Article | Adaptive Spaces

City centre, shopping centre or retail park: where to open your new shop?

Do you want to open a new shop in Belgium? We give you some tips on how to find an optimal location.

May 17, 2023

By Gregory Verstraete Michael Dierickx Anthony Lefever

Interior of clothing store with clothes hanging

Location, location, location: you already know the classic answer to the question of what are the three most important criteria for choosing a property, whether it is residential or commercial.

If you are considering opening a new shop in Belgium, you probably already know that the busiest shopping streets, such as the Rue Neuve in Brussels or the Meir in Antwerp, are a bit difficult to access for a new retailer. While the location of your shop is essential, knowing the type of customers your products are aimed at is also particularly important.

Who are your products aimed at?

Your target audience largely determines the type of shop you need. If you sell garden furniture, it is best to choose a location that is easily accessible by car. In addition, every location has a price, which fluctuates according to the market and the local situation. For example, the presence of other shops can make it more attractive. As a newcomer to the retail sector, you can benefit from the pull of large chains. It is important to know which brands you would like to be surrounded by, and which customers you are targeting in this way.

What type of shop would you like?

Before you start looking in a specific area, it is therefore best to ask yourself what type of shop would be most suitable for you. There are three types of shops: in a shopping centre, in the city centre – also called 'high street' – or in a retail park. 

In a shopping centre, you benefit from the proximity of many other shops in the same environment and you have parking nearby. The presence of well-known brands, often for many years, contributes to a certain level of traffic. 

City centre shops can be of different types, depending mainly on the street where they are located and its immediate surroundings. Some streets have many so-called 'mainstream' shops, such as the Rue Neuve and the Meir. They are mainly targeted at the middle and lower segments. There are also more upmarket streets, aimed at a premium or luxury audience, such as Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo in Brussels, Kustlaan in Knokke or Schuttershofstraat in Antwerp, with brands that are mainly aimed at a medium+ or luxury audience. 

Finally, out-of-town shops located around cities often have a larger surface area and mainly target the middle market and showrooming. They rely on their ease of access by car as a major asset; parking in front of the shop is particularly easy. 

As regards the commercial surface area, this generally depends on the type of shop: shops in city centres and shopping centres have a more limited surface area, varying on average between 50 and 200m2, whereas shops on the outskirts can have an average surface area of 500 to 5,000m2 .

Whether you want to buy or rent a shop in Belgium, do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team to assist you in finding the best location for your shop.


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