Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the leisure industry contributed £16 billion to the UK economy per annum. As the country navigates its way out of restrictions, the leisure sector is expected to experience exponential growth, with employment and consumer spending across the industry likely to increase over the next five years.
This increased demand means that many businesses and franchise owners are looking to expand. There has also been a boom in so-called ‘convenience leisure’ outlets on the outskirts of our towns and cities.
Of course, the success (or failure) of a new leisure site is reliant largely upon its location. For businesses looking to repeat their existing successes elsewhere, finding a lookalike location is paramount. To achieve this, it’s important to utilise key performance metrics for leisure site planning, to identify the areas that are most likely to allow a brand to perform well.
Significant metrics for leisure site planning
Periscope™ from Newgrove allows businesses to concentrate on several metrics to not only assess whether the proposed location of a new leisure site is likely to be profitable, but to identify lookalike locations that are likely to be more successful than others. Some of the most important metrics for leisure site planning include:
1. Local demographics
Is your proposed location home to an eager stream of potential customers? Are there likely to be enough qualified potential employees in the area to boost your new venture’s chances of success? With Periscope™, you can check out the latest demographic data in your own secure Google Maps overlay and understand whether these are the kind of people that are most likely to make use of your existing leisure sites.
Your brand will largely dictate the sort of demographics you’re likely to attract. Periscope™ allows you to harness your existing data to establish which demographics your business appeals to. Based on this information, its powerful algorithm can recommend lookalike locations with the right kind of people who are most likely to use your goods and services.
2. Transport links
Leisure sites don’t necessarily need to occupy prime commercial high street space. However, they do need to be accessible by your key target groups. Retail parks, industrial estates, and out-of-town locations are all ideal for leisure, provided they can be conveniently accessed by car or public transport.
Periscope™ allows businesses to harness national infrastructure data to highlight how much footfall already exists in an area, and when the area is at its busiest. From here, location scouts can compare and contrast company data to ascertain whether it’s a viable proposition.
3. Competitor locations
While demographics can be a good starting point, you should also consider whether your prospective locations are home to any competing businesses. It makes sense to identify areas without much competition – otherwise, you could end up spending a lot of time and effort converting your competitors’ customers. This ultimately means more hard work, an increase in promotional spending, and a lower return on investment.
4. Other local amenities
Whilst nearby competitors might not be ideal, the presence of ‘neutral’ businesses that appeal to your customers is often beneficial. It’s not unusual for retail spaces to be home to several different leisure businesses, which can help with passing footfall.
5. Setup/running costs
It makes sense for any business to keep running costs to a minimum. After identifying lookalike locations, you might have multiple areas to choose from. With Periscope™, you can compare average ground rents and utility costs , for example. This will enable you to look at the big picture when identifying which locations may be the most profitable. In some cases, less footfall but lower running costs could equal greater profits!
With demand for leisure activities expected to increase, it is a foregone conclusion that brands will be competing for business space. This means businesses in the leisure sector will need to act smarter when it comes to identifying potential new locations.
If you would like to know more about how Periscope™ could help improve your leisure site planning, contact us today for a free demonstration.