What Retailers Should Do While in Wait-and-See Mode

Posted by Danielle Yanskey on Mar 29, 2024 7:00:00 AM

What retailers should do during a confusing market to plan aheadWe’re all about transparency at SiteSeer, both in the way our site selection and market intelligence platform works and how we talk with our clients and colleagues. Honesty is our policy.

We know that times are challenging for retail real estate professionals, and the high interest rates, inflation, and high building and labor costs are just a few of the issues causing concern. For retailers, the past four years have been a roller coaster of surprising highs and unexpected twists. It’s been hard to keep up, and things change often.

Tumultuous Times Create Fear

The biggest problem we’re seeing right now for both retailers and brokers/developers is that everything is…well, confusing.

There was the surprise surge in consumer spending after the pandemic and the fast decline of the commercial real estate market in a new work-from-anywhere era. Post-pandemic inflation has been a big issue for every type of industry and business, and the Fed’s move to curb it by raising interest rates created new problems for many industries, including our retail real estate.

Recession was the buzz word of 2023, but to everyone’s surprise, it never came. Consumer spending is still strong overall, but low-income consumers and some middle-income consumers are starting to cut back. But with cooling inflation and a still-strong job market, there are optimistic headlines like this one from Bloomberg this week: “U.S. 2024 Growth Outlook Goes from Gloom to Bloom in Six Months.”

A Roadmap for Success During Today's Market

With the headlines bouncing from grim to optimistic and the looming idea of a recession and big slowdown in consumer spending, it’s a tricky time to make decisions if you’re a retailer or real estate professional.

And while that’s certainly understandable, in our business we know that indecision can be deadly in the fast-moving world of retail. You might assume that every business like yours is waiting things out and putting those expansion plans on the back burner, but don’t be fooled: your smartest competitors are busy.

They’re planning. They’re doing research. They know that doing that homework now means they’ll be ready to act when the time feels right. They’ll be ready to take advantage of opportunities.

If your business is in a holding pattern until the signs are clearer that the economy is headed in the right direction, what should you be doing in the meantime? Build market intelligence by….

  • Evaluating your individual stores’ customer demographics and lifestyles

    Are the customers who are buying from you a good fit for your concept? If not, you need to find where your target customers are and make sure they know about your business.

  • Visualizing visitor locations to find gaps in your store network.

    Where are your customers (and people with similar profiles) travelling day to day? Are you missing opportunities to capture more market share in the future? 

  • Optimize your store portfolio. 

    It's vital to make sure you're not leaving potential revenue on the table or cannibalizing your own sales. You want to get the very most out of the locations you already have.

  • Tuning up your marketing.

    If you confirm that there is demand for your product or service and consumers are still spending, make sure you’re targeting your marketing the best you can. This will help you maximize business with your existing stores and plan ahead for future market expansion.

If you’re a SiteSeer subscriber, you’re in luck: our platform is best known for site selection analysis, but it’s also great for analyzing markets (both those you serve today and those you’d like to explore for future expansion) and gaining valuable market intelligence about the stores you already have and the customers who are buying from you.

Position Your Business for Future Success

We recognize the challenges you’re facing right now, and we’re sincere when we say that we want to help. If you want to understand more how SiteSeer can put you ahead of the curve, take a no-pressure demo. We’ll show you the tools and features that help you gain the insights mentioned above—and many others. Also, our professional services team works with retailers who want need custom analytics to support their decision making. These are the types of companies that will be poised for success in the future.

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Be Ready for the Turnaround

Research is worthwhile and could be the difference between your company surviving and thriving. Contact us for a demo and discussion about your needs, goals, and fears. We’re here to help, and we’ll show you how our platform can help you prepare for growth now and analyze potential locations once you’re ready.

Take a demo of SiteSeer

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