Five Keys for Finding the Ultimate Urban Retail Site

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The secret to choosing the right retail site for your business in an urban environment is unique according to Capital Retail Group, a premier commercial real estate firm in Washington D.C.

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Capital Retail Group

Retailers need to know if opening a store in an urban location will be worth the risk.

Some of the criteria for finding the right retail location in an urban environment often have distinct differences from suburban sites. Robert Tack, the CEO of Capital Retail Group, a Washington D.C. based commercial real estate firm, says "When choosing a location in the suburbs, the criteria is many times the same from region to region. However, retailers looking in the city almost always have to judge a site using a different set of criteria and metrics."

Access
Little or inconvenient parking in the suburbs can mean disaster. Not true in the city. Retailers who in the suburbs demand six spaces per 1,000 square feet of retail space must instead look at access to the site by other modes of transportation such as walking, bus, and metro.

Traffic Patterns
Retailers want to know how many potential customers will go by their store. It pays to know the population density, median household income, daytime and nighttime population for the site under consideration. Robert Tack of Capital Retail Group says, “It’s very important to understand the daytime vs. nighttime traffic patterns and how this affects your business. You can expect a lot more daytime traffic in the central business district than in the evening. “

Retail Competition
Retailers should know the co tenants in any area they are considering. Urban stores often rely on foot traffic generated by synergistic or potentially competing retailers. Anchor or large tenants usually establish the basic customer profile, but the type of smaller tenants is more critical in city neighborhoods.

Store Size
The best retailers find out how to do more in less space in city locations. Focus on where the sales will be highest when evaluating urban retail locations. Evaluating more expensive locations with a smaller store size is justified if higher sales are projected as a return on investment.

Customer Profile
Regardless of suburban or urban sites, retailers must know who their customer will be. Premier retailers such as Starbucks and Target have developed precise customer and location profiles by combining hundreds of data points including historical customer sales data and detailed shopping demographics. New retailers won’t have such elaborate profiles but still can find free data sources. Retailers can create their own grading system by assigning a score to elements such visibility, access, daytime population, household income, and traffic counts. A minimum acceptable score can be applied as a guideline helping a retailer avoid choosing poor performing locations.

About Capital Retail Group
Capital Retail Group provides a full range of brokerage, property management,and strategic advisory services to the commercial retail sector serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Blog.

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Robert Tack
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