Retail Strategies


For commercial developments of any size and character that contain a retail com­ponent, a properly planned and implemented retail program has the ability to set the tone, not just for that individual project, but for a neighborhood or entire re­gion. A well-executed retail program can create a positive environment of vitality for other businesses to flourish. Retail venues can become a center of the commu­nity for social gathering and celebrating if properly planned and merchandised. Choosing the optimal amount of space, categories, and styles of retailers and restaurateurs servicing a development are key goals of planning and implementing a retail program. To do this correctly, thorough research is required.

The Artios approach to creating a retail program starts with an understanding of how retailers and restaurateurs choose new locations. The analysis includes a thorough review of the demand drivers such as existing and future residential densities, daytime office worker diversity and strength, analysis of the visitor mar­ket, impact of any university or other schools of higher learning, and the impact of very special entertainment venues and attractions along with the impact of hotel clusters. Each of the demand drivers provides certain types of demand for food, retail, and services. The competing retail is considered in developing the retail plan as well, which may include creating a new niche of retail to complement the competing retail in the trade area, or absorb some of the retail demand of the competing retail areas by reinventing and improving the retail offerings within the new development.

Thoughtful consideration of the placement and amount of each merchandising category such as food, entertainment, comparison goods, and service uses within a development are planned to maximize the value of the retail for the develop­ment. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns play a key role in the placement and desirability of retail space. The retail sales demand gap and analysis of the retail servicing this gap plays a key role to determine the amount of space that should be devoted to retail. Restaurants, in particular, are known for their high failure rate, so this analysis can certainly provide the needed information to plan for a successful retail component of the development.

Important to the planning effort for retail space is an upfront understanding of the infrastructure requirements that retail, and particularly food, entertainment and specialty uses need to operate. This planning can lead to substantial cost sav­ings, if included in the initial design of the project(s). This planning also expands the merchandising choices for the project as well, which can help influence the rate at which a retail development is fully leased.