Location strategy: Not just for upscale retailers

“Location, location, location” is one of the oldest cliches in retailing but with more than a grain of truth to it. On a recent RetailWire discussion, panelists took on the topic in terms of site selection for upscale retailers. I comment (below) that it’s an issue for any concept and any price segment:

Yes, being in “the best malls” in a given metro area is important for retailers such as Nordstrom and Apple. As the discussion points out, these companies are especially smart about expanding at a deliberate pace in order to maintain their brand equity along with the halo effect of comparable brands in a high-traffic setting.

But location choices matter to all types of brick-and-mortar retailers, not just those located inside high-traffic malls and upscale town centers. Costco, for example, thrives in locations that might not be considered high-traffic (or high cost) because of its strength as a destination store. Being a magnet for a wide trading area in a low-cost location can be just as important for reinforcing a retailer’s branding message.

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