Considerations when choosing a Retail Shop Space to Let

At Pall Mall Estates, we pride ourselves on being experts in the unique retail space sector. We have a substantial portfolio covering a variety of properties across the UK, all of them available to let on flexible terms. Many of our properties boast excellent central locations, ideal for taking advantage of the footfall that retail firms rely on to thrive.

If you're looking for the perfect new retail space, give us a call today.

A unique approach

In the retail sector, no two companies are the same. Even franchised units working under a major name can differ on their requirements. We boast a wide and varying portfolio, so you can be sure of getting a property that gives you everything you need to succeed.

How can you choose the right retail property?

We know that if this is the first time you've looked at leasing a retail property, the whole thing might well seem a bit overwhelming. That's fine! It's important to not rush, and to make sure you get the perfect retail space, rather than just a 'make-do' one.

Before making your decision, there are a number of key things you should look at:

What type of business are you running?

Obviously, you're a retail firm. But it's important to delve into the specifics. How many types of products will you be selling? And how many of each type? What storage space will you need, and how will you need to access it?

It can be worth thinking about what you want your potential customers to see when they walk in the store: aisles? A reception desk? Demonstration booths? The more you visualise your customer experience, the more effectively you can plan your space.

Which demographics are you targeting?

This is a key consideration when it comes to retail space. Once you've established a target market according to things like gender, age, income level and the like, you can start asking key questions regarding the property:

  • Which neighbourhoods are home to your demographics?
  • How far are customers likely to travel to purchase the goods you're selling?
  • What are the trends in your location? I.e. how have things like average income, population size and age groups changed in the last five years, or how likely are they to change within the next five? This can heavily affect your business during the next decade or so.
  • What are the employee demographics? If you're going to heavily rely on something like physical labour, you'll need to know that you'll be able to hire the right people.

You need to make sure that you do the research on competitors in the area, both good and bad.

  • Bad competitors are those who could have a negative effect on your business, such as those selling similar products at lower prices, or those attracting the wrong target audience to the area.
  • Good competitors are those that will have a positive impact on you, either by drawing a suitable audience to the area, or by attracting customers in general. Shopping centres are an excellent example of this: you'll often find 'specialist' areas within them such as a concentration of estate agents or a fashion district.
How will your traffic behave?

It's worth taking a look at how both vehicles and pedestrians behave in your potential area. Look at these things first:

  • The access - by foot - to your store. How easy is it for shoppers to get there?
  • How many cars drive by?
  • How many pedestrians walk by?
  • How close is it to public transport, such as train or bus stations?

It's a good idea to check these things both at weekends and during the week, as retail performance will usually vary day-to-day.

Is there potential for marketing?

In certain areas of any town, there will usually be areas that lend themselves to effective retail marketing. For instance, is there a strong local Chamber of Commerce nearby? Is there a local paper through which you can promote your business? Are there any local suppliers you could build relationships with?

If you can get the ball rolling with some early wins, it'll help your business in the long run.

What are the transport links?

As a retail firm, you'll need to have stock delivered. This isn't negotiable! Always ensure you know exactly how your deliveries are going to come in, and that there's space for any vehicles to park up.

What will your total costs be?

As with any commercial property, you'll have to take into account every single potential cost. Retail properties have very similar expenses to office buildings, including:

  • Business rates. The business equivalent of council tax, this is a set cost as defined by the government. For more information, head to our comprehensive guide here.
  • Energy Costs. Again, a standard. Your landlord should provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which will show you your total costs.
  • Service Charges. You'll be required to pay for the general running of your retail space. Water, drainage, electricity, broadband…make sure you plan for everything, because the little costs can add up.
  • Insurance. It's important to clarify who will be responsible for paying the insurance, as this can vary depending on the landlord. Know in advance!
  • Capital Allowance. Depending on your company, you might be eligible to pay capital allowances on assets like equipment, vehicles and even start-up stock. Check out the government page on this unique cost here to find out more.

If you would like to know more about how Pall Mall Estates can help with your commercial property needs, call us today on 020 8986 7221 to speak to one of our experts.

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