How to Lease a Retail Space

Starting up a retail business can be an exciting venture. Among all the important considerations, one of the most essential decisions is where you intend to set up shop. Part of making it in retail is having a location that your customers will have easy access to and will be willing travel to regularly. Not just any space available for leasing in a prime location will do. You should review your needs and ask all the pertinent questions before renting from Hi-Riet or another retail leasing organization.

Your Needs

Carefully review what you’re looking for in a leasing space. What sort of look do you want? Do you want a space that has the potential to look chic and trendy, or are you searching for something more industrial and practical? What customers are you targeting? What do you think their income will be? Are they discount shoppers? If so, avoid areas where there are surrounding stores that offer discounts. Know who your competitors are nearby before you set up. How far are your customers willing to drive or walk to your location? What is the traffic like in your area? Research your customer base by networking with other retailers and using research resources. Another consideration is the size of your leased space. Smaller businesses tend to opt for 800 to 3,000 or even 5,000-square-foot spaces. For expanding businesses, 10,000 to 15,000 square feet is necessary. These spaces tend to be cheaper per square foot when paying rent.

Questions to Ask

You should narrow down your list of potentials to a select few. When meeting with them to discuss leasing out such spaces, ask a few critical questions. First, ask the terms. This means how long you’ll get the space and what the payment schedule will be. You should know what the rates will be up front and if they will increase or decrease during the lease. Understand late fees and other penalties. In order to understand the penalties, you must comprehend the rules. Is Hi-Riet or those who are leasing the space concerned about certain items you may store or how much electricity you expend? Lastly, ask about maintenance issues. You should be given numbers to call when things break and emergencies arise.


This is a guest post provided to LIFE AS A WAHM for its readers.

*Image source: Jeroen van Oostrom at

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