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twoshort

Downtown Retail

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So someone has offered to pay your $3k - $4k in rent a month for a ground floor retail unit downtown. Monroe, Ionia, wherever. You've got your $10-$12/sq ft build out allowance. Someone even offered to pick up the bill to get the first round of inventory for you.

What do you open, and why?

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You've got your $10-$12/sq ft build out allowance.

That kind of budget is going to get you some card tables and folding chairs. Maybe we should up our theoretical budget a bit?

Nitro

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That kind of budget is going to get you some card tables and folding chairs. Maybe we should up our theoretical budget a bit?

Nitro

Oh, I have no idea the costs are . Lets just say the startup costs are covered and you just need to make money from there on out :)

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youd probably need close to $75 to $100 per sq foot for a good starter business.

If your going retail, a 6' retail display case goes for about $400 (reference)

Restaurants will go for about $300 per table and set of 4 chairs. (reference)

Thats not including the registers and other things you will need.

If I were going retail: I would have to start up a high scale electronics store. I havent seen a true electronics store downtown. We would sell TVs, stereos, and small electronics like IPods and laptop computers.

If I went restaurant, I'd opewn up a Computer Access cafe' with the Emphasis on the PC, not the cafe' ;P Like a Kinkos with food pretty much, hehe

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My wife keeps saying she wants to open up a gift and art "shoppe" downtown, but it seems like she would have to sell some pretty high end stuff to pay for the $10-$12/sq ft price to make it a go. Plus she (we) would need to plunk a bunch of money down to get inventory. We do have great credit though :whistling:

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I would look at an apparel store, they are a draw for all users of downtown: office workers, students, conventioneers & suburban visitors. Something a little edgy, that would stand out from the crowd, but not way out there that would scare some clients away. As long as you hired a manager that had their finger on the pulse of what was happening in the fashion world, it could work.

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An Urban Outfitters or something of that ilk. Something different that the mall doesn't have. People will seek out stores for unusual clothing.

Anything that goes downtown right now needs to be a true destination store. At least in the beginning. Then once people start coming the rest of the spaces could be filled with more mainstream stores.

Think of the one store or type of product that you would drive out of your way, get out of your care and walk a couple blocks, and as long as it is something other people would buy, I think you could do well (or survive until more retail shows up). :)

Joe

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My wife keeps saying she wants to open up a gift and art "shoppe" downtown, but it seems like she would have to sell some pretty high end stuff to pay for the $10-$12/sq ft price to make it a go. Plus she (we) would need to plunk a bunch of money down to get inventory. We do have great credit though :whistling:

Have you or her been to LaFontsee Galleries on North Monroe? It's a really nice gift and art shop.

http://www.lafontsee.us/

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Why is that everyone is so intent on getting an Urban Outfitters here? What's the big draw?

its like the abercrombe and fitch for the city folk, I knida like the store only i never bought anything there, its a little pricy. But that would be cool to get one on this side of the state.

They were going to put one in by my place in kzoo but they more than doubled the leases (reason why Bilbos moved out)

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They were going to put one in by my place in kzoo but they more than doubled the leases (reason why Bilbos moved out)

AAAHHHHH! I wondered why Bilbos closed down a whole year before their new digs are going to be ready! Makes sense now!

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I would open up the first stage of a new Grand Rapids based department store which hopefully will have a brighter future than its predecessors. If the Michigan economy can turn itself around and if the higher end residential developments continue I think something like this could eventually do quite well as well as provide yet another iconic establishment in GR like Macy's has done for NY. Now...all we need is a name...

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I'd love to see a department store downtown. I'm just not sure it would survive until there are more shoppers downtown. I wonder who owns the name herpolsheimer now.

I think we need some destination shopping downtown first. There needs to be stores that are only found downtown and not in the 'burbs. Someone needs to open something that draws a lot of people and can't be found anywhere else in west Michigan. Once a flow of shoppers is established, more shops will follow.

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Yes, River Bank Books & Music on Fountain Street near Ottawa (in the rear of the old Steketees Building) is having their Grand Opening December 16th. You can also get to it via the Steketees Lobby off of Monroe Center.

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Thanks. Found the downtown bookstore thread too. Guess I was searching by most recent first because I never saw it before. Can't wait. Adding to the Schuler/Border comments, the agreement is that Borders won't open a store within 60 miles of any Schuler's as long as Schuler's gets their inventory from Borders. Some folks think that makes Schuler's less independent, but it's just good business for everyone involved. If Schuler's didn't order inventory from Borders, they'd mostly likely have to order it from Barnes & Noble who bought the largest book distributor in the US, Ingram, some years ago. All leads to the notion that in the not so distant future, about 6 companies will own the entire world. Maybe they already do. Anyway, thanks for all the work you do, GRDadof3. Because of you, and everyone else on the boards, I am able to stay one notch above totally clueless!

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