By Kent Schlesselman, Solutions Consultant
What do you do after you've ranked your markets and are ready to start getting down to the heart of the matter — site selection?
Let's imagine that you've identified your market and now you want to find the best available properties within that market. Where in the market would it make sense for your site to be located in order to attract attention to your brand and achieve the market position you would desire? In other words, how can you quickly and effectively identify the "hot spots" in the market — those high potential locations that meet your specific sales and volume objectives?
In your quest, be careful to avoid the fuel-convenience trap, where you believe a specific property that appears to be good for convenience sales will be equally good for fuel sales — or vice versa. While the synergy between fuel and convenience is common knowledge, there is not always a direct correlation. To make that assumption can be a hurdle in building and constructing your new site. Instead, orient your hot spot search toward strategic goals. Know your ideal volume, for instance, and how the potential in a certain location will track to this volume.
You may start by choosing a designated market area (DMA) for a commercial realtor, who can then offer you a list of properties. But those realtors are likely to be focused on available properties, not necessarily on high potential areas for a fuel and convenience store.
You could use purchased traffic counts to assess potential on your own. Traffic data is reliable, but it can be statistically noisy. To analyze traffic and truly see the impact of traffic on demand, you will need a reliable analytics tool that takes into account the importance/weight of fuel vs. convenience, among many other variables. The complexity of the site location evaluation process is such that, even with a defined market, a list of possible locations and a set of traffic counts, your efforts to assess raw dirt strength may fail without a predictive model underpinning the data.
Kalibrate's Hot Spot Analysis is designed to address the complexity and assess raw dirt strength. The results can be used to identify the highest potential areas of the market. A thermal map will be provided to help you clearly identify those "hot spot" areas.
In the grand scheme of your retail location development, investing in knowledge is the smallest and most valuable investment you can make. In a cost effective and expedient manner, Kalibrate can provide "hot spots" based on proximity to demand, traffic and considering the impact of competition. This will provide you with the critical next step to move from market level ranking down to high-potential areas for action.