less for more—meaning, those higher prices make some purchases more expensive.
- Spending at restaurants and bars grew 0.5% in September 2022 (from August), but prices grew 0.9%.
Uncertainty Abounds in Many Industries
Harvard Business Review produced an excellent article on the rise of global economic uncertainty that is worth a read. It shares that economic uncertainty saw its biggest spike at the beginning of COVID-19, fell in 2021, and spiked again after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In our business, uncertainty is the “X” factor that we help clients attempt to face head on. It’s hard to make decisions as a retailer, chain business, commercial developer or leasing agent when things are uncertain, and it’s far too easy to freeze up. Indecision, however, is dangerous. It can lead to missed opportunities.
What to Do in Uncertain Times
The most difficult thing about times like these is that you have very little control over a lot. When you’re a business with multiple physical locations, keep your focus on what really matters. A few tips:
Analyze the markets where you operate.
We’ve shared before on this blog why it’s important to understand the markets where you want to open new locations. The same goes with your existing locations too. Markets change and during times of economic uncertainty, you need a good handle on what’s happening in the areas where you operate. Whether you’re growing and adding new locations or not, you need to understand things like:
- Political challenges in a geographic area
- New laws or regulations that could impact your locations (e.g., taxes, etc.)
- What competitors are entering your markets (or exiting others)
- How certain trade areas have evolved and changed in the last two (or more years) in terms of demographics, lifestyle, etc.
Evaluate your current locations.
During uncertain periods, you want to maximize the ROI of your store/location portfolio. So, make sure you’re up to speed. Analyze your existing locations to understand what’s going on with each (and what traits your best performing and worst performing locations have). You might need to revisit your retail sales forecasts too, so you can manage cash flow, allocate capital properly, and make the best long-term decisions.
Understand how customers are evolving.
The more you know about your customers and what leads them to your store/restaurant/business, the better. You need to understand how your customers’ needs and wants are changing right now, and what the customers of your competition are doing too.
SiteSeer is a location analytics solution...and an investment in the strength and longevity of your business. It can help you evaluate different situations that you could very well face in the near future. Tightening up your store portfolio? Evaluating new sites? Making sure you have a good handle on your customers? SiteSeer Pro can help.
Learn more by calling SiteSeer at 866-524-2804, or schedule a demo now. We'll help you plan for the future with market research and retail data analysis so you can feel confident building and opening new locations.