For a long time, site selection has been a combination of art and science. Site selection data and science became commonplace in the 1990s, but until the last decade or so, judgment, experience, and gut feel drove many retailers’ decisions about where to locate (and the reasons to do so).
In Model Builder, one of the most popular tools within SiteSeer, users can create hotspots to narrow down hundreds or thousands of locations across a market to those that are likely to offer them the highest chance of securing a successful site. If you’re a broker or shopping center owner or developer, hotspots can supplement your own expertise with data that tells you if the retail or restaurant chain you’re working with is a good fit for your center or not.
When a retail or service business chooses to expand their reach through franchising, acquisition or organic growth, a critical question that arises is, “How do we replicate our success?” The answer for most? Adopt a site selection process and use mapping and analysis software that will provide your company’s decision-makers with the facts they need to make educated site decisions.
In the early days of chain retail expansion, developers would choose sites convenient to where their customers live, work, and shop and hope that sales and profitability would follow.
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.
When your store or business experiences success, it’s a natural progression to start thinking about expanding into new areas and markets. As you make the decision to do so, remember: data is your friend. If you do solid research up front, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the traits of your very best customers, their needs and behaviors, and of course, helpful information about where to find more of them.
When you’re opening a new business or expanding an existing one, there are a lot of decisions to make, but perhaps none is more important than choosing the right location. A bad location could mean the difference between success and failure and a mediocre location could mean you’re leaving thousands—or even millions—of dollars on the table every week.
Whether you’re launching a new retail or restaurant business or expanding your concept to open new sites, you know already that the location you choose is key to your success. But consider this stark fact: choosing the wrong location could lead to lost revenue that you never recoup and have a ripple effect across your chain—even if you have an attractive concept and a respected, established brand.
Every day, we talk with retail companies, franchise organizations, and other businesses that want to select sites that give them the best potential for profitability and success. Here’s the stark truth: most companies have room for improvement when it comes to site selection. And as we all know, hindsight is 20/20. It’s very easy to think back and wish that you knew certain things about a site when you chose it. While you should be wary of any company that promises a methodology or tool that sounds a lot like a crystal ball, there are certain things you can do to choose better sites in the future and minimize costly mistakes.