Location planning checklist for retailers

We don’t need to tell you that thorough location planning can make or break the success of your new outlet.

There are so many variables to consider when selecting a site for a new retail outlet, and effectively collating and analysing all the data you need to make a final decision can become a major challenge.

Use this checklist to assess potential sites for your next location.

Signs of a promising location

If you spot any of these factors developing in a market, it is probably worth looking at it in more detail:

  • Existing and potential customers are buying from competitors’ stores
  • The local transport network is set to be upgraded in the near future
  • A new residential or retail development has been granted planning permission

Indicators that a location could perform well

These are some of the clearest signs that your new store could be successful in a particular location:


  • Sufficient numbers of existing customers are based locally to justify opening a new store
  • Existing customers feel the store they currently use is over-capacity or difficult to access
  • People living and working locally match your customer personas


  • This location would set your company apart from competitors
  • There aren’t enough local competitors to satisfy the market
  • Other local competitors are unable to match the standard of your product/service
  • Existing competition has not saturated the market
  • Opening a new store locally would help you move ahead of competitors


  • The locality has established public transport and/or personal transport options
  • The transport network is easy to access from the proposed site
  • There is sufficient space for customers to park and for goods to be unloaded conveniently
  • The proposed location benefits from decent footfall


  • Local residents have an educational and financial profile that would make them fit with your preferred employee demographic
  • Staff can access nearby transport options conveniently

Points to watch out for during location planning

Just as there are many indicators of a good location, there are several that suggest a poor fit. If you’re able to tick any of these off your checklist, you might want to consider an alternative site for your new store:


  • Customers you plan to target would find it easier to travel to the store they are currently visiting
  • You would need to offer extra incentives to persuade existing customers to travel further


  • Competitors have a more advantageous position than the one you’re considering
  • Competitors offer a more comprehensive service in a nearby store


  • Existing staff would have to be incentivised to move to this area for work
  • Local residents with the skills required to work for you are in short supply

As you can see, there are many questions that need answering before you commit to a new site. Collating the relevant data through this checklist is a great start, but you need to put it all together to pinpoint the very best location for your new outlet.

With advanced location planning software like Periscope®, you can:

  • Visualise potential store locations, customer demographics, competitors and transport links on an intuitive map
  • Import existing customer data to create true-to-life supply and demand estimates
  • Build profiles of your ideal customers, and identify the best locations to attract them
  • Find new areas that match the demographic make-up of your best performing stores
  • Compare the specifics of similar locations side-by-side to make a final decision with confidence

Find out how Periscope® can provide you with a level of insight that will help make your next location a great success.