I get mixed feedback on the proliferation of national retail chains in the Washington D.C. area (my hometown) and around the rest of the United States. I have heard people say, ” Oh my, its the doom of homegrown retailers” or ” This is great, names I recognize and I can get service wherever I go”. Personally, I can see where both people are coming from in today’s retail real estate environment, but is the end of the local hardware store and bakery here? The answer is yes in some places, but no in others.

I think it is important to remember that all of the national chains one can find around the country were once independent homegrown businesses. Fortunately, the owners went through a metamorphosis and created a real business system(key word being system). Probably the world’s best known example of an organically grown business that developed into a multinational business empire is McDonald’s (to get the whole story behind McDonald’s click here!).

You may or may not want to grow your retail business into a multinational business, but I do think it is critical to business success to have systems in place. Ideally, you want to have systems in place allowing you to expand your retail concept across your town, state, region or country.

Landlords tend to prefer working with retailers that are organized  and have a bonafied structure and business system. Operators that are wishy washy and not systematic have a hard time impressing landlords. Additionally, they are subject to paying higher rents and greater security deposits because they are deemed a greater risk.

The other thing to remember is that Co-Tenancy is such an important aspect of the retail site selection. Sometimes, it works to your advantage to be next to certain national chains.

By focusing on working on your business, you will have a true business system up and running.