How To Lease Retail Space

If you've got a dream to start a retail business, then you understand that finding the right location will be a large factor in your businesses success. There are many steps to take before you lease retail space, to ensure that you get the right space for the right price.

First, decide in what part of the city or area you wish to lease retail space. Retailers usually find that they have the most success in areas populated by other stores, even by their competitors. The reason for this is that shoppers want to comparison shop, so lease retail space that puts your store at the heart of the action!

Next, determine the size of the space that will best meet your needs and budget. Where the budget allows, lease retail space that gives you room to grow. Have vision, but temper your vision for growth with a dose of practical wisdom. If the store succeeds beyond your dreams, the worst that would occur is that you may have to move a short distance away; if you're that successful, customers would likely follow.

When you have a list of potential sites, look into building ownership before you lease retail space.  Ask the property owners what they are doing to market the shopping center as a whole. The more the owners support their tenants' success, the more they will profit, as well.

Determine how many empty retail spaces they have. More vacancies will give you an advantage in negotiating the price. Negotiate aggressively, perhaps with more than one landlord, to get the best rate. One note to keep in mind: too many open spaces in a retail location likely means that the area simply does not get enough traffic to consider.

Next, if you plan to lease retail space in a mall, understand the requirements you will have to meet. If your store has to be open every hour the mall operates, then this may mean that you will have to hire more staff, or that you will have to cover the extra hours. If you locate in a mall, ask the ownership what protections they provide against competition from other tenants.  Most malls allow limited competition for their tenants.

Finally, before you sign the contract to lease retail space, have an attorney who specializes in leases review the documents. Lease retail space only with your attorney's consent. It may save you a lot of grief later!


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