What Type of Retail Space?
A great retail space for your business needs to be the right type of space in the right location. The previous portions of this article addressed location. This section will address options for the type of retail space.
Impulse versus Destination
Some purchases are made on impulse and other purchases are made after careful planning. Retail for the carefully planned shopping will be termed destination retail. Starbucks is a great example of an impulse purchase. You see a Starbucks location and decide to pullover and have a coffee and perhaps a pastry. Have you noticed how Starbucks almost always has incredible locations?
If they are in a shopping center, they're almost always in an end-cap location. If they are part of a larger shopping plaza, they typically have the best a location within the shopping plaza. If the retail space you are seeking involves impulse purchases, you should see prime space. Great visibility and great access are both important. Even though it will be painful, you probably need to pay for the very best possible location.
If you are seeking retail space for destination retail, an incredible location is not necessary. You need to be in the right area but you do not necessarily need the finest location within the shopping center. Almost all destination retail has a convenient location with good visibility. While access is a factor for destination retail, it is much less important in comparison to impulse purchase retail.
Types of Retail
Following are various types of retail space:
Anchored retail space has a retailer who generates an amount of traffic. The anchor is typically a larger store or perhaps even a set of larger stores. A grocery store is the anchor for most neighborhood shopping centers. Department stores have typically been the anchors for regional malls.
Shadow anchor refers to a shopping center (typically a strip shopping center) which has a mall by virtue of being proximate to a major retailer. Target, Wal-Mart, Sands, Costco and IKEA are all stores which would be good draws for a shadow anchor shopping center.
End-cap is the space at the end of a shopping center, typically at the end of a strip center.
In-line space is space in a shopping center which is not at the end. In other words, it is space between the two ends of the shopping center.
Select a Type of Space
The optimal retail space for your business will be obvious in many cases. If you're planning a gas station/convenience store, you would clearly not open it within an enclosed shopping mall. If you are planning a department store, you would not open it in a strip center.
However, there are variations in judgments regarding the best location for a retail store for many types of businesses. Many retailers have a combination of in-line shopping store space and freestanding stores. A freestanding store will likely be more expensive. However, a freestanding store gains more visibility. In most cases, you can effectively place advertising or signage on each side of the building. Your business has much better visibility in comparison to in-line space.
An end-cap space in a shopping center which is perpendicular to the street also has excellent visibility. Restaurants frequently locate in end-cap spaces. If your product or service is an impulse purchase with a relatively low price point, give serious consideration to obtaining premium retail space. Consider paying the additional cost for either a freestanding location or end-cap. Enclosed regional malls can provide a good option for impulse purchases or high-end merchandise.
Enclose regional malls have recently bifurcated into either prime or secondary/tertiary quality malls. The prime malls are doing great. They tend to be full and have an excellent array of tenants. The secondary and tertiary malls are doing fairly to poorly. In many cases, the highest and best use of the property has changed. Many second-tier regional malls are either being redeveloped as retail, perhaps as a power center, or are being scraped and rebuilt in a variety of land uses.
Conversely, if your product or service relates to destination retail, consider cost-effective retail options. In some cases, space in a neighborhood shopping center where the anchor tenant has gone dark (anchor tenant has left the states but is still paying rent) they provide a great overall location and a modest price for rent. For tenants who need larger retail spaces, second-generation grocery store space can be a great option. And the big boxes also provide retail space typically in a good location at much more moderate prices. As Wal-Mart has revised their basic template, they have vacated many medium-sized retail stores. In general, second-generation retail space provides a much less expensive cost of occupancy than first-generation space.