Five Features Every Retail Space Needs

April 23, 2014

Looking for the perfect retail space? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a particular location, but you should always look out for what’s best for your business. Pay attention to these five features and how they relate to your retail store before you jump.

Functionality for Customers

Consider what features make the shopping experience easier, more pleasant, and more enticing for your customers. For example, you probably need at the least a display window and a checkout counter. Do you need product racks or shelves? Can you offer free Wi-Fi in your store? Do you want a small sitting area with a cozy chair or two for customers to rest their feet? These are the types of little perks that encourage customers to come in and stay a while.

Aesthetic Features

Aesthetic features include everything from windows to product placement to décor. Customers should feel comfortable in your store, and you should feel comfortable being there all day. Make sure you like the layout, the windows, the paint, the trim, the lighting, and anything else that affects the décor. Imagine how the space will look once you make it your own with personal touches. Talk to your landlord first about any alterations you wish to make, such as installing an indoor water fountain, new paint, or repairs.

The Floor Plan

The floor plan itself deserves its own attention. A certain floor plan may seem appealing until you try to set up shop. Walk through the store to make sure you can customize the space for your needs. You should be able to create a good flow throughout the store, from the entrance to the checkout—one that encourages shoppers to browse. Account for bathrooms, fitting rooms, stock rooms, or other features as needed.

Location, Location, Location

One of the most important factors to the success of your retail store is its location. When thinking about location, consider these things:

  • Are you near other retail stores that will help attract your customer base?
  • Is it in a high-traffic or high-visibility area?
  • Is there plenty of parking near your store?
  • Can customers easily see and access your store entrance?

If you answer yes to these questions, then you have found a great location. Get leasing quotes for several different locations to help you decide which location gives you the best space for your budget.

Landscaping and Outdoors

Just as important as the retail building itself is the surrounding outdoors. If the outdoor area is appealing, it will help contribute to the overall appeal of your store. What first impression do you have of the area? Subtle things make a big impression, like trees and shrubs lining the parking lot, flowers in front of buildings, accessible trashcans stationed near shops, and a generally neat appearance. Ask the landlord about landscaping services included in the lease contract.