3 Things You Should Consider When Choosing Your Next Shop Location
It’s clear to anyone who’s ploughed down Auckland’s Queen Street recently that the retail world is hovering in its own stratosphere right now. For everyone else there are the stats – those ones with all the zeros. Statistics New Zealand reports a (count them) $1,000,000,000 jump in retail sales in the last year – part of the largest hike in a decade. So yeah, retailers. You’re doing pretty well. But how could you do better? As in, as well as those shop owners who are laughing all the way to their conveniently located bank? You can start by seriously pondering those words “conveniently located”. Then see our other top things to consider before you move your store across town – or across country, as the case may be.
1. Lifestyle, profit – or both?
While Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch’s retail sectors are all performing extremely well, proportionally Queenstown looks set to do even better. More than 30 new shops and cafes have opened in the tiny city in the past year alone. Add to that one of the biggest current population growths recorded by Statistics New Zealand, and a life of retail and skiing begins to look like a very viable option. Then again, if you prefer a side of beaches with your retail business, Tauranga could be the place to head. Currently the main beneficiary of Auckland’s housing crisis, the city has had an influx of big city slickers used to good food, good service and good shopping. You could be the good retailer who gives them what they want – for a good return in profit and lifestyle, of course.
2. Based in Auckland? Head downtown
There are going to be a few disruptions to downtown Auckland over the next few years. Literal retail giant Commercial Bay will be erected in the chasm that was, until recently, Westfield Downtown Shopping Centre, and the long dreamt-of City Rail Link (CRL) will become hurtle into reality. The former is set for completion in 2018, while the latter won’t be boarding till 2021. But, in the meantime, shoppers will continue to arrive in the Britomart area in ever increasing numbers via train (where patronage has risen by 2.5 million per year in the last decade) , bus, ferry and cruise ship. Find a site in this area not directly affected by the upheaval and you’re in business. Lots of it.
3. If you’re not a big fish yet, swim next to one
It was big news when Top Shop arrived in New Zealand last year – but there are many more shops at the top of their game that are set to follow. H&M are opening their doors in Auckland imminently followed by David Jones And Zara – and if the frequent lines outside Top Shop are anything to go by (hint: they are) you should line up to get your shop near one of them so as to be in a position to invite in the overflow. Lloyd Budd, Bayleys’ Director of Commercial, Retail and Operations, says the company is currently negotiating with several other world-leading Brands looking to establish a presence here. So give Bayleys a call to find out where the big fish are swimming, then slip into their slipstream.
About to sign? Drop that pen
So you’ve found your new store location. Great. But before you sign on any lines, consider these often overlooked, but very important factors…
Are you in a dead spot?
If you’ve been in retail for a while you don’t need us to tell you about the importance of foot traffic. But you may need a reminder about dead spots – those parts of otherwise busy streets where few feet tread. Basically, not all of Ponsonby Road was created equal. Once you’ve found a potential location, monitor it at different times and on different days to check the amount of people walking past. Hopefully there’s a nearby cafe to do this from. If not, may we suggest dark glasses. But no trench coat. Let’s not be ridiculous.
Does your new store have easy access?
Foot traffic is of prime importance – but only after people have reached your street in their car. Consider how accessible your new shop location will be for everyone – your customers, employees and suppliers. Is it easy for cars to get in and out of your parking lot? Is your shop accessible to people with disabilities? Will your suppliers be able to easily get deliveries to your business? Yes, yes and yes? Here’s your pen; sign away.