Location, Location, Location

We often hear this phrase in residential real estate, but less so for commercial real estate. In thinking about the aspects of a marketing plan in yesterday’s class, I became especially intrigued by the importance of location for a goods-based service. Namely, I was pondering coffee houses. Take, for example, an artsy coffee house that strives for strong ties to the community. The owners aim to host events, book readings, and guitar players. Initially the owners may perceive that the best locale is in the downtown area of a small city. Easy access and higher population, right?

Not necessarily. In a smaller city, many people are using vehicles for transport. What if there is inadequate or difficult parking for these cars? A good example is Hollywood, Florida. While parking garages exist, there are only a handful of parking spots that are truly close to certain retailers. Recently, the city began enforcing payment for these formerly free parking spots. If I were a customer already on the fence about visiting the coffee shop because I didn’t know if I’d be able to find close parking, I would now have another reason to stay home. Worse, I might go elsewhere—likely to the coffee chain in the strip mall, despite the cultural activities promised by the locally-owned shop!