How to find retail space for your business

In retail location really is everything. Whether you're on the high street, in a retail park or in the suburbs your location determines not only how many customers you get but it also helps define the image of your business. This guide helps you work out exactly what you want from your retail space and how to find the right location for your business.

  • Your property specification
  • Do your research
  • Retail clusters

Your property specification

Before you start to search for retail property you need to work out exactly what you want from your retail space. Make sure you think about the following areas:

  • Does your business have any special requirements, for example will your premises need modifying and if so will you need to get planning permission.
  • How are customers going to get to your premises? Is it serviced by amenities such as bus and train links, and does it have adequate parking for your customers?
  • How much space do you need both now and in the future? Do you need premises with expansion space?
  • How much you can afford to spend? As well as leasing costs you need to factor in maintenance and running costs.

Do your research

Make sure you thoroughly research any potential locations. Spend time in the location and find out for yourself who visits the area and what kind of traffic local businesses are getting. For example, i you're looking at an outlet in a retail park you have to balance the benefits of guaranteed foot traffic against the premium rents.

  • Find out if the location does any marketing to support its tenants; this is often the case with retail parks. It's also worth investigating whether there are any grants or available if you choose to locate your business in certain areas.
  • For more details on the various grants and support packages offered search the Business Link grant and support directory.

Retail clusters

It might sound a bit odd, but sometimes it pays to be situated near your competitors. Clusters of shops selling specific types of products can work well to bring in customers who know that they're likely to find what they're after simply because there's so much choice. This approach has worked well for sectors such as bookshops, antique shops and jewellery stores.

  • Check out what kind of businesses are in any area you're planning to move to - do they offer complementary products or services and will it benefit your business to be part of this cluster of similar outlets?

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