5 key considerations for businesses when searching for retail space

Of all the forms of commercial property, retail is enduring the toughest time in overcoming the ghost of the economic crisis. Office and industrial are ploughing ahead, but take-up of retail space is still struggling and retailers are finding it difficult to compete with online stores. It’s now more important than ever to choose the right retail space here’s our guide to finding the a suitable property for your business.

Research – As with any business decision, doing the homework beforehand can make all the difference. It’s vital to know the area where your business could be, the kind of costs you can expect and if there is a market for your business in the areas you are looking. With retail lagging behind in the commercial property market, it’s more important than ever to do the research before renting.

Location – Having a well placed HQ is everything when it comes to retail space. Weigh up whether your business would benefit most from a high street location, a retail park or a shopping centre; whichever would maximise footfall. Consider locating close to other similar businesses, but also be wary of areas that might be oversaturated with certain types of retailers. After all, getting customers through the door is what will make your business thrive.

Suitability – Each business will have its own specific requirements and the retail unit you operate from has to meet these needs. Modifications will cost time and money and it’s important to hit the ground running. Asking plenty of questions beforehand and thoroughly scouting through the specification of the property is the key to picking the most suitable unit.

Finances More shops closed than opened in 2014, with 5,839 shops left vacant in total. Avoiding this fate often comes down to finances and getting them right before you start your search is paramount. On top of rents, there’s likely to be maintenance, insurance, tax and utility costs to pay, which could throw out any predictions you’ve made beforehand.

Extras – Some locations may have added benefits that could make or break your business. Units available in retail parks or centres could come with marketing benefits, while prime high street units are likely to have attractive footfall. Being close to parking or public transport facilities can also be a plus, as the accessibility of your store is increased.

Many retailers are struggling to survive in 2015, but with the correct approach, there’s no reason why a retail business cannot successfully survive.

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