Retail Strip Assessment
Retail strips are a collection of independent stores and stores that offers residents of surrounding areas access to a variety goods and services due to their unstructured and unrestricted nature that encourages specific needs investments. These retail centers feature an assortment of retail and convenient stores, utilities and civil facilities and services, and leisure and social amenities such as restaurants and are mostly concentrated along the roads offering their clients an open-air shopping experience. These retail centers mostly offer specialized services unique to their areas of operation, which also makes them popular with people from the greater area who are looking for specialized services. The success of retail strips can be attributed to their loose structure, which attracts a variety of investors, and enhances product and service diversification and attracts a larger client base. Their small number also enhances the ability of the independent businesses to mobilize and enhance their retail space to provide better service delivery and shopping experience to the clients by forming Business Improvement Associations to handle administration, marketing, and development.
Plan of the Retail Strip
Market Focus of the Strip
The retail strip is served by four roads, Queens Street South, which separates the stores on the strip laterally, Tannery Street, which divides the stores on the left side of the strip into two halves, and Water Street and Maiden Lane that provide access and exit from the retail center. These roads facilitate access to the strip and enhance customer retail experience by ensuring easy movement of both cars and pedestrians. The strip features both single story stores for relatively smaller businesses and multiple story stores for much larger businesses and stores. There are four major categories of stores on the strip, the first category deals in apparels, the second deals in pharmaceuticals, the third caters to leisure and recreation activities while the last category caters to hobbies. Medical and food services take up the majority of store space on the strip with the medical services all being located on the top of the strip near Water Street while the food stores are evenly distributed along the left side of the strip.
The strip features a variety of restaurants to cater to the large number of clients they receive and the different food preferences and demands by different groups of clients. Financial services are conveniently located at the strip’s entrance at the pharmacies to facilitate people getting enough money to spend on the facilities available. Demand for clothes is high as indicated by the 26% and 14% store capitalization by apparels and shoes retailers respectively. This is followed by furniture and beauty care services, which share a store capitalization of 8% each on the strip. Novelties and phones shops each take up 5% of the stores on the strip with pharmacy, health care, storage, lottery, civil services, and accessories taking up 1% of the stores available on the strip each. The strip also has occupancy is at 92% tenancy since there is still 8% of the total stores vacant.
The stores and services have been arranged to provide shoppers with the best shopping experience with critical services being evenly distributed along the strip. This organization encourages shoppers to carryout their activities on foot and increases their chances of visiting more stores as they walk around. Food stores are also evenly distributed along the strip with more stores located towards Maiden Lane, which enjoys high customer traffic. The market focus of the strip is selling clothes as is apparent in the large number of stores offering the commodity.
Critical analysis of this retail strip based on your observations and assessment
This is a successful strip though I feel that the stakeholders are not exploiting it to its full potential. The location of the strip ensures that it gets high number of customers due to the ease of access provided by the four roads. The road network also promotes business by enhancing the transportation of stock to the stores. Most businesses have concentrated on selling clothes increasing the competition in the apparel industry, which reduces the profits per store. This greatly affects the certainty of the strips future since they might end up losing a lot of their clients to other retail centres that offer more diversity in goods and services. The strip is lacking in the provision of major civil services denying it increased customer base. The business owners could approach several government agencies with the figures of their client base to encourage them to set up devolved offices, which would also help them grow their client numbers.
The strip has also failed to capitalize on the space along Maiden Lane and Water Street that could see it increase the number of stores and could attract more investors to set up businesses there. The strip has also failed to capitalize on the demographics of the customers to customize make high return investments by targeting the specific needs of their different client categories. Probably the most overlooked and potentially high revenue-generating group are the youth who patronize the strip in large numbers. The lack of significant investment in leisure and sporting amenities denies the strip a lot of revenue from this group that has a high spending capacity since most have just started working and with their little financial obligations have a high spending capacity. This could also be the reason why the strip does not get more visitors from this demographic as they go to look for those amenities in other retail centres and larger malls in the greater metropolitan area. The strip also has few senior patrons though this group are the largest inhabitants of the surrounding suburbs. Making access to the strip more seniors friendly can increase their patronage of the establishments on the strip, go a long way in ensuring the strip’s continuity, and guarantee it future. This is possible by building ramps to enhance wheelchair and scooter access. The Business Improvement Association should also develop policies that ensure the reduction of competition by encouraging new investors to venture into other unexploited niches, which will safeguard the earning of older businesses while increasing the number of visitors the strip gets effectively boosting business for all investors.
Retail strips increase the ease of access to a variety of goods and services in suburban residential areas by concentrating a variety of businesses and utilities in a relatively small area. This has enhanced the development of the suburbs, and encouraged investment and settling by people effectively decongesting the cities. They also help solve the unemployment problem especially among the youth who provide most of the labor force in these shops by serving as shop stewards, attendants, and delivery personnel. Their location close to residential areas encourages people to walk to them promoting environmental awareness and protection from reducing the use of vehicles. The success of a retail strip lies in its offering of access to a comprehensive mix of civil, utility, retail and leisure facilities to its immediate residence and its greater environs. Enhancing the efficiency of civil and utility services can appeal to people from neighboring cities due to the time efficiencies they can provide. Since these areas are also less congested and have good access through good infrastructure, they offer more return on investment for the businesses by attracting clients from a larger region.