In-store or brick-and-mortar retail locations account for 82% of retail sales in the United States in 2024. That is a considerable number and demonstrates why the right location can catapult a retail chain to success. Meanwhile, a poor choice can hinder growth and profitability.

To navigate through an era of dynamic market changes and heightened competition, it is vital to understand the intricacies of retail site selection. Retail site selection software, such as Accruent’s LX Markets & Sites, offers an effective solution for businesses looking to expand.

What Is Retail Site Selection?

Retail site selection is the process of identifying and evaluating potential locations for new stores based on a set of predefined criteria and objectives. This meticulous process involves analyzing key components such as geographic location, customer demographics, accessibility, and proximity to competitors. 

At its core, site selection is about aligning a new store’s location with the brand’s target market and business goals. This ensures the store not only attracts its intended audience but operates efficiently and profitably. The role of site selection in retail success cannot be overstated. It influences foot traffic, sales volume, brand visibility, and overall market presence.

5 Key Factors in Retail Site Selection

The world of real estate is dynamic and evolving. Selecting the right site is pivotal for growth in retail and sustainability. Here is a breakdown of the key factors to consider.

  1. Location and Accessibility

The mantra of “location, location, location” holds true. A spot that is easily accessible to your target audience, near main roads and public transit, and with ample parking is key. It is not simply about visibility. It is about making it as easy as possible for customers to reach you.

  2. Demographics and Target Audience

Knowing who the customers are and what they want is one of the most important variables to consider. A thorough analysis of the local population – including age, income, and preferences – ensures the store aligns with the needs and expectations of the target market. This is how to maximize the appeal.

  3. Competition and Market Saturation

Understanding who else is on the block is crucial. Find the sweet spot where unmet needs can be served without being swamped by competitors. A strategic location is one where a store stands out and attracts a loyal customer base without intense direct competition. However, consider how the store’s product fits into adjacent storefronts, as similar businesses can increase foot traffic.

  4. Proximity to Suppliers and Logistics

Efficiency is key to profitability. A location that minimizes logistical hassles and costs – be it through proximity to suppliers or ease of distribution – can significantly impact the bottom line. It is about ensuring that products reach the shelves of a store just as efficiently as they reach customers.  

  5. Costs

The bottom line matters. Beyond the sticker price of rent, consider taxes, maintenance, staffing, and other potential overheads. Balance the cost of the site with the potential to drive revenue. This ensures the choice is sustainable and profitable in the long run.

Infographic showing key factors in retail site selection: location, target market, competition, logistics, and costs.

Leveraging Technology for Site Selection

Every square foot counts. Utilizing the digital advantage in retail site selection is the best way to ensure the perfect real estate is found – driven by data.

Digital tools powered by relevant data can help to generate customer insights, better allocate sales resources, facilitate channel interactions, and improve brand value.
Harvard Business Review

The Role of Site Selection Software

Site selection software genuinely revolutionizes how retailers pinpoint and assess potential locations. By harnessing the power of data analytics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), these tools offer invaluable insights into demographics, competitor landscapes, and prevailing market trends.  

Retailers equipped with such software can easily navigate the complex terrain of site selection with precision. Decisions are backed by robust data and comprehensive market analysis.

Real estate site selection software streamlines the process of identifying and evaluating potential retail locations. It uses data analytics and geographic information systems (GIS) to provide insights on demographics, competition, and market trends, helping retailers make informed decisions.

5 Benefits of Top Retail Site Selection Software

Site selection software offers several benefits, including the following:

  1. Data Accuracy: Critical decisions demand accurate information. Top-tier site selection software means up-to-the-minute, reliable data. Use this to lay the groundwork for solid analysis and informed decision-making.  
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Complex data needs simple navigation. The best platforms offer intuitive interfaces and make it straightforward for users of all technical backgrounds.  
  3. Customization: Each retail operation has unique needs. Customizable search criteria and filters allow businesses to tailor their site searches focused on targets. 
  4. Integration Capabilities: A holistic view is essential for strategic planning. Superior site selection software integrates seamlessly with existing business systems like CRM and ERP and improves constructive collaboration. 
  5. Support and Training: Maximizing software potential requires understanding its features. Learning software providers offer extensive customer support and training. This is a key element to getting the most out of retail site selection software.

There are numerous factors for site selection, and the right decisions mean businesses can tap into a strategic edge in a competitive retail market.

Best Site Selection Software: Accruent’s LX Markets & Sites  

Pinpointing the perfect location for a retail business is both an art and a science. Accruent's LX Markets & Sites is an innovative offering that can transform the site selection process into a strategic asset for retailers.

Streamlined Market Planning and Site Selection

Accruent's LX Markets & Sites is a software as much as it is a growth accelerator for retail chains. By simplifying the complexities of site selection, it enables businesses to swiftly identify and secure lucrative locations. This tool is about minimizing guesswork and maximizing potential. It ensures each new store is positioned for success from day one.

Accelerated Decision-Making

One of the core benefits of LX Markets & Sites is the capacity to digest and analyze extensive datasets. It offers predictive insights into store performance. This intelligence empowers retailers to make faster, data-backed decisions and slash the time from concept to market.  

Better Portfolio Management

With LX Markets & Sites, oversight becomes insight. Its sophisticated dashboards and analytics bring a new level of clarity to portfolio management. This allows businesses to optimize their real estate assets with precision. It is where strategy meets efficiency by offering a bird’s-eye view of opportunities and investments.

Comprehensive Functionality

This software unifies the site selection and market analysis processes within a singular platform. It streamlines efforts to assess, choose, and approve new locations. Business leaders can transform complex market conditions into clear, actionable pathways. This shortens the journey to site approval and launch.  

Part of Accruent's IWMS Solution

As part of Accruent’s Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), LX Markets & Sites offers more than mere site selection. It provides a holistic view of real estate management by complementing and enhancing other functions such as lease administration, project management, and facility management.

Make Decisions Guided by Insight, Not Instinct

Time is valuable, and when it is saved, it is an asset. Unlock the future of retail expansion with Accruent’s LX Markets & Sites. Embrace the power of data-driven site selection and a retailer can propel their chain to new heights. 

Explore LX Markets & Sites today and redefine the roadmap to retail success. Schedule a demo today.

Retail Site Selection FAQs

What is site selection in retailing?

Site selection in retailing involves a meticulous process of identifying, evaluating, and choosing the optimal location for a new retail outlet. It is a strategic decision that considers multiple factors to ensure the chosen site aligns with the brand’s goals, maximizes customer access, and enhances business growth.

What is an example of site selection?

An example of site selection could be a national coffee chain evaluating potential cities and neighborhoods for its next store. The process might include analyzing pedestrian traffic, local competition, and the area’s demographic profile. The result may be selecting a downtown location near a university to tap into a dense population of students and professionals.

What are the factors to consider when choosing a site for a retail business?

Key considerations include the location’s accessibility, the demographic characteristics of the surrounding area, the level of competition and market saturation, proximity to suppliers, and overall costs like leasing or purchasing. These elements collectively influence the potential success of the retail site.