Retail is a space you lease for the selling of goods to consumers. Generally, when it comes to business, retailers have one overall goal - to sell merchandise. That's why they focus on sales floor space, adequate parking for customers, and an overall image that draws in customers. Of secondary interest to many retail operations are office space and storage requirements, since most inventory is on the sales floor. A retail operation's space is usually subdivided among display, office, and storage. As a rule of thumb, office and storage spaces take up 10 to 25 percent of the total floor area.

Here are a few of the more common types of retail locations:

  • Mall Space
    From kiosks to large anchor stores,a mall has many retailers competing with each other under one roof. There are generally 3 to 5 anchor stores, or large chain stores, and then dozens of smaller retail shops. Typically the rent in a mall location is much higher than other retail locations. This is due to the high amount of customer traffic a mall generates. Before selecting this type of store location, be sure the shopper demographic matches the description of your customers. Mall retailers will have to make some sacrifices in independence and adhere to a set of rules supplied by mall management.
  • Shopping Center
    Strip malls and other attached, adjoining retail locations will also have guidelines or rules for how they prefer their tenants to do business. These rules are probably more lenient than a mall, but make sure you can live with them before signing a lease. Your community probably has many shopping centers in various sizes. Some shopping centers may have as few as 3 units or as many as 20 stores. The types of retailers, and the goods or services they offer, in the strip mall will also vary. One area to investigate before choosing this type of store location is parking. Smaller shopping centers and strip malls may have a limited parking area for your customers.
  • Downtown Area
    Like the mall, this type of store location may be another premium choice. However, there may be more freedom and fewer rules for the business owner. Many communities are hard at work to revitalize their downtown areas and retailers can greatly benefit from this effort. However, the lack of parking is generally a big issue for downtown retailers. You'll find many older, well-established specialty stores in a downtown area. This type of store seems to thrive in the downtown setting.
  • Free Standing Locations
    This type of retail location is basically any stand-alone building. It can be tucked away in a neighborhood location or right off a busy highway. Depending on the landlord, there are generally no restrictions on how a retailer should operate his business. It will probably have ample parking and the cost per square foot will be reasonable. The price for all that freedom may be traffic. Unlike the attached retail locations where customers may wander in because they were shopping nearby, the retailer of a free standing location has to work at marketing to get the customer inside.
  • Office Building
    The business park or office building may be another option for a retailer, especially when they cater to other businesses. Tenants share maintenance costs and the image of the building is usually upscale and professional.


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