Expanding In A Rough Economy


Independent retailers seeking to expand their businesses are struggling to locate competitively-priced, quality properties, Talking Retail reported.


According to Allen Shepherd, director with property agent Christie + Co., despite lower priced properties that have cropped up because of the recession and the perception that the retail sector is currently a buyer’s market, top quality c-stores still are hard to find.


“It is a bit of a strange transitional period. The better retailers are finding that they are making so much profit that they want to carry on getting that return rather than selling,” Shepherd told Talking Retail.


The result is that independent convenience store operators looking to expand are finding either low-quality properties in poor locations, or having to pay more for hard-to-find, already successful outlets.


Shepherd said quality buyers “can’t get what they want because there is not a lot available.”


So what’s a c-store owner to do? According to Shepherd, the independent store operators doing best in the current economic climate are using effective management techniques, which include running multiple outlets with a central CCTV system to monitor them.


“Better management of the most efficient small groups means many convenience stores are much better than they were,” Shepherd said. He added that some of the smaller, less well-kept corner shops may have trouble staying in the race. 




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