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Site Selection looks easy on the surface.  Read through the retailer's posted requirements and find the property that fits.  This may work but most often leads to failure.  


The published parameters supply a guideline for the selection process but are not the total process.  There are a long list of companies that provide demographic studies for determining the Best Site.  These use complicated algorithms to analyze a long list of measurable facts.  This is the Science of Site Selection.


The sites determined by this "Science" need to be considered along with a list of other variables.  Several variables are:


Access-both for the site and for any competitors in the market.
Traffic-most measure the counts but don't look at the time of day for traffic direction.
Local Habits-these vary based on a list of items which include weather and natural barriers, for example.
Options for Competitors-is there another site, whether available now or a possible redevelopment, that would allow a direct competitor to out position your client.


The biggest mistake that a site selector or broker can make is take the Science alone to determine the correct site.  Tunnel vision happens to us all, we check all the boxes on a retailer's list and feel we have found "The Site".  But we need to keep our minds and eyes open beyond the list of requirements and look at all the options.  


This is where you will take Site Selection to an Art Form and establish your true value to the client.


Tags: access, Site Selection science, retail, commercial real estate, Site selection, traffic, local habits    

Posted: 3-20-2012 9:00AM EDT