The rapidly changing and often unpredictable retail landscape presents dynamic challenges, ranging from operational - supply chain disruptions and labour shortages – to technological, such as the proliferation of new technologies that change how customers shop for and pay for products and services. Organisations are being forced to adapt quickly and do more with less, leaving little margin for error.

In this environment, leveraging efficient and sustainable growth strategies is key to achieving scale and remaining competitive. Effective commercial property selection and efficient construction project management play an integral part in this process. In this article, we will explore these processes and the roles they play in helping retailers to achieve strategic growth.


Strategic Growth in Retail

Site Selection: 4 Critical Factors to Consider

Choosing the right location involves more than just pinpointing your target audience's whereabouts. It requires a deep understanding of the industry, your consumers, the competition, and logistical aspects that can influence whether a new location is ultimately successful. The following are 4 critical factors to consider during the commercial property selection process.


Choosing a location that is easily reachable by your target audience is obviously important. But how can you determine whether a site is accessible or not? The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as your target audience’s needs and preferences and the density of the neighbourhood.

For instance, if you are seeking a retail location in a suburban area, proximity to one or major roads and visibility from the road is crucial. However, if your store is in a densely populated area, proximity to high-rises, public transportation, and even other stores that your target audience regularly visits, such as a bank or a gym, will factor into your decision.


Assessing the presence and performance of competitors in the vicinity can provide valuable insights. Are there gaps in the market that your brand can fill? Are there synergies to leverage? Likewise, are there more established brands that offer similar products and services? If so, you will not only share the market but will also need to offer a unique competitive advantage for customers to choose your store over others.


Considering parking logistics is critical to ensuring that your store is accessible to your customers. A lack of parking or inconvenient parking arrangements can deter potential customers, while ample and well-organised parking can generate foot traffic. In densely populated areas like New York City where many customers walk or use public transportation to get to your store, fewer parking spaces are needed.


Site selection isn't just about finding the perfect spot, it's also about financial viability. Retailers must evaluate the costs associated with a particular location, considering not only the upfront expenses but also the ongoing operational costs. Beyond base monthly rent, consider additional costs such as utilities, taxes, and common area maintenance (CAM) expenses. Moreover, if the space requires significant renovations or repairs to get it move-in ready, it is crucial to account for these expenses as they can quickly add up and turn a seemingly ideal location into one that is not profitable in the long run.


The Construction Project Lifecycle

Once you have selected a site, the next step is to adapt it to your needs. During this process, construction project management takes center stage. Each phase of the construction project lifecycle presents unique challenges and requirements. Understanding these ahead of time can be the key to ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.

Conception and Planning

The foundation of a successful construction project lies in its meticulous planning. After all, it is easy to come into a project with an idea but translating that idea into action requires a lot of time, effort, and resources.

If you are not sure where to begin, a feasibility test can help you examine the project’s scope and objectives to determine how realistic it is. If you determine that the project is feasible, then the next step involves the actual planning – defining the project and its scope, identifying important milestones, and creating a budget. This process is often the most time-consuming aspect of any project, but it is also the most important, laying the groundwork for subsequent phases.


With the plan in place, it's time to bring your vision to life. Effective project management during the execution phase involves coordinating various stakeholders, managing resources, and adhering to your timeline. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial as unforeseen challenges can emerge during construction.

Performance Monitoring

Regular performance monitoring helps ensure that the project is running on schedule and within budget. Information and collaboration between project managers, contractors, and other stakeholders play a vital role in identifying any deviations from the plan, allowing prompt corrective action to keep the project on track.

Project Close

The successful completion of a construction project is not the end but a transition. This phase involves final inspections, walkthroughs, and ensuring that all aspects meet the predefined standards. It's also an opportunity to gather feedback and continually improve your processes for future expansion efforts.


The Role of Technology in Site Selection and Construction Project Management

The synergy between effective site selection and efficient construction project management plays a critical role in achieving successful retail expansion, particularly in the highly dynamic retail industry. However, without the right approach and retail growth solution, it is very difficult to achieve sustainable growth.

Accruent’s site selection software simplifies the process by leveraging real-time analytics to help identify and select new locations, accelerate negotiations and site approval, and increase revenue weeks. And Accruent’s industry-leading construction project management solution, Lx Projects, streamlines retail construction projects by simplifying each stage of the lifecycle. The solution facilitates data-driven decision-making and offers a complete suite of user-friendly features to ensure that all your locations open on time and within budget.

Contact a member of our team today to learn how Accruent can help your organisation achieve sustainable growth and thrive in the retail industry.