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3 questions to ask yourself before renting a retail space

By Greg Bell

Is location really everything when choosing a space for your retail store? Of course where your store sits – and how much traffic it sees – is critical to how your enterprise will fare, but there are also several other factors that business owners should consider before setting up shop. 

A bad premises means bad business, and while commercial real estate on the Gold Coast is typically of the highest quality, operators looking for a new lease shouldn't rush into just any property. Every business has different requirements, so be sure to ask yourself these three questions. 

Does the space place suit what you sell?

Hardwood floors, high ceilings, massive store front windows – what could be better? But don't let standout features cloud your judgement and make you forget what matters: selling your product and serving your customers.

It's essential that a retail space suits what you're selling. You probably don't want a place with wooden floors, for example, if you're operating a surf shop in the beach where patrons will constantly be tracking in sand to get stuck between the cracks.

You also need to make sure that 'staff only' areas are sufficient for your operations. If you require a lot of storage space for extra stock, make sure the space you lease can cater to this. The best show room in the world will only frustrate you if the backroom is too tiny.

A good practice is to visualise yourself operating for one day, one week or even one year in a given space. Will your inventory fit? Will customers have room to move about, try on (or test out) your products, and will you have adequate space to serve them? if the answer to any of these questions is no, then keep looking. There is plenty of great commercial property on the Gold Coast to choose from. 

What about your customers?

We're going to let retailers in on a little secret: people tend to be a bit lazy. If they can't immediately find what they're after in your shop, they'll most likely leave pretty quickly. That's why it's essential to look for a retail space with an open floor plan that's easy to navigate.

Many retailers assume that bigger is always better, but if your store appears to stretch into eternity, shoppers might be put off by the effort and leave. Similarly, if it takes too long for them to be greeted by a member of your staff – perhaps because the staff is too far away near the back of the shop – customers are also likely to take off.

According to TimeTrade, 49 per cent of shoppers are likely to make a purchase when helped by a knowledgeable associate. To ensure you lock in these sales, make sure your store is big enough to display what you need to without appearing cluttered, but not so large that your staff aren't able to service your customers adequately.

Who's next door?

Most people wouldn't buy a home without doing a little research on the neighbours, so why would you select a retail space without doing the same?

Think about your customer's experience when they're visiting your store. Are they shopping for a new outfit? Then you probably want to be next to other clothing stores where people are likely to browse, rather than beside a grocery store or a laundromat where patrons go for a very specific purpose.

The right neighbours can have a great impact on your business. If, for example, you're a furniture retailer, selecting a space next to a store selling lamps, carpets, or other home furnishing will help you get like minded shoppers in your door. 

On the flip side, the wrong neighbours – like restaurants that might take up all of your parking during mealtimes – can really hinder people coming in.

To find out more about leasing out a retail space on the Gold Coast, reach out to the Commercial team at Ray White Surfers Paradise. We boast some of the most attractive, lucrative retail spaces on the market, and are excited to help you find the perfect one for your business.

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