Brick-and-mortar retail is not dead. On the contrary, experts say that 85 to 90 percent of retail sales are completed in brick-and-mortar outlets. Shoppers haven’t lost the urge to touch and try on the merchandise. Retail isn’t dying, but the old retail business model is on its last legs. Retail establishments are closing their doors at a rapid rate simply because they don’t plan ahead and they don’t meet customers’ wants and needs. Here are four ways to manage your retail shop relocation and ensure a long, successful life for your new retail location.
Take Care of Business to Breathe Easy
A commercial relocation is stressful enough without worrying about the legal details. Before you move, consult with your attorney to determine which steps you must take in order to legally open and conduct your retail operation in a new location.
Your legal business requirements for registration, licensing, and permitting vary based on a number of factors, including:
- In-state vs. out-of-state move
- Corporate, LLC, or sole-proprietor status
- State, municipal, and county codes
- Local and state sales taxes
- Municipal and county zoning rules
Research how to obtain the permits and licenses you need in the new location before you sign a property lease or sales agreement. Landlords and owners may insist that your retail store is fine in the proposed new location, while the local authorities are not so welcoming of your retail shop relocation.
Submit your final state tax return, if possible, when moving your shop or store to a new state. Notify the IRS and other interested parties about your new location and contact information. If your business is changing names or restructuring, your attorney or accountant is the best person to advise you on the tax ramifications.
Send Out the Word
When you’ve chosen just the right new spot for your retail business, start getting the word out on the street. Use social media to let your followers know, but be prepared for some unhappiness. Loyal customers may be sad or even angry that you’re leaving the area.
Monitor user comments and responses to weed out nasty reactions, but respond to those who are hurt over the move. If you’re not going very far, let them know that you’re just around the corner. If you’re moving far away, thank your loyal customers for their patronage and friendship.
Have your social media person start working on fresh content and updated contacts for your new location’s web presence. You may want to start an entirely new Facebook page or Instagram account for the new location so they will be ready to launch when you open your doors. However, continue talking up the upcoming move on your original sites, and use a countdown timer to build excitement.
Remember that search engines automatically optimize their results for local retail spots. When someone near your store searches online for clothing shops or interior designers, the local brick-and-mortar stores hit the top of the results page over online retailers and big-name retailers who aren’t in town.
Make absolutely certain you’ll show up on the map by updating your address and other contact details before you hang your open sign on the door after your retail shop relocation.
Get Connected ASAP
With thousands of retail shops closing up in the last year, there’s a glut of prime retail space for sale and lease. If you manage to land a great new expanded space, take care of your connections first, no matter how tempting it may be to go crazy on décor right away.
Your Wi-Fi or other internet service must be hooked up and secure before you tackle the aesthetic moving tasks. You need to be sure that your ordering, tracking, and purchasing equipment can connect to the internet and deliver reliable data transfer.
Before you open your doors to the public, spend a day or so in the office evaluating the internet speeds and connection issues. Your internet-based POS equipment, Wi-Fi, security, and cloud backup plan must pass their performance tests to ensure you’re ready for business on opening day.
If you’re updating your POS system, train your staff on proper operation before your first day. Your staff will feel more confident, and your customers won’t have to endure an awkward learning phase as a result of your retail shop relocation.
Create an Experience for Shoppers
Shoppers today respond to experiential marketing. Their trips to retail and other commercial establishments are not purely utilitarian, but also serve as immersion into brand image and presence.
A trip to your store may be an important part of a social outing for old college friends or a nostalgic component of a big birthday celebration for a beloved older aunt. These customers want to feel as special in your store as your store feels to them.
Create a cozy, sleek, shimmering, or minimalist space that your target customers find intriguing and comfortable. Arrange and display products so that customers can engage and be inspired. Provide impeccable customer service so the customer feels appreciated and understood.
Host events in your new location to build a sense of commitment to the community and highlight your wares. As fond memories of experiences in your store grow, your business grows.
Wheaton World Wide Moving offers specialized and commercial moving services for retail customers. Let us take on the heaviest burdens during your retail shop relocation with professional relocation of your valuable signage, office equipment, store fixtures, inventory, and other furnishings.