Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: bad business locations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,740

    bad business locations

    Why is it that so many businesses repeatedly fail in the same location? Is it just me or does your community have spots where businesses are constantly dying out and starting up again in a back and forth pattern of life and death? Often I've noticed (having a planner's perspective) that the problem is poor location (i.e crappy visibility, poor signage, or a decrepid shopping center).

    There's a store that I frequent for organic food and they opened about a year ago . The owner tells me business is real bad and for that I am sorry. But I feel like telling him that his location is terrible and that I was plain lucky I even found it in the first place. Accessing the place is also difficult from the opposite direction because you have to drive up two blocks to take a U-turn on a divided arterial, which is not picnic because its a busy road. He also has no frontage sign and his strip center is a basically a dump with palm trees.

    Should I grab this guy by the neck and shake him real good? Why can't business owners understand how important location is?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Wasteland of Cedar Trees
    Posts
    1,028
    I'm sure every town has its share of locations that have seen businesses are set up and then go belly up.

    What can these towns do with these locations?

    Most recently, I noticed a new fish and chips restaurant went in a building that is perpetually empty. From what I can see from my daily commute, there's no parking at the front of the building and I really wonder if there is any at the back of the narrow alleyway. I would not be surprised to see this take-out place flop very soon.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    I took a class in college where we had to analyze commercial locational criteria and luckily I was able to work on a project in my hometown, with just what you're describing: 4 restaurants in 3 years, serial retail uses, etc. Sometimes it's just a dying center, or bad access, or a bad neighborhood, lack of visual amenities.

    Redevelopment here has helped some of these. But sometimes it is inexplicable. I frequent a grocery store in a small strip center that supports an Italian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, hair/tanning place on one side of the grocery. But on the other side of the grocery, they've died on the vine. Pool store, coffee stop, etc. They're not at all inconvenient, have a traffic signal in, on a main commuting arterial. Don't know why.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,938
    I don't have any evidence, but I think the poor locations attract businesses who are more inclined to fail for two reasons:

    1) Poor locations offer low rent which appeals to people with a limited budget. In other words, people who do not have the capital they really need in order to go into business in the first place.

    2) People who do not recognize the importance of location, and are willing to take a poor location for low rent or any other purpose, do not have the business savvy to be successful.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,793

    Too much human signage!!

    In some strip malls, I have seen people standing on the curb holding up signs to attract customers. Quiznos does this way too much (I "think" they also have some employees in stores get all dolled up in a gorilla suit). Liberty Insurance has people dressed like the Statue of Liberty. I forgot what Jiffy Lube had.

    No business should ever be so bad as to use your employee to hold a sign on the side of a road, especially when you are paying to use a monument sign. I would sooner lay off the employee, unless it is proven that human signage (especially in ridiculous outfits) generates more business.

    The only time I could see human signage working is within the downtown of a community, where there is a higher percentage of pedestrian traffic (during a street festival this would REALLY generate more business).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327
    In one of Toledo's suburbs, Maumee, OH, there is a corner that has hosted an automobile dealership, a nude dancing club, a sports bar, and now.....empty.....again. Access seems to be about the same as the other corners at this intersection.....but nothing has worked for this parcel.

    The road that it is on is now one of Toledo's main sprawl roads, with new restaurants and motels popping up, almost daily. It is a main route to move from the outerbelt expressway (US 23 / I-475) to the Ohio Turnpike (I-80 / I-90).

    Even to a non-planner, this corner's struggle is very evident.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    The Fox Valley
    Posts
    4,696
    Blog entries
    1
    I think blighted/outdated shopping centers, poor accessibility, and poor visibility are probably the main reasons businesses fail in my neck of the woods. It is usually a combination of the three. I also think there may be some market oversaturation with certain types of businesses. Additionally, some businesses just can't afford the rents/taxes.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    7,120
    There seems to be an "Indian Burial Mound" syndrome with a location in the city next to me. Its on a major road and about a block from an interstate interchange. I've lived here for 20 years and it's been 6 different restaurants (and a couple before that) - chinese buffett, mexican, sports bar, steak house, etc. There are other places around it that have been very successful.

    The only reasons I can think of is that the access is somewhat hard, becasue of the interstate traffic and the rent might be high because of it being close to an interchange.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  9. #9
         
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    just back from a massive dog fight session
    Posts
    358
    *jumps in with his UK size 9s (US 43) with a complete lack of understanding of the US planning system*

    What can these towns do with these locations?
    reallocate the areas for different uses? if its failing as a retail centre, is there opportunity to reallocate or encourage other uses? residential? resi/retail mixed use?

    clearly the market dictates whether this would be viable and it would need to be backed up by sound market research but its an option.

