Where to locate your business: The edge of town

The most common lcaotion for small independent retailers

This is a more common location for independent or sole traders and can bear fruit if the right business sets up in an area whereby they can expect a certain amount of trade. Footfall levels are naturally lower but local trade and word of mouth count for a lot more.

Typical businesses can range from post offices, newsagents or convenience stores, video shops, pharmacies, fish chips, off-licences, laundrette or more rarely, unusual niche stores that cater for a specialist audience.

If you are situated near offices, a university campus or factory, for example, you could attract a certain type of person who is tailored to your products. However, retail depends largely on footfall so there may be added promotional work and research involved.

John Dean of the BSSA, British Shops and Stores Association, is optimistic there is room for small independent retailers in this space. “There is a huge opportunity for small businesses. They have the agility and product knowledge to succeed but only if they make themselves known as more than just a number.”


  • Pros: Low rent and rates. Business can flourish if you target your speciality to local customers. Repeat trade is vital. Very suited to more traditional types of business such as newsagents.
  • Cons: The big money generally lies elsewhere.


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