The Importance of Site Location For Retail Success

Curious about why certain retail stores are more successful than others? Sure, customer service and product quality play a part, but those aren’t the only factors. A key factor is location which can have a significant impact on market share and profitability. In this article, we will explore the importance of site location for retail success and how to ensure your store is optimally located.

Population Density and Catchment

Analysing the population data surrounding a location and looking at the catchment (where a high percentage of the population actually come from) enables you to accurately estimate if there are enough potential customers there. If choosing between two or more locations, this exercise is not only interesting but essential to prevent costly mistakes.

When selecting a retail site location, it is vital to consider the demographics of any prospective areas before settling on a unit. Visitor data is able to show the characteristics of a population like income, age, gender, home ownership status and spending habits to inform decisions such as what products or services should be offered in-store and how prices should be set. Understanding who will be shopping at your retail or leisure park also provides insights into how best to market in order to reach your potential customers directly. For example, if the data shows your site demographic is predominantly affluent pensioners this will affect retail, food and leisure offerings.


Regarding the appearance of your stores, shopping centre or leisure park, this plays a huge role in determining its success as well. If potential customers can’t easily see your retail site or leisure park for some reason, how can you make sure that they are directed there and that it stands out from its surroundings? With our footfall data solution, you can measure the volume and frequency of customers in any given area to determine popular hotspots and walking routes compared with trading times throughout the day. This allows you to see the potential in finding popular locations for a unit or the best place to put signage to increase your chances of visitors stopping by.


Furthermore, you want an area that is not only visible, but easily accessible for customers too. Ideally, your retail unit should be in a spot that is very accessible for customers in close proximity and employees who don’t need long commutes, but far enough away from other competitors in order to boost sales. This means considering factors like car parking availability and public transportation lines, such as bus routes or train stations. Make sure to also take note of the popular routes and movement flow in nearby parks and green spaces, in order to ensure easy access for all visitors.


Our drive time indices reports reveal which locations are accessible via driving, cycling or walking modes of transport within a 30, 20 and 10 minute time frame. If you combine this data with the post-code origins of local, regional and national visitors, you can leverage the knowledge of how far people travel to visit your shopping destination – and effectively target those outside your immediate locale who are willing to travel further for a great shopping experience!


Additionally, it’s crucial to assess what kind of competition exists in the area where you plan to set up shop. You want to make sure there aren’t too many similar businesses nearby that could draw away potential customers or overwhelm them with choices. By comparing the retail and leisure mix of other businesses in areas with similar demographic profiles, the benchmarking exercise is invaluable to really help you understand how these competitors operate and develop strategies to differentiate your offerings to gain an edge in the marketplace.

Therefore, apart from the cost of renting or purchasing a retail or leisure unit, it is imperative to look at population size and catchment, demographics, foot traffic patterns, accessibility, travel and competitors before deciding on the site location for retail success.

Improve your retail location strategy with Place Informatics 

Looking for the perfect spot to take your business? With data-driven insights from Place Informatics, you’ll be able to find a location that drives both footfall and future growth.

Call 0161 706 1343 for more information or book a webinar to see the data available for your retail site in Calendly here:


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