Are you interested in starting a clothing retail store but you don’t know where to site your store? Below are ten tips for choosing the best location for your clothing retail store.

Famine or feast; which would you rather? Yes, where you decide to locate your clothing store could either mean famine or feast for your clothing business. The location of your store is very critical to your success as a clothing business owner and a lot of people have failed in the business due to this mistake.

When you want to choose your clothing store, you have to avoid rushing and making hasty decisions. You have to take your time and conduct a lot of market research and environmental studies before you make a decision.

If you have to, you should consider hiring an expert to handle this aspect of your business for you. But, we won’t leave you without tips for choosing the best location for your clothing store so; here are the top 10 for you-:

10 Tips for Choosing the Best Location for a Retail Clothing Store

1. Location Demographics-: This is the most important factor to consider. First, you have to know who your customers are. Then you have to look out for a location where such people frequent. For instance, if you sell to men, how many men go through that area where you want to locate your clothing store?

Next, you actually have to do a head count. Don’t just assume that because there’s a lot of human and vehicle traffic around an area, then it’s the perfect location for your business. That method of picking out a location often boomerangs with store owners realizing very much late that traffic doesn’t necessarily translate to patronage. You have to do a careful study to see how many people pass through that area and how many are actually there to shop. Take note of the window shoppers too.

2. Accessibility-: How accessible is that place where you plan to site your business? Is it far away from town? Is it accessible via public transportation? If I were your customer, would I be able to get in and out of your store easily? What about my car, would I find a place to park easily without getting a parking ticket or having my vehicle towed away?

These are some of the things customers look out for before they decide to shop with you. Basically, customers want convenience. I know of someone who opened her boutique in a high-brow, highly guarded estate because she felt the she would gain a lot of patronage from the rich residents but alas, it turned out that the rich people weren’t interested in her wares probably because they had their own personal shoppers and stylists and because the place was inaccessible to other classes of buyers, she had a terrible business year.

3. Visibility-: Do you know that if you locate your business in a place where it is very visible and could be easily seen by a lot of people, you would spend less on advertisement and promotions? One of the best things that you can do for your clothing business is to locate it in a place where it can be seen easily. When people drive through, they see you, When they walk through, they see your beautiful stocks on display; it won’t be long before most of them come calling especially when they see something they like.

4. Safety and Security-: You would also need to find out the security history of that place where you want to open your store. Some areas are very notorious for break-ins and thefts and you really don’t want to wake up someday to see that all your wares have been carted away.

So, to prevent such occurrences, you have to find out how safe the place is and the kind of security measures put in place to protect tenants. Don’t forget fire protection too. Look around; are there any businesses around that are susceptible to fire outbreaks?

5. Competition-: Competition is not always a bad thing and it would do your business a lot of good to locate your store in an area that is famous for cloth sales; a place where there are already lots of clothing stores. When your clothing store is located in such a place, the burden of getting customers to patronize you is reduced.

6. Affordability-: You also have to put your finances into serious consideration before choosing a location. You have to look out for your budget and the general costs of rents in your chosen location. Other costs you must put into consideration include utility bills, remodeling costs, maintenance expenses and relative taxes.

7. Personal Comfort-: You also have to think in terms of your own personal comfort. How close or far away is this place from where you reside? If you get to work late and tired from driving every day, it might affect your performance and zeal towards work.

8. Zoning laws-: Are there any zoning laws that prevent you from having your business in that location? Are there any future constructions and expansions that would affect your business in the nearest future? It is important that you visit the agency responsible for town planning before you sign the pay check.

9. Image-: What’s the image you want to create for your business? Is that location correspondent with that image? For instance, you want your store to be known as an upscale boutique that sells luxurious designer clothing with the cheapest of your stocks pegged at a $100, then you go ahead to open your store in a slummy area, where people who can afford such clothes would naturally avoid, then you may end up running out of business within the shortest time. Let the location you choose be consistent with the image you are trying to project.

10. Success of similar businesses-: Lastly, you should look at that area and study the history and businesses of people who actually own retail clothing stores in that area. If you notice that clothing stores around that place fold up within the shortest period; that should tell you something about that area.

Remember, it’s important not to rush or make hasty decisions. Take as much time as you need; better safe than sorry.

Ajaero Tony Martins