(FS7) Common Site Options for Franchising Your Business

As you and your franchisor survey for the best possible franchising location, here are some places that you may or will end up looking:



Usually large, enclosed spaces (but they also come with roofless walkways or an outdoor courtyard), malls are a staple for shopping and a great place to put your business. You will get regular traffic from not only people looking for you, but others who might be window shopping and see something they like. You’re in a prime space for people who are usually ready to purchase something at a moment’s notice and in a way, it’s almost like advertising as they walk by your door and take a peek in.


There are drawbacks as well as benefits for franchising in mall locations. Some of these include the cost of the mall space which can typically run higher than other properties. Not only that, but when you purchase a space from a mall, you’re actually usually renting it and you do not own it as opposed to purchasing a specific spot of land to build on. Along with paying rent, you often expected to also pay other fees like ‘commonplace maintenance’ fees or other facility specific fees. You will also have to operate under their hours of operation. You don’t get to choose which days to open and which days to be closed all day because—well—have you ever walked by a store in a mall with its gate down at noon while everyone else was booming with life? It can lower the opinion of your store if it doesn’t follow everyone’s norm. If you wanted an earlier or later opening or closing, that’s just not something you can really do in a mall. Some malls will also restrict your look, reimaging, or hanging advertisements. However these are the prices you pay in order to have more patrons pass your place of business and possibly drop in. Many mall goers even drive in from as far as 25-30 miles away just to go to the mall.


Neighborhood Center

Screen_Shot_2015-06-25_at_11.26.01_AMFranchising in local supermarkets usually provides a shopping center space with a handful of other store neighbors. This can make drawing in new, unexpecting customers extremely convenient for your business. This option offers a similar idea of people going to the shopping center for one thing and seeing your business so they walk in. They also offer cheaper rent than, say, a mall. So you won’t own your space, but it would still be more affordable. You’ll notice that many neighborhood centers have restrictions on signage and the more upscale they are, the stricter they tend to be.


Community Centers

These are also heavily populated community areas in neighborhoods. They usually serve 6-7 sq. miles around, depending on the accessibility. They offer a similar idea as the neighborhood center, but are geared towards a smaller community and usually have looser rules when it comes to signage and decoration. Community centers are also known to offer free-standing space that you can purchase or rent to build your franchise on, offering a bit more space and freedom at times.


Lifestyle Centers

Lifestyle centers are usually surrounded by residential communities and offer open-air centers for upscale chains, both national and local, along with dining, entertainment, and other stores. They usually offer uncovered walkways which are inviting in the right weather. You will usually find big things like cinemas or department stores in these places which can help draw more people to the area and make them excellent neighbors for many businesses. The best thing about lifestyle centers is that they try to combine cheap, impulse-buy type places right next to high-profile crowd pleasers to draw people in. Lifestyle centers usually feature parking in front of each store front, even if they are close, and can draw people from up to 15 miles regularly, depending on traffic patterns.


Franchising at lifestyle centers are usually very specific in offerings. If you’re looking to place your store at one, then you’ll want to make sure it fits in with all the other stores on site. Lifestyles centers are great for the right businesses, but if you place a business that just doesn’t work with the dynamics available, it can be expensive and kill your store from the start.


Franchising at Power Centers

Power centers get their name from the powerhouse stores that are usually their center piece. Think of the outdoor shopping centers you’ve seen that have places like Target, Walmart, or Home Depot as a major attraction and then scattered around those are other outlet stores that aren’t quite as big (physically and financially). Power centers only flaw can be because of the major brand all-in-one store, they might take attention, but generally your smaller franchise will have specialty products and a larger variety in the industry whereas Walmart, Target, and other powerhouse chains offer a little in a lot of subjects.


Other CentersHollywood (8 of 62)

Think about the shopping centers that focus on a certain theme. These places are constantly changing to go with what relates the most to the time of year and the surrounding community. They are a living, ever evolving shopping center. They also are a huge mix of store types to offer consumers everything they want (and maybe things they didn’t know they wanted) in one place. You’ll want to keep your eye on where the more typical stores are placed so you can take advantage of the customer traffic they create.


Shopping Areas

This is different from all of the centers listed above because this isn’t a center, but think of a central downtown shopping area where there are independent shops lining the streets from side to side, street to street. That’s what this is. This could even lead up or be around the streets of a mall. They can also be referred to as central business districts. These are especially recognizable as places tourists tend to go because that’s where the local shopping is generally focused. Along with the benefit of visitors, you also have office workers as these places are a mixture of attractions, shopping, and businesses, and you have the traffic of those who live in these areas.


Off-Street Franchising

These are places located in places like airports, universities, ballparks, or co-branded locations. These places aren’t usually accessible to people who are simply walking by, but that doesn’t make them any less popular amongst franchisors—in fact they have been gaining popularity in recent years.


At-Home Franchising

Some franchises will actually allow you the ability to work from home. This may include a home office as well as a field office or a strictly at-home office.

Regardless of which option you’re looking at, it will be a decision that you discuss heavily with your franchisor. It will also be a decision that you and your franchisor will have to make together.


Read More From Franchise Series 7: