Freestanding Retail Locations

This type of retail store stands alone, physically separate from other retail  stores. It does not enjoy the same benefits that shopping  centers  offer from the  stand point that customer of a free standing retail store must have made a special trip to  get there. Shoppers are not “just next door” and decide to walk in as they could in  a mall or strip center. Freestanding locations constituted about 22 percent of all  retail space, and a recent survey of retailers shows that this category leads all  others for future importance.

Drive in locations are special cases of freestanding sites that are selected for the  purpose of satisfying the needs of customers who shop in their automobile. In  some situations, the drive-in aspect of the retail business is only to supplement  existing in – store sales, but the same requirements of all drive in location  apply. These sites are usually positioned along or decide heavy traffic arteries in  neighbor  hoods, city streets, or inner city through fares because, as the  experience of McDonald’s shows, up to 55 percent of total store sales are often  attributable to drive-through business. Stores that rely totally on drive-in and  walk up business, such as Fox Photo, are designed to offer extremely quick  service and require a significantly smaller amount of space than more traditional  park-and-shop stores. In fact, drive-in-only retailers often fined that they  can price competitively because of reduced overhead from smaller building and  land size.

The total volume of passing traffic and the ease with which the traffic can  enter and leave the store critically important to the sales potential of the entire  establishment. The greater the density of traffic, the greater the potential amount  of business that is likely to be derived. An automobile traffic count is absolutely  necessary to identify suitable locations for drive-ins. Further more, it is important  that this traffic count be separated into direction, or flow.  A traffic flow analysis may be described in terms of why a customer is  making the trip : whether it is to or from work, for shopping, or for pleasure or  recreation. For example, drive-in-services for a bank would more likely be  utilized during work-to-home trips than the reverse. If the objective of a  drive-window  of a fast food chain was to increase breakfast food sales, then a home-to-work  direction would be  favorable. A work-trip customer may drop off cleaning  on the way to work and stop for gas on the way home.

Customers on a shopping trip are more easily stopped if a location is  positioned along the right side of a through fare. Not all shopping is done  between home and work. This is particularly true if a drive-in is located between  the customer’s place of residence and a major shopping area. If there are a  number of stores located in the general vicinity, the drive-in should be on the  same side of the street as those stores. To attract recreation or pleasure trip  shoppers, locations along a heavily  traveled  artery are best. The location should  be convenient to enter and leave, adjacent to the incoming traffic.

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