How to find the best retail space to lease for your store

When you want to set up a retail location for your store, there are a couple of options. You can construct or buy a building, or you can lease a space from someone else. Most people lease, because of the higher convenience and lower costs involved. But how do you find the best retail space to lease for your store?

There are several considerations when you’re looking at stores for rent. A commercial retail space for rent should have the right location, but it also has to meet your needs in other ways. You don’t want to choose the first thing you find, only to realize later that it’s not actually giving you a good space. Here’s what to consider, so you can be happy with your leasing choice.

Finding the Right Location Matters

The saying in real estate is that there are three things that matter most: location, location, and location. While there are definitely other important aspects of finding the right retail space for your storefront, location really is among the biggest concerns. You need to have a location that people can find, and that’s in a good area for all you need to do with your store.

It’s not just about whether customers can find you easily, either. That’s one aspect of location. But also consider whether they can easily get in and out of your parking lot, if they’ll have to turn across traffic, and if the area is extremely busy during certain days or times. That can affect whether customers decide to come to you, or go to a competitor that’s easier to get access to.

Additionally, you’ll find that more than customers will be coming to your store. When you look at a retail space for lease, consider how you’re going to get products delivered. Is there room for a large semi truck, for example? Can a box truck access your parking area, an alleyway, or another space nearby?

Especially if you’re getting deliveries frequently, you want to make sure products can get to you without a lot of frustration on the part of the shipper. Difficult delivery conditions can mean delays, and even extra charges. A lot of people don’t think about delivery issues when looking for a retail space to lease, but it’s one of the important location considerations.

Keep in mind that prime locations will command higher rental prices, due to supply and demand. You can still find good deals, but you should be prepared to pay more for a location you really want, right in the heart of everything, as opposed to a location that’s further away and not as easily accessible.

Consider the Space From a Customer Perspective

Before choosing a commercial retail space for rent, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would make it difficult for them, if you were to lease this location? If you’re in an area where there aren’t many stores for rent you could be limited on your choices, but it’s still important to consider customer needs as much as possible.

Parking is among the biggest considerations for customers. If you have a big store and a tiny parking lot, it’s easy for customers to get frustrated trying to find a space. They might give up and go elsewhere, unless they can easily park next door, on the street, or somewhere else close by that allows for easy access to your store.

The parking lot isn’t the only thing to think about, though. Look around and see what kinds of neighboring businesses your store will have. Depending on the type of business you’re operating, it may not fit in with the already established store in the area. That doesn’t mean you can’t choose that space, but you’ll want to be aware of any negative impacts for your customer base.

You might not want to put a vegan shop next to a steakhouse, for example, or a religious store next to something that sold adult products. By considering your customer base and their basic, expected needs, you can more easily find a great location for your retail store. Then you can lease with confidence, and keep customers happy when they visit your new store.

Making Changes May Cost You Extra

In addition to the location for your retail store, you want to make sure the interior space you’ll be getting fits your needs and goals. Some leases come with the opportunity to make changes to the inside of the building, and some are stricter on what you can do. In other words, that could be the difference between installing interior walls and just putting up dividers.

The kind of business you have will make a difference when it comes to the level of changes you need. One kind of retail establishment can be very different from another, depending on the number and size of products being sold. If you need a lot more shelving as opposed to more open floor space, making sure you can adjust to fit your needs is going to be important.

You also want to make sure there are adequate restroom facilities, as well as private areas for stock, a break room, and other needs, such as an office for a manager, bookkeeper, or anyone else who will require space that’s secure and away from customers. You might also want to ask about a room for security, with monitors for cameras throughout the building.

Before you sign for any retail space for lease, ask all the questions that are important to you and your business. Read the lease carefully, so you have a good understanding of what you can and can’t do in the location. You don’t want to lease a commercial space, and then realize you’ll be spending the next several years dealing with an issue that’s really pretty significant for your employees or customers.

Safety and Security Go Hand In Hand

You need a store that people can feel safe visiting, no matter what time it is. That’s especially important if you open early in the morning or stay open late at night, when it’s dark outside. Good outdoor lighting, a parking lot that’s also well-lit, and a secure location that avoids concerning areas of town are important.

If you lease in an area that doesn’t have the best reputation for safety, make sure you can adjust the building to protect your products, employees, and customers. That could mean bars on the windows, a security system, or even hiring security personnel to patrol the parking lot during specific hours. There’s no reason to avoid areas that need retail store options, as long as you can do so safely under the terms of your lease agreement.

There’s also more to safety and security than just the location of the store and whether it offers security options. You also need to make the interior of your store a safe place for customers and employees to navigate. The building should be in good repair, and there should be clear information in the lease agreement about what you are responsible for and what the landlord has to pay.

You need air conditioning if you’re in a hot climate in the summer months, and adequate heating for cold-weather locations in the winter. You also want secure shelving units, a floor that’s even and solid, and the option for an inspection to make sure the retail space you’re choosing is a good one. While no space is perfect, finding one that’s as close as possible is the goal.

Carefully Consider the Terms of the Lease

The lease you’re agreeing to is just as important as the physical space you’ll be inhabiting. Many commercial leases are long-term arrangements, because anyone who moves a store into a new location doesn’t intend to move that store again for a very long time. You want the security of a long-term lease, but you also don’t want to be locked into something you can’t get out of if there are too many problems.

By making sure you have a good lease, and reading it carefully before you sign, you can reduce risk. You may also want to get an attorney to look over your lease, ensuring that you’re making a wise decision and covering all aspects of the commercial retail space you’ve decided to rent.

The more you know about leasing the location, the more you can feel comfortable when you sign the lease and get the keys, so you can start moving in displays and products. Many commercial leases have a lot of standard clauses, but that doesn’t mean they are all exact. Don’t make assumptions on what the lease contains, as doing your due diligence is the way to go.

Find Your Space

Ready to find the right retail space for lease? Get the help you need today, from ZAY Management. We can make it easier for you to find a retail space you love and feel good about. The best retail space for lease is the one that’s right for your needs, and also meets the needs of your customers and vendors, too.

Having a trusted partner to help you find a commercial retail space for rent can bring you peace of mind, and make the experience a better one with a lot less stress or concern. Depending on your business’ specific needs, it may be easy to find a location, or it could be more challenging. Either way, ZAY Management will be here to help you select a great space for your new store.