7 Reasons Retailers Are Swiping Right On StoreMatch
Retailers are at a crossroads. The rise of e-commerce and the experiential economy have companies retooling growth strategies for brick-and-mortar locations. But managing leases and searching for vacancies while combing through hundreds of listings is time-consuming. It could also alert external parties to the retailer's plans to rightsize.
StoreMatch makes the search process fast and discreet, uniting retailers with vacancies through a platform modeled after online dating.
The platform made a splash in Australia, producing over 12,000 matches between retailers and landlords. The platform’s success caught the attention of advisory and valuation company Great American Group, which saw the platform's potential to change the retail leasing process in the U.S. Since launching in the U.S. in September, StoreMatch has made 8,000 matches.
Here are seven reasons StoreMatch is changing the leasing game for retailers.
StoreMatch is free for retailers to upload their growth strategies and start matching, with no hidden fees. The platform never asks for credit card information and makes its revenue from landlords.
2. Targeted matches
After signing up for the platform, retailers fill out a profile describing what they are looking for in the desired location, square footage, usage and shop/center type. StoreMatch's algorithm remembers the retailer's preferences and uses the information to only find vacancies that fit all of the parameters.
StoreMatch removes exhaustive searches from the process, saving hours of weeding through hundreds of listings. A saved growth strategy