Set up new consumer and retail premises

Finding the perfect location is vital in getting customers through the door.

Type of space

Having a clear list of what you will use the premise for can help speed up your search. It will also ensure that you choose the right amount of space for your needs. You should also consider any future changes you may have planned.

Research the location

Location is key when looking for a retail premise and getting customers to you. If your products are targeted at a particular demographic, you should ensure there is enough footfall in the location you choose. For example, if you are selling expensive designer goods, you may be more successful if you are based in an affluent area. Or if you are selling work tools, an industrial area may be better than a high street shop.

Get location-based demographics data on the Office for National Statistics website.

Your budget

Before you start looking for a premise, you should work out how much you can afford.

The rent for retail space is not the only cost to factor in, other costs will include business rates and energy bills.

Find out more about business rates on GOV.UK.

Find out if you will be eligible for business rates discount on GOV.UK.

Find retail space

You can find and compare prices on commercial property search engines such as Estates Gazette.

You might also want to consider a temporary pop-up retail space to test demand and generate awareness of your business.

Use the websites of matchmaking services like Storefront to find and book pop-up spaces.

There can be a lot of competition for sites in areas with high footfall. To secure a site, you will need to position yourself as a credible investor to landlords. You can do this by:


Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply and where you can access planning, infrastructure and innovation support from the UK government.

Freeports can provide an invaluable opportunity for leisure and hospitality businesses who can create a destination for both business and leisure travelers. You can also access a wide range of customs and tax benefits by expanding your business within a UK Freeport.

Find out more about UK Freeports on GOV.UK.


If you are intending to sell food and alcoholic drink products, you will need to register with the local authority and obtain an alcohol license.

Register your food business on GOV.UK.

Guidance on applying for an alcohol license on GOV.UK.

Next steps

You can get help and advice on the most suitable location for your premises. Find out more on the website of Local Enterprise Partnerships.