Influence of Societal Views

Learning Objectives

  • Explain why a retailer should also evaluate societal views when selecting a location

Society plays an important role in determining where to locate a business. In earlier units, we talked about an upscale, high end steak house. You would not locate this type of a restaurant in a community with a low median income, where they would be unable to patronize your business, right? What about opening an indoor playground geared for ages 2–12 in a retirement community? This doesn’t make sense either!

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and any GIS analysis to determine if the space you are thinking about is really a good location is important. Your eyes are likely becoming blurry from all the details and statistics of finding a suitable location to open a profitable retail location, right? These are all important factors.

Let’s talk about opening a restaurant. You want to open a small local bistro that serves only organic food. It is important to you that your lettuce is all organic, and the meat from humanely raised sources. What if you try to open this restaurant in a small rural community, where they don’t understand the difference between a grass-fed burger and a grain-fed burger? Perhaps they haven’t ever been exposed to lettuce other than iceberg, and they are certainly not going to pay $12 a plate for dinner!

For example, let’s imagine that you’ve opened a little restaurant. The price was right on the building, and there was no other restaurant like this one within 100 miles. Unfortunately, there were not enough tourists to make a profitable business. Your little restaurant may have enough business for catering and private parties. What seemed like a perfect location at a perfect price was not because there wasn’t enough traffic.

The societal environment is another component of a successful business location. Make sure to do your homework and find a space that has the right population to help your business grow.

Practice Questions