How to find the best shop location

Choosing the best location of your new shop is one the most important decision you’ll make. Get it right and it will help boost sales and level of success. Read our guide to help you find the best shop location for your business.

For retail businesses, location is the most important factor in determining its success. It’s vital that a shop’s location is convenient and attractive for its target audience. A good location for your store means less money needs to be spent on marketing and advertising your business, as high traffic will ensure a steady flow of customers through the door.

Take time to study a location and check it that it’s perfect for your target audience.

Consider the nature of your shop

Ensure a shop’s location will work for your type of retail business. Building or furniture suppliers, for example, may prefer larger premises near other warehouses in a retail park on the outskirts of a town. With plenty of free parking, this type of location works best for shops whose customer are happy to make a special journey to buy its goods.

Clothing stores will want to be in high-street locations or shopping centres, along with other clothing shops to benefit from shared customer traffic. Convenience stores or coffee shops, on the other hand, profit on impulse buying so require a high level of passing traffic and an attractive shop front to attract customers.

Consider your target audience

Determine your target demographic, including age, marital status, gender and household income to choose an appropriate location that perfect for your customers. Your shop won’t benefit simply from a location with lots of shoppers, unless those shoppers meet your target audience.

Stores, such as boutiques, with expensive designer goods will do best with in affluent areas, while shops targeting young people should look for locations close to a places of study such as universities or entertainment facilities such as cinemas. Obtain location-based demographics from the Office for National Statistics and UK Data Service Census.

or pay for target information from market research companies such as Mintel and Euromonitor.

Be near your competition

Opt for location near your competitors so you can profit from their foot traffic. A cluster of complementary shops creates a buying atmosphere and encourages customers to linger. Specialist stores such as jewelers, however, tend to generate their own traffic, so need not be located near competitors.

Ensure your shop is accessible

Your shop location should be convenient and easy to access for customers. Choose a location close to public transport with free parking onsite or low cost parking available nearby. Ensure you include a map and directions to your store on business ads, posters and leaflets so that people can easily find it.

Consider your surroundings

With the growing popularity of large shopping centres, high-street locations can be a challenge for many retail businesses, although many councils are trying hard to help attract shoppers with free parking and pedestrianized streets. Do some research into the success of shops in the surrounding area. If lots of stores have closed in recent years, this may indicate a decline in local traffic, which could hinder your store’s success.

Assess the space and layout of the premise

A good location is vital for the success of your shop but it’s still important to choose a shop with enough floor space, fitting rooms, workshop space and storage facilities to successfully conduct your business. Even in a good location, a tiny, cramped store may struggle to make a profit.


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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

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