By, Samuel Westgate
It has never been a better time to own a mobile business. Retail is changing, as is every sector in real estate. Long term property leases are a thing of the past and consumer demand has drastically changed the retail landscape. People want things now, on demand. If businesses can roam, they have a better chance of succeeding.
As you are aware, the UK high street is in a period of downturn, with stores closing and previously established bastions of physical retail entering administration or liquidation. A recent BBC News report highlights retailers shut 2,870 stores in first half of 2019. Stores are also staying shut, with vacancies up year-on-year, reflecting a growing number of brands who recognise the end of reliance on purely physical outlets.
However, mobile retailers registered on the StreetDots platform have not succumbed to the wider sector negative trends, and reported average year-on-year growth in August 2019 of 23%. Retail is certainly not dead.
StreetDots is the only digital booking platform for independent traders. They are helping 2,500+ mobile traders to find and book 250+ iconic trading locations in London and Manchester. StreetDots have seen a high uplift in placemaking interests across the capital, with land operators now approaching them for site activation advice.
Their ethos focuses on right offer, right place, and the right time. StreetDots assesses every independent business and location on its platform against almost 50 criteria points. Over the course of the last 12 months, we have discovered that vendors trading on market-matched locations earn 71% more than those that have lower correlation.
Building owners need to remain competitive in these ever changing times. They need to keep their tenants happy and healthy. Mobile businesses can play a big part here.
As a vendor, knowing your ideal location is key, not only accepting the obvious that higher footfall means higher revenue, but also drilling down into detail, examining deeper demographics for business insight.
It might seem apparent that a coffee operator selling to music fans leaving a stadium late-night will perform as badly as a filling, meaty, carb-hit being offered to the early commuters at their local station at 6 in the morning, but applying this logic to one’s business can prove make-or-break for independents.
Testing and reaching new markets is critical in developing one’s business; StreetDots advocates maintaining a variety of locations from which one can generate sales. Diversifying revenue streams is prudent, to ensure that any one stream unexpectedly stopping doesn’t spell the end of the business.
Once ideal locations have been found, it is also key to avoid stagnation; a single product can rapidly become passé, especially in the modern climate of ever-changing consumer needs. StreetDots demonstrates this is best done through rotation, which has the added benefit of avoiding lengthy leases and business rates. Rotation and selective day-part retailing, customised to best fit your product, avoids long periods through the day where a natural demand for the product does not exist.
Increasing numbers of established retailers are adopting similar tactics as they recognise the value of increased exposure, ensure you take advantage of all possibilities to get the vital step-up one needs to succeed.
If you are looking to expand your business, sign up to StreetDots and start booking amazing trading spots in London and Manchester. There are opportunities in mobile food, beverages, produce, retail, and beauty.