Written by J. Collier Thornton of SVN, GLL Commercial Real Estate – Baton Rouge, LA

Retail Trends Have Changed

Smart Phones and two (2) income households are societal dynamics that have changed retail trends for the foreseeable future; some might argue for the detriment.  While advances in technology have simplified our accessibility to others, in addition to information in general, our society on the average spends more than 30%+ more time in their vehicles, as compared to 2010.

Whether it be construction worker leaving one job site in route to another, or a mother leaving carpool taking their children to soccer practice or ballet class, more and more people find themselves having to eat on the go.

Part #2: Fast Food or Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)

In turn, the one retail sector that has seen the greatest benefit from the “hustle and bustle” society we have evolved into, is the Fast Food (or QSR – “Quick Serve Restaurant”).

As mentioned in Part #1 of this series of Blogs, all retailers rely on traffic counts and proximity to their consumer’s residence .  While Convenience Stores (“C-stores”) benefit mostly from traffic counts, especially the “P.M.” commuter, Fast Food Restaurant’s rely on both (P.M. traffic counts and proximity to population).

QSR’s with breakfast sales that make up 20%+ of gross sales, can justify being along the A.M. commute.  Since breakfast sales make up a small portion of total sales, these sites must also provide easy access for the P.M. commuter as well (including but not limited to proximity to control signals, decel lanes/turn lanes on major thoroughfares, etc)

The breakfast menu trend has seen industry wide changes over the last 5+ years. With retail markets becoming heavily saturated with QSR’s, in the last 5-7 years, Fast Food establishments that historically have not offered a breakfast menu, have begun doing so. In an attempt to boost total gross sales, the small margin that breakfast sales provide have become crucial.

With the addition of breakfast menus, the site selection criteria for QSR’s has also changed.  Where P.M. commute locations were once a must, QSR’s have started considering the best “retail location” in any focused trade area.  So more than ever, it is important for QSR’s to enlist the assistance of a Site Selection Specialist who can help find that perfect retail location.

Stay Tuned… Part #3 – Drug Stores

To discuss an Exclusive Representation partnership with J. Collier Thornton, please call 225-367-1515 (office) or send an email to collier.thornton@svn.com.