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Knowing Your Market Pays Dividends

Suzi Shopper: Thoughts on business from a consumer’s perspective

A friend of mine decided to open up her first retail store 5 years ago in Dahlonega, Georgia. The collective “they” said, don’t open a store in north Georgia—it will never be successful; no one will go there to shop. But Danielle did it anyway.

Fast forward 5 years, and Dress Up has opened 10 stores in the Atlanta area. I applaud their success!

So how did she do it?

You see, she and her sisters, who live in Dahlonega, were her target market – young women with a desire for the current fashion trends at an affordable price – and Danielle knew that there was a void in the retail landscape in that geographic area that she intended to fill.

How do you go about determining where to open your next store? You need to analyze not only your market, but your target customers. Competitor information is helpful in determining what works, what doesn’t, and where there may be opportunities. You can use surveys, focus groups or approach prospective clients directly to gather information relevant to your products and services.

Additionally, you can purchase market research from the likes of Gartner, Forrester and IDC. If you are looking for a comprehensive data to include industry research combined with information directly from your target customer, you may consider hiring a full-service market research firm. Greenbook is a guide for buyers of market research if you are interested in going the full-service route. And SmartRevenue provides insight into buying decisions made at the point of sale.

What tools have you used to successfully determine where to expand your retail operations?