Great Location Study: Sole Provider

By: spaceselectors   June 18, 2019

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A great location is the sole provider of goods or services within a drive time of 30 minutes or more.

Have you ever been on a road trip and stopped for gas in Where-the-what, USA? As your gas pumps slowly, you lean your back against the rear door of your car, and survey the main street. The weathered wood siding and corrugated metal awnings frame what is supposed to be a town square and you ponder, “squares don’t have three sides…” Your mild confusion is interrupted by the click of the gas pump as your tank reaches its limit. As you close your gas cap and return the nozzle to its home, you notice a sign above a storefront that reads “Anna’s Place”. Exiting the gas station, you turn the steering wheel to the southwest and only then can you decipher the sub-heading under the main sign at Anna’s that reads “Ribs, Burgers, Pizza, Gyros, Salads, Hot Dogs, Ice Cream and Tackle”.

Nearly half of all Americans live in rural or suburban areas that are 30 or more miles away from a major metropolis or urban core. With that, supply and choice become exponentially more limited the more remote a municipality may be. The disconnectedness from retail variety does not mean that a high-quality product, service or experience cannot be obtained. It just means that most of these towns and villages host resident populations that are too sparse to support individual restaurants that provide each one of Anna’s specialties. So, Anna becomes the destination for all things dining. The distance from the city center becomes a tremendous advantage to her business. The small trade area also shields the landlord’s asset from would-be developer competition. There’s only so much pie to go around.

At times, the owners of these types of locations take their opportunity for granted and don’t work hard to satisfy tenants or customers. Fortunately, most of these sole provisioners are pillars in their communities who work painstakingly hard to deliver the very best. This pride and work ethic is what makes places like Anna’s defy the odds such that her proverbial hole in the wall transforms itself into a cornerstone.

A singular location can become great in distant places when landlords and tenants keep their properties and businesses engaged in delivering an excellent customer experience.

Who doesn’t like a beautiful sunset? The warm rays of the sun make a brisk spring or fall afternoon especially enjoyable when you sit outside for lunch. Plus, rocking your favorite pair of sunglasses is always fun.

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