Find success in retail sales ventures

Dale Beede
Dale Beede

Successful real estate sellers understand properly positioning a property for sale could make the difference between failure and success. If the property is vacant, is it clean? Does it enjoy good curb appeal? Would others want to locate their businesses or families there? Is proper signage in front so passersby know the property is for sale?

You intuitively know these questions must be answered positively for marketing success.

But what if you own a vacant retail property and want to land a national credit tenant as your property anchor? The questions then  differ. What type of tenant am I looking for? Why is my property positioned better than the competition? How can I attract the finest retailer in the sector I’m proposing for the property? What attributes make my property the only site in my community for this particular prospect?

Retail trends change rapidly. The growing popularity of buying goods and services online has created industry giants in and eBay, to name just a few. How can local retailers compete with such strong national online retailers? Are there ways to compete successfully for the same buyers?

About a year ago I attended a one-hour luncheon address at the International Council of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas. The presenter was Gary Friedman, chairman and chief executive officer of Restoration Hardware, a seller of luxury home furnishings.

The audience listened carefully as Friedman told a story about how Restoration Hardware built a new retail store more than seven miles from the nearest retail center in Chicago and how he was nearly fired by his board of directors as they watched his decision-making during the construction of a four-story, brick-and-mortar building that looks like a large museum.

Friedman went on to explain that what Restoration Hardware created was the first experiential shopping center ever built by the company. The store offers shoppers four stories of high-quality furniture, indoor fountains, restaurants that allow people to eat their delicacies anywhere in the building and the finest in customer service. In other words, Restoration Hardware gives shoppers an experience they’ll never forget.

The company has been rewarded for its foresight with record sales and lines stretching for nearly a half mile on weekends as shoppers await to be treated splendidly.

Friedman said shoppers will buy goods online unless retailers give them a reason not to. Shoppers are looking not only for the right merchandise, but also exceptional customer service and an enjoyable shopping experience. The future of local retailers could depend on their ability to provide quality merchandise together with incredible experiences.