This is the final article in a trilogy of articles about retail site selection in Alabama. The first article explained how retailers make their site decisions, the second discussed the role of government in this process, and this article will discuss your role. Yes, you, as a citizen and shopper, can have an important role in attracting retailers to your neighborhood.
As explained earlier, retailers make their decision about where to locate stores based on demographics and statistics, and very much on the same–store sales of retailers already in place. These same–store sales show the current sales in comparison to the sales from the previous year. If sales are going up then retailers are interested.
The second article discussed how government can be involved in the process, to not only help retailers understand the market and its characteristics, but also to help fund some of the infrastructure and other required expenses. Yes, retail development is private enterprise, but government can help make the site or environment ripe for that private investment.
Retailers live for the customers, and that, of course, is you. All that retailers do, in their store concepts, their advertisements, their product offerings, their customer service, and every other thing they do, is all about you. Retailers live to make you happy, to make you comfortable, and to make you delighted to part with the contents of your wallet or purse. Therefore, it should be no surprise that you have influence beyond what you might expect with retailers.
For starters, recall that retailers are not simply some corporate giant, but rather retailers are organizations of people, humans, that relate to the world like you do and that respond to your interaction with them as humans. These retailers, these humans, want to keep you interested and they want to cater to your whims.
So, how can you translate this power that you may not have known that you had into influence on where retailers locate next? First, you can recognize that you are the customer, you are the one with the money. You have a voice. Then you can see how the retailer wants to hear from you.
Recall from the earlier articles that same–store sales, how the store is doing this year in comparison to last year, is a strong motivator of retailers. If you frequent and shop the existing retailers in your market then the numbers of those stores will be better. This author does not really want to suggest that you shop where you are not happy, but this author will say that if the same–store sales are not good in the market then retailers looking for new locations will seek greener pastures.
Also, you can think about your neighborhood. Recall too that retail site selectors are those humans and they think like you do. Where do you like to go on vacation? Somewhere nice? Somewhere well tended and fun, where it looks like there is prosperity? Someplace that you feel safe? Retailers are people too, and these same factors influence them.
Recall that the people recommending sites to upper management have reputations to maintain, bonuses to earn, and their personal success on their mind. They want to recommend places where their company will flourish.
You have some control over your community and how it looks and feels. You probably have some control over how your home looks from the street. Retailers drive by your home and try to judge you out their car windows. How your neighborhood looks is a significant factor in site selection. Make your home look neater and better and retailers, driving by, will think better about locating a store in your neighborhood.
Retail site selection may be mysterious at first, but the process is really simple. Retailers look at data, governments help make deals work, and you help present your community in the best light. When all three analyses are positive, we have new stores, and that is, of course, what we all want