While the rise of the digital world has changed the way we shop, brick-and-mortar storefronts aren’t going to fade away into obscurity any time soon. The physical retail world is still alive and well, and it offers abundant opportunities for brands as well as creative projects.
Maybe your business is looking for temporary retail space to boost sales, build awareness, or just establish a physical presence. Alternatively, maybe you’re a photographer or filmmaker scouting locations in search of an instantly identifiable retail setting.
Whatever the case may be, you’re spoiled for choice when shopping around for the best retail space. Keep reading for tips on how to find the right venue for your needs.
The Best Retail Venues
The best retail venue for you varies depending on your needs and goals. An online startup looking to attract new customers with a pop-up retail store, for example, will have very different requirements than a filmmaker looking for an authentic mom-and-pop store to use as a filming location. The good news is that there are retail venues out there to suit a wide range of needs. Here are some of the most popular options.
- Convenience Stores
The humble convenience store is one of those filming locations that’s familiar to just about anyone. Usually family-run, and maybe not as bright and glossy as major supermarket chains, they’re an important part of the fabric of society. This neighborhood convenience store in LA offers a relatable and instantly recognizable setting for any film project.
- Gas Stations
The good old-fashioned American gas station is another one of those sites that all of us recognize. And from backroads fuel stops to those on city main roads, gas stations offer a variety of different moods and backdrops to suit varied creative projects.
- Pop Up Kiosks
The beauty of a pop up store is its flexibility. Whether you’re in a shopping center, a pedestrian mall, or even a farmers’ market, these temporary retail spaces are easy to set up and give customers a real sense of finding a special, limited-time-only deal.
- Shopping Mall Storefronts
Taking advantage of vacant retail space in a popular shopping mall is a great way to boost brand awareness or drive an increase in sales. You can set the space up to look like a regular store if you wish, or experiment with different designs and retail strategies to boost sales and create some excitement around your brand.
- Industrial Settings
If you can find a well-maintained old industrial building in a location with high foot traffic, you’ve got yourself a memorable and interesting setting for retail space. Hosting a pop up or something more permanent in a building with a rich history helps build interest and excitement for customers, plus helps contribute to your unique brand identity.
What to Look for in Retail Spaces
There’s a lot more that goes into finding the perfect retail space than you might think. Location, look and feel, amenities, and the price tag can all have an impact, so it’s important to have a clear goal of what you need to achieve with your retail venue before you start comparing your options. Here are the key factors you need to consider.
You don’t have to be a real estate mogul to know that location is crucial in the retail sector. If you’re searching for a retail space to run as a store, not only do you want it to be in a high-traffic area where it will attract plenty of eyeballs, but you want it to be in an area frequented by people from your target market.
You’ll need to not just consider how a space looks, but also how it feels. For example, if you’re a filmmaker, you might be looking for a venue that speaks to a business struggling to survive, or of an instantly recognizable big box store. If you’re setting up a pop-up, you might want a warm and welcoming ambiance or a space that grabs shoppers’ attention as soon as they walk past.
- Key Facilities
Next, take some time to think about all the amenities and equipment you want in your retail space. For example, is there furniture, good lighting, and bathrooms? You also may need Wi-Fi and AV equipment. Put together a list of all your must-haves so you have a clear idea of what you need before you start comparing retail locations.
Don’t forget to consider how the cost of retail venue hire will affect your bottom line. Work out how much you can afford to spend, then take care to stick to your budget as you search around for the best space.
Need some inspiration to help you choose and set up a retail space just the way you want? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
- Vacant Storefronts in Shopping Malls
This option allows you to put your own special twist on the traditional retail model. While you’re surrounded by conventional brick-and-mortar stores, you get the opportunity to help your brand stand out from the crowd. You can offer customers a unique experience, experiment with new store layouts and designs, and provide special deals to build a bigger customer base.
- Pop Ups in Pedestrian Malls
A pedestrian mall pop up is a great way to put your brand right in front of your target market. Find a busy pedestrian mall location for your booth or kiosk and you’ll attract plenty of eyeballs while creating a real sense of urgency for customers.
- Authentic Corner Stores
Searching for a real-life filming location that practically everyone can relate to? Mom-and-pop corner and convenience stores offer the sort of authentic setting that adds a sense of realism to any film scene.
- Auto Workshops
When you see them on screen, some auto workshops just look so realistic that you can practically smell the oil and grease. Searching for an authentic setting for your next filming location? This gas station and mechanic’s workshop could be made to look like a gas station in any city in the USA.