Tips on Finding a Location for your Franchise

As a franchise retailer, location is probably the most important decision you’ll make.  It is wise to give it plenty of thought, research and to do a comprehensive site evaluation study to find “only the best” location.  Since “only the best” exemplifies vomFASS products, that phrase should be equally important when choosing a new store location.

finding-the-right-franchise-locations

Site selection is a process of elimination. It is a continuing effort to research and evaluate numerous sites and lock in the best option. vomFASS Franchise Partners work closely with the vomFASS National Real Estate Advisor and a local Commercial Broker in their market. The National Real Estate Advisor provides guidance and direction when the location search begins, reviews the vehicular and pedestrian traffic counts provided by the Franchise Partner, and advises on lease terms. The local Commercial Broker understands the market, knows the landlords and has knowledge of current and future retail availability. With a coordinated real estate team effort, the ultimate goal is finding “only the best” location.

The optimal square footage for a vomFASS store is 1,000 square feet. Another way to look at this is through a cost analysis. You want to stay between 10% and 15% of occupancy cost to sales. For example, if you have projected annual sales of $600,000 then you want your occupancy cost to be under $90,000, which includes your lease, insurance, taxes, common area maintenance, etc.

The square footage is divided up between “front of the house” and “back of the house”

The most common ratio is for the sales floor (front of the house) to occupy two-thirds of the total space. Therefore, one-third is designated as back of the house, for prepping, kitchen area, inventory and office space.

Before the franchise location search begins, vomFASS does market analysis to look for a location with the optimal demographics. Ideally we want an area with a population of about 100,000 people and a median household income in excess of $65,000 to $70,000. The higher, the better, of course. Education level is also analyzed. A more educated population is preferred.

After identifying the overall market, we then study the “sub-markets”. Once the important sub-markets are established, we look at the corridors supporting those markets: the accessibility, visibility, and patterns of the pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The surrounding tenancy is another helpful indicator. For vomFASS, these important tenancies would include food stores, kitchen wares, restaurants, and all things related to food.

Another important factor is “co-tenancy”. This includes locations where people are already out walking, discovering, exploring, and experiencing. vomFASS customers have an appreciation for quality and an interest in cooking. They are commonly referred to as a ‘foodie’ and shop at retail stores like Penzey Spice, Sur La Table, The Spice and Tea Exchange, Savory Spice, Crate and Barrel, William Sonoma, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. One strategy on finding only the best location is to locate your vomFASS store where your customer is already shopping.

Since “experiencing” vomFASS’ extraordinary products is a major attraction, the stores fit perfectly into an experiential environment. This important placement encourages repeat business, as we are incorporated into the walking and driving traffic patterns of our customers. Also worth noting, being located close to competition is not necessarily a bad thing, as this affords customers the opportunity to compare products.

Tourist areas can also be highly successful locations. Currently vomFASS has become an important destination for visitors to San Francisco, CA., Jackson Hole, WY, Sedona, AZ., The Mall of America, and the Shops at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Visitors experience the quality and variety of vomFASS products while traveling, and are then able to reorder online. Even airports are a potential venue. In that case, orders could be easily shipped to the customer’s home.

Several factors are taken into consideration in the site selection process including the location and availability of customer parking. Is the site easily seen by customers from the street or parking lot? What are the options on signage? Does the landlord or community have sign restrictions? Is it easy for customers to get to the center? Is the shopping area upscale enough? Are there zoning issues dealing with the retail alcohol license?

One of the final steps in evaluating a site prior to signing a lease is for the vomFASS Franchise Partner to personally observe the location under consideration, count walk-by traffic, and watch during different times of the day and different days of the week, in order to identify traffic patterns. Taking pedestrian traffic counts is time consuming, but time well spent for finding ”only the best” retail location.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.