Chicago, otherwise known as the Windy City, is one of the largest cities in America and can be found in the state of Illinois upon the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan. The irony is that the biggest city on Lake Michigan is not in fact, in the state of Michigan, has seemingly not kept the hundreds of thousands of visitors away each year.
Famed for historic gangsters like Al Capone, well-beloved franchises like the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and delicious, life-affirming deep-dish pizza pies, there is a lot about this famous city that you probably already know. But before you choose a retail location in Chicago, you should get more information that may help.
Retail Location Options
It can be so exciting opening up a new Chicago retail location, but there are certain things that you need to think about. You do not have to do it all anyway, because there are a ton of local experts in the field who can help you.
If you are opening a store or outlet, you are going to need a lot of storage for all your amazing inventory. This storage not only has to be functional and sturdy but also aesthetically pleasing for the customer and adaptable for when you want to rotate your stock around.
This is necessary not only for your customers to be able to visit you (unless you are in a pedestrianized area) but also for your employees to get into work and for you to be able to accept deliveries. Ideally, around the back of your store away from prying eyes.
Even though Hollister might not agree, if you can’t actually see the stock, you are probably unlikely to buy it. Lighting is massively important for creating an experience for your customers - avoid strip fluorescent lighting if you want your customers to look good!
Retail Location Companies in Chicago
You have got enough on your plate opening up a new retail location in Chicago. No need to sweat the small stuff like décor and AV equipment. Just let the pros handle this.
- ProGear Rentals
If you need any kind of audiovisual equipment to make your new Chicago retail location sing, the guys at ProGear have you covered. From cables to hook up your tills and WiFi to speakers for your favorite playlists and lighting - they have got it all.
When you are looking for gorgeous aesthetics, you do not have to look any further than Tablescapes. Whatever your style or the vibe you are trying to create for your customers, Tablescapes will have something to suit, or you can check out their latest guest designers for more inspiration.
- House of Rentals
House of Rentals has pretty much everything an event rental place could have. Importantly for retail, they sell a lot of lightly used equipment for cheap, including some professional-level heaters which you will definitely need in Chicago’s famous winters.
Pros and Cons of Retail Locations in Chicago
Although Chicago is pretty great, it is important to consider both the pros and the cons. Take the time to check out the advantages and disadvantages of having a retail location in Chicago.
Chicago is a huge melting pot when it comes to diversity. This shows itself in the city’s diverse culture, the languages you hear, the food you can smell, and the amazing people you meet on a daily basis.
Speaking of food, contrary to popular belief, Chicago is not just all delicious hot dogs and miles and miles of deep-dish pizza - although they are both widely available. There is a big foodie scene emerging with 24 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city.
- Landlocked beaches
Who would think this far from the coast you would still be able to take advantage of miles and miles of beaches? Thanks to the sheer size of Lake Michigan, there are plenty of stretches of sand to enjoy in the summertime.
It is no secret that Chicago has had a storied past. If you just look up you will see it all around you in the beautiful architecture, museums, and galleries that can be found all around the city.
It will come as no surprise to a lot of locals that snow is top of this list. The winters in Chicago can be absolutely brutal and if you are not used to dealing with it, well then it can actually get dangerous.
As with a lot of major cities, Chicago has a big problem with traffic, particularly around rush hour times heading in and out of the center. With a lot of people traveling in from the suburbs, gridlock is common.
Unfortunately, being such a big city with a large population, there is an issue with crime in Chicago. Although it is not as bad as when Al Capone was around, it is still a good idea to be sensible and alert.
Again, with the size of the city, there is quite a large amount of poverty - actually over the national average. In some neighborhoods, the poverty rates can reach up to 60%, which is staggering.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Wrigley Field
As the second oldest ballpark in the whole of the US, Wrigley Field is a must-visit for any fan of America’s favorite pastime. It is home to the Chicago Cubs, so while you are there maybe you could catch a game or take a tour of the historic stadium. Sometimes, they hold concerts and other events as well.
- Lincoln Park
If you are looking to escape the chaos of the city, why not head down to the shoreline of Lake Michigan and take in the six-mile-long Lincoln Park? The park boasts over 1,200 acres to explore including some attractions. It is Chicago’s largest city park and is home to a zoo, a museum, a conservatory, and more.
- Willis Tower SkyDeck
Once the highest building in the world (then called the Sears Tower), the Willis Tower is an icon of the Chicago skyline. Take the elevator up to the beautiful SkyDeck and take in the city below you. If you are very brave, you can get out on The Ledge, which lets you step into a glass box where you can see the city right under your feet.