Burt M. Polson - Commercial Real Estate Broker

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Six Keys to a Great Retail Site

Whether you are a local "mom and pop" retailer or a large "big box" national retailer the criteria for site selection is the same.  Below is a quick six-step primer (PASTA-V) on what to look for in comparing locations:
P is for parking. Little or inconveniently located parking can be the kiss of death for a retailer. Most retailers want four or five spaces for every 1,000 square feet of floor area. As many spaces as possible within 100 feet of the door is desirable.

A is for access. Today’s customer demands convenience, so having more than one way to enter or leave a store is preferable. Avoid sites that require turns across medians, which prevent cross lane turning.

S is for signing. Signs play a critical role in business identity and in helping customers find a business. A retailer’s facade sign should be visible from at least 200 feet away.

T is for traffic. Whether vehicular or pedestrian, every site needs traffic to prosper. Prime areas are located near intersecting streets with traffic lights. Streets with slower speed limits make it easier for drivers to see signage.

A is for activity. Unless a retail business is strictly destination-oriented, a site must have a good amount of diverse, nearby activity to draw shoppers to an area. Grocery stores, gas stations, post offices, and schools all bring people to an area frequently.

V is for visibility. No site selection factor is more important. Watch for barriers such as trees or downward slopes that block long-distance views of a site.

Frank Raeon, principal of Location Decision Advisors in Cincinnati and author of new book The ABC’s of Site Selection (­Xlibris Publishing, 2010) has provided an in-depth look into the art and science of site selection into a six-step analysis of key criteria he calls PASTA V. 

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