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To move or not to move


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 8, 2004
Hi all,

Just a quick rundown of events.

My neighboring restaraunt wants my space.
Our "strip mall" is not typical. Instead of a strip of stores it is more of a courtyard surrounded by stores. It is called the Village Square and is set up almost like a little town.

I am smack dab in the middle of one side. I get an OK amount of walk by traffic but no street presence.

I should mention cars go by our mall at 45 mph unless they get a red light.

The store they want me to move to gets street visibility but absolutely NO walk by traffic. Not to mention it is farther away from the dumpster and deliveries will no longer be able to back up to the back door.

To make things interesting and to hopefully shut up my neighbor I told the landlord I will move for $30,000. I assume I am way overpriced and that it will be a resounding "are you out of your mind" as a NO but stranger things have happened.

So what I am asking is would you move to a different location with more street visibilty but less foot traffic?

Also I should mention that every inch of my current wallspace is for display and the new space has a HUGE window in it which will cut down on framed artwork. I was thinking I could turn the negative into a positive by putting lighted framed art in the window for passing cars to see.

Just wanted some opinions, like I said I don't believe that it will really happen but just wanted some outside input in case he considers it.

Thanks all.
Go talk to the other shops who have the street visibility and seee how much biz they think they get from it.

My shop and 'hood set up is different from yours but I get lots of drive by and walk by traffic, the majority is drive by. I would say that 85% of my new business tells me that they found out about me "just by driving by." And I don't even have a red light nearby. It's astounding what people notice even at 35 MPH. And big windows?? Yeah!!! Now you have your excuse to get a neon sign. I would take window space over wall space ANY DAY.

If you do make the move, make the landlord allow you to put up signage in the walk by area directing them to your fabulous new location.

edie the opinionated goddess
The last year and a half has taught me an important lesson in choice of location and street visibility.

After five years in business my lease was up for renewal in Sept of 2004. I had a choice of renewing at the same location or moving to a new building very nearby. The new building would sit about thirty feet off of one of the busiest streets in the Memphis area. I chose to move for the better street visibility.

I was able to get the endcap bay of this typical L-shaped strip mall. During construction I requested windows to run the full length(about 70') of the store that faces the street. I designed the gallery space of my shop to include a wall about 8' in from the windows. Of course, for the last year and a half this wall is always loaded with killer artwork and jaw-dropping framing. This single issue has made all the difference.

Yearly sales increase - 2005 over 2004 - 70%!

I have marketing codes in my software that track reasons customers purchase at or visit my shop. This is something we always ask at time of purchase.

#1 - "Repeat customer" (currently at about 52%)
#2 - "Drive by" (nearly 44% of current sales)
This is a code we select when customer mentions that the reason for visit is curiosity or interest generated by shop appearance from street.
#3 - Direct Mail
#4 - TV

I'll take drive-by over walk-by anytime. Also, dont underestimate the importance parking. How is it at the other spot?

Take the advice others have mentioned so far. You might be surprised. Also, $30K might sound like a lot, but don't forget you'll have major moving and build-out expenses. See what the landlord is willing to cover.
:cool: Rick
I take street visability, and parking any day.

I moved a year ago in January, and I gained street visability and parking. Sales up 22% at end of year. New year starting out at Jan - up 57%, Feb - up 37% March - stagnant. Customers have been approximately 90% new - saw the sign, love the parking.

Visability & parking have been key in the change of location.

Now all I have to do, is learn how to deal better with the Nouveou Riche and their attitudes and not let them get under my skin.
Originally posted by JbNormandog:
I told the landlord I will move for $30,000.
I would sign that deal today! I would do the build out myself and pocket 20 to 25 thousand.

I would jump on that in a heartbeat.

It would be even nicer if there was a blend of foot traffic and drive by.
I would gain visibility but lose parking.

As it is now people can pull up to my back door or walk through the complex.

Parking is at the farthest end away from the new spot.

I would ask the other street facing store but it is the landlords daughters shop and she may be a bit partial.

I was planning on doing the bulk of everything myself to try and pocket some money to replenish my emergency store fund.

Like I sadi I think it is a longshot the neighboring restaurant will go for the price but he might.

