Don't be the next retail failure. Do your research.

Location is Key, but so is your business

If I asked you to name a few locations around your house that are perpetually business failures, you could probably rattle off a few. One location in particular I pass by often is now changed hands once again.

Located in the prime location next to OR-217 and Canyon Road, this location has been at least 5 different businesses over the last 4 years.  To my recollection, it has been a been an electric car dealership, a rim shop, a teak outlet, a carpet retailer and is now a bargain basement store selling all kinds of products nobody wants.

The location on the surface seems like a winner. With close proximity to a major highway and a large city street, thousands of cars pass by this location daily. It only takes a quick look to see why the location is not ideal:

  • The parking lot can only accommodate 4-5 cars.
  • You can only enter the parking lot if you are headed west.
  • If you are coming from the the east, you can’t pull into the parking lot because of the median. You would have to go to the next intersection, pull a u-turn and come back.

About every 6-9 months a new business decides that they are going to be the one that finally makes it in this location.  It must be basic optimism, but if they did any research they would see that every business that has been in this location over the last 4 years have failed.

If you are starting a retail business, you must do your research and ask a lot of questions. A simple survey of the surrounding businesses would have turned up the high turnover of this space.

A few steps to develop an effective retail strategy

  • Collect basic economic data about your specific geographic market to determine potential retail demand. This can be found from your city demographer or large brokerage firm.
  • Create a vision for the retail area, work with a retail professional/consultant to create a merchandise mix and implementation strategy.
  • Identify key retail streets and areas and collect retail square footage numbers (net rentable sq. footage, and lease information) and build a database with contact information, photos, etc.
  • Create simple marketing materials to help drive traffic and awareness of your business.


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