    *clambers out again, hopefully with dignity intact, but oddly missing his briefs*

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Above urban19's plane field
    Posts
    2,349
    Location is improtant - some buildings are bound to have business tenants fail over and over due to lack of parking, bad access, etc. Some business owners just make horrendous choices when it comes to location. And, to echo Planit, some locations are just "cursed". There's a restaurant site in my old hometown that's housed at least eight different restaurants over the last thirty years - the parcel is in a viable commercial area, near other restaurants, had good parking and good access. It's a mystery.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,558
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I don't have any evidence, but I think the poor locations attract businesses who are more inclined to fail for two reasons:

    1) Poor locations offer low rent which appeals to people with a limited budget. In other words, people who do not have the capital they really need in order to go into business in the first place.

    2) People who do not recognize the importance of location, and are willing to take a poor location for low rent or any other purpose, do not have the business savvy to be successful.
    What he said...

    These are the top two reasons businesses fail regardless of location.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,259
    Quote Originally posted by HarryFossettsHat View post
    *jumps in with his UK size 9s (US 43) with a complete lack of understanding of the US planning system*...*clambers out again, hopefully with dignity intact, but oddly missing his briefs*
    Not an expert here but if that's shoe size you're referring to, it would be US size 10 or European size 43. Don't know what the equivalents are if you're not talking about shoes, is that reference to missing briefs relevant?

  13. #13
         
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    just back from a massive dog fight session
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Not an expert here but if that's shoe size you're referring to, it would be US size 10 or European size 43. Don't know what the equivalents are if you're not talking about shoes, is that reference to missing briefs relevant?

    Gah! yeah you're right. US size 10. Euro 43. Briefs irrelevant to everything.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,677
    And don't forget they failed because its your fault as a planner that they couldn't have a 50' tall sign.

  15. #15
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,565
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    And, to echo Planit, some locations are just "cursed". There's a restaurant site in my old hometown that's housed at least eight different restaurants over the last thirty years - the parcel is in a viable commercial area, near other restaurants, had good parking and good access. It's a mystery.
    What I really want to find out is what makes these locations "cursed." We know about how access, visibility, traffic, demographics, and so on contribute to what is considered an ideal business location. What about those places that seem to have it all, yet churn through tenants like Maister through rauchbiers?

    One example: a 1960s-era family restaurant building near my parents' house. It has what seems like an ideal location -- high traffic road (~20,000 VTD), good access, very visible site, middle to upper middle class neighborhood, and walking distance from condominiums -- yet nothing lasts for more than six months in there. Meanwhile, the ho-hum Greek diner a block down the street, in a building that is obviously an old Pizza Hut, does quite well.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,419
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    What I really want to find out is what makes these locations "cursed." We know about how access, visibility, traffic, demographics, and so on contribute to what is considered an ideal business location. What about those places that seem to have it all, yet churn through tenants like Maister through rauchbiers?

    One example: a 1960s-era family restaurant building near my parents' house. It has what seems like an ideal location -- high traffic road (~20,000 VTD), good access, very visible site, middle to upper middle class neighborhood, and walking distance from condominiums -- yet nothing lasts for more than six months in there. Meanwhile, the ho-hum Greek diner a block down the street, in a building that is obviously an old Pizza Hut, does quite well.
    I think it's just the nature of the restaurant business. I don't have any real numbers to back this up, but I would imagine that restaurants are often some of the least expensive businesses to start up in terms of initial capital costs, especially with a lease. So you tend to get the mom and pop types who think they can run a successful business, when often they're probably in over their head.

  17. #17
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,208
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    ...but I would imagine that restaurants are often some of the least expensive businesses to start up in terms of initial capital costs, especially with a lease. So you tend to get the mom and pop types who think they can run a successful business, when often they're probably in over their head.
    Maybe...if they buy a place with all the equipment installed and up to code. But if they have to build it out, that is very expensive.

    I think it is cheap leases attracting unfunded business people that don't realize the cost and low profit margins and long hours of a business, esp. restaurants.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Locations of planning jobs
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 29 Sep 2010, 10:24 AM
  2. Retail locations near highways
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 17 Jan 2007, 9:23 PM
  3. Low Tax Locations
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 15
    Last post: 21 Dec 2006, 2:09 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last post: 18 Jul 2005, 11:18 AM
  5. Parking Parking Lot Locations
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 18 Jul 2002, 5:37 PM