Thanks all!
Hey Jerry-If you can do a build out and move for $5K, I'll gladly give you the $25K

In fact, I would be jumping for joy if I could do a remodel for $30K

In this market, anyway, I don't think you can get a storefront quality electric sign for $5K

You ought to go into the L/H Improvement biz out here, my friend
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
You ought to go into the L/H Improvement biz out here, my friend
I have given some thought to that.

I am better at designing and building storefronts than I am at marketing custom framing.

I did my last move for less than 5k sign and all.
Last move was about $5k with signage and new benches,moulding displays, etc.
Parking is at the farthest end away from the new spot.
Just playing "devil's advocate" here, but picture your customers carrying their fragile art and/or finished framing to and from their cars in really foul winter weather or when it's raining.
:eek: Rick
Hey Jerry and Elaine-I spent much more than $5K just "complying" with the latest standards for smoke/fire/CO2 Detection systems

I'm guessing that you all don't have those requirements?

And, we didn't move

Rick-I'll play "devil's advocate" back at you. Measure the distance from your framing counter to the client's car. Then measure the distance from a Micheal's to the car or from a mall store to the client's car

Then compare your sales to either of the other

No argument that conveinence is desirable, but location, and it's ability to "drive people to the door" might be a little more powerful
Okay, some questions raised when I posed this to my Operations Manager:

Where does your current customer base come from?
How long have you been there?
Will your landlord honor your current lease terms as a part of the deal?

Have you really put down on paper the cost of this move - since $30,000 seems like alot but with build out, stationery updates, cost of physical moving... it might not be enough!

Just some thinking....


I'm in a stand alone building that used to be a residential home in a commercial district. The landlord did all of the compliance stuff before I leased it. But I don't think the compliance is as rigid as it would be in a mall or in a renovated (more than 50%) commercial building. We do not have sprinkler systems, just fire extinguishers, fire hydrant in front of store and fire dept is a stone's throw from the store. It did not have to be handicapped accessible because of the less than 50% renovation, etc. Actually, considering the zoning requirements in general where I am located, it was not a burden from a financial aspect to comply. Number of parking spaces for the building is always the hangup here, but the landlord took care of that too.

I think I got off easy in regards to this move. If I was moving into a mall, I know it would be MUCH different. I found that out when the local mall requested that I open up Infused! in their mall - BIG DIFFERENCE!!
I hear you, Elaine. I hope Jerry and you didn't think I was questioning the accuracy of those numbers. Just lamenting on how bad we get beat up

I often spend more than $5K on design fees, alone

Man, $5K here, $10K there and all of the sudden it becomes real money
Somehow I am beginning to think Bob's idea of real money is a bit different than mine!
Hey HB-Maybe up North you aren't familiar, but we used to have and old politician from Illinois that made that crack about legislators adding on pork to legislation

Except he was referring to millions

It might be a bad reference indicating my youth

I wish my sales were at a level where it wouldn't bother me to spend as you spend or need to spend!!

The landlord came by to tell me my neighbor that wants my space doesn't want to pay for anything! No moving costs, no disruption to business, nothing for my time, NOTHING.

She told me there is a bridal shop interested in it so if I didn't want it she would show it to them.

I told her give it to them, I can't afford to move now, and definately would hate to see my current neighbor take my existing space for nothing.

I am guessing I could get some decent jobs from the new brides with some cross marketing with the new store.

Thank you for all the replies.
I think you are going to be better off staying put for now. Obviously something to think about - on your own terms - in the future.

Originally posted by JbNormandog:
... my neighbor that wants my space doesn't want to pay for anything! No moving costs, no disruption to business, nothing for my time, NOTHING.

I would tell the neighbor to pound salt and I would stay put.

All of this was an interesting exercise anyway.

We learned that in Arizona contractors and designers take chunks of money away from retailers in enclosed malls.
Jb- staying put sounds like a win/win deal to me! Make friends with the new neighbor. You'll be framing not only wedding photos, but many more family items over the years as these newlyweds raise families.
Well that certainly made your decision easy!

Your restaurant neighbor has quite the sense of humor. Thank them for the chuckle they gave me.

edie the ifonly goddess