When I first starting working for what I consider a “renowned” local commercial real estate developer, I would come back to him with what I thought were good locations for a few banks and pharmacies that he represented. They would have good traffic counts, sometimes corner locations, and sometimes even had a high density of homes nearby. When we would start discussing the properties that I thought were good, he would ask me what is nearby? Are there any banks, pharmacies, fast food, or any other “shopping” district attributes, initially my answer would always be “no, but it has many other great attributes”! He would reply, “we really do not want to be the ones who create the shopping district, we just want to be in a good location where a shopping district already exists”. With this said, I quickly learned that if a prospective location is not where people shop, eat, bank, or run other errands, then it is too risky. Now, I only look at locations that have 4 to 5 franchise stores nearby creating some type of “shopping district”. If you are considering locations that aren’t in one of these areas I would give you the big thumbs down on the location. I know that in some rare instances, there are very successful retail businesses in remote areas, but this is the exception to rule and is a very risky play. Always find a location (even in a rural area) that has some type of shopping district. Having other retail nearby including shopping centers is up there among the most important factors to consider when evaluating a proposed location.
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