What's the best location for a business?

What’s the Best Location for a Business: Grocery Stores in Northern California

A successful mid-size chain is looking for a location to open a new specialty food store. The company is focused on the Northern California market and wants to expand from its three current locations in San Francisco to add one or two more stores south of the core market area, in San Mateo County. The stores emphasize gourmet foods and are especially popular with urban-minded consumers.

The company is working with a large national commercial real estate brokerage to choose the new locations and acquire the necessary property to open the stores.

A researcher working with this client will run the RPR commercial analysis called “What’s the Best Location for a Business?” This analysis uses RPR’s demographic, psychographic and spending data to identify areas with the greatest concentration of potential customers for the business. RPR partners with leading B2B data providers, such as ESRI, to power this analysis. The client knows the business type — specialty food stores — but needs to pinpoint a trade area to locate an appropriate new location. The broker can run this search and analysis in any of three ways:

  • by general geography
  • by distance from a location
  • by drive time from a location

The analysis tool uses RPR’s mix of demographic and business data and works by looking at spending data and existing businesses within the area. The results are the best spots for the business within the general area. (Go to the Homepage > Search Tools tab OR Go to Analysis button > “What’s the best location for a business?”)

The researcher starts by entering the business type, Specialty Food Stores, in step #1 of the tool.

In step #2, she chooses the “geography” radio button. In step #3, she enters the general geography to search, “San Mateo County, CA.” By entering a county name, the researcher is casting a wider net for candidate properties. (The tool will prompt the user to specify whether she is choosing the city or the county of San Mateo.) Then she will see her analysis results. (The steps are: “What’s the best location for a business?” > “Specialty Food Stores, Geography, San Mateo County, CA” in search bar > Run Analysis button > Analysis Results page)

The analysis results show 14 municipalities or trade areas with the strongest match: the top score of 100. The researcher can find background and context by visiting the Trade Area Details page for these areas. An example is Lake Emerald Hills, CA. (See the Analysis Results page > View Trade Area Details button > Trade Area Details page for Lake Emerald Hills = http://www.narrpr.com/commercial/tradearea/summary?id=50622587.)


On this page, the researcher can review the demographics and psychographics for the trade area, gleaning insights into Lake Emerald Hills. For instance, she learns that the median home value is nearly twice the state average, and the demographics are dominated by a Tapestry segment (a composite description of the type of resident most common in the trade area) called “Top Rung,” families with an average net worth of more than $1 million. The food store company management will appreciate receiving a Commercial Trade Area Report for this candidate location.

Next, the researcher can drill down to see properties for sale in areas like Lake Emerald Hills. An example commercial property for sale in San Mateo County is:
http://www.narrpr.com/commercial/property/summary?id=199396467. Note that some listings, like this one, include income information that is helpful to a prospective buyer. (See Net Income in the Business Details section of the Property Details page.) The researcher can also run a Commercial Property Report for this location and email it to her client. The report can be customized to suit the client’s needs and contains contact information and details from the agency. (Go to the Property Details page > Reports tab > Choose elements > Get Report button.)

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