Opening a Retail Business? Find Your Customers

Selecting a neighborhood to open a restaurant or shop is a complex decision with a variety of criteria that should be evaluated. But, at the end of the day, every retail business needs a consistent level of transactions to keep the doors open. Understanding the customer base for each potential location is vital to your success, as a miscalculation can derail even the best product or service.

A first step is determining the type of customer that is likely to support your business, as the ideal might be a high density of office workers to support lunch traffic or a concentration of hotels and their visitors to support nightlife. While a more detailed analysis of demographics, such as age groups and education levels, is prudent to refine this calculation, preliminary research to simply determine the sheer number of nearby consumers is helpful to begin narrowing down contending locations.

In order to help prospective tenants through this exercise, AED created a series of commercial density maps depicting Arlington’s commercial density in terms of the hotel, office, multifamily, and retail industries. Each industry is viewed through two map types: a simple plot of all buildings within Arlington by their size and then a heat map showing their comparative geographic concentration. These maps are designed to be a quick tool to gauge the customer base throughout Arlington, and of course the AED team is available to provide additional research specific to your own business plan.


Topic: Development Spotlight
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