What Do Retailers Look For When Leasing Real Estate?

Big realtors usually have teams of professionals dedicated to researching and selecting real estate locations to plant their new stores. The new location must be ideal to fit the brand’s image, hit sales goals, and ensure growth for the company. Below you can find the set of non-exhaustive criteria retailers use to select locations. For landlords searching for retailers, Chainstoreleads.com offers lead packages to help you find your ideal retail tenant by square footage criteria.

  1. Square Footage

    Square footage is the first and foremost criteria retailers will ask about a property before any other question. Does the shoe fit the foot? If not, the retailer cannot be reasonably expected to pursue further interest. However, retailers generally are somewhat flexible with square footage as usually they are willing to work within an acceptable range.

  2. Traffic Count –

    Can the highway or road support the new retail location? What is the company’s internal car count requirement? This is important for real estate specialists to gauge whether the new store can hit expected sales goals. Most of the time, landlords can find this information from the local road department. In addition to traffic count, has the traffic count been slowing or growing in recent years?

  3. Parking Spaces –

    Many retailers require a minimum number of parking spots for its new store. Grocery stores will require a higher amount of parking spaces compared to a mattress store. If your location meets the square footage and traffic count requirements above, can your location also support tangible traffic actually coming through the door? If so, onward!

  4. Linear Frontage –

    How many linear feet is the front wall of your retail space? Brands want as much exposure and command as possible to draw eyeballs from the road. Is your space wide enough to fit the company’s sign? Is it wide enough to fit the minimum number of shelves or restaurant tables inside?

  5. Demographics –

    Now that you can narrow down which stores can actually fit in your retail space, retailers want to know who will be buying from them in the area. Do you have the retail location in a high income area that would be ideal for jewelry stores or Mercedes dealerships? How many people live within a 5 minute drive, 10 minute drive, 15 minute drive? Demographics are extremely important for brands to align with their target audience and ensure enough traffic coming in through the door.

  6. Type of Retail Space –

    Retailers want to know if their space will be in a strip mall, freestanding pad, a mall, or regional mall. Different retailers will have different preferences, and some may opt to even build the freestanding pad at no expense to the landlord – in exchange for a 20 year lease. A bit of research on the brand can tell you if the retailer has preferences on the type of space.

  7. Nearby Competition –

    Typically, a lease will include a non-competition clause where the same retail location cannot also lease to a competing business. The same strip mall leasing to a Dunkin Donuts will not be able to lease to another business that sells coffee.In addition to the intra-competition, retailers will be looking at nearby competition from the same road, and within a radius of the proposed retail location. An autoparts store will be hesitant to lease a location when another autoparts store is directly across the street, which would substantially impact revenue.

  8. AM Side or PM Side of Road –

    Is the retail location on the AM side, where commuters go to work, or on the returning side from work? Coffee shops will specifically look for AM sides of the road because commuters will want to enjoy a cup of coffee on their way to work, and liquor stores might enjoy the PM side where commuters might pick up a bottle of wine on the way home.

  9. Geography –

    A factor that is out of control for a landlord, but still relevant is if his/her retail space is within the retailer’s expansion plan geographically. A South-West brand with 200 locations might expand Mid-West US, instead of East Coast US. Knowing the retailer’s expansion plan will help if your property is relevant to the retailer’s geographic consideration.

  10. Pricing –

    The amount you charge your tenant will effect whether the retail will move forward with leasing from you. When deciding on a proposed price for leasing, take into consideration other local market rates, industry trends, factors included in the blog posts, and the prestige of your retail space. Expect to negotiate from your starting point, as this shows the landlord is flexible and easy to work with.


So there you have it! 10 factors that retailers take into account when deciding on a retail location!

A great way to market to retailers that fit your specific square footage is to use Chainstoreleads.com’s retail lead packages. Our e-packages range from $449 – $1,198 and have helped many retail landlord clients in the past achieve a leased retail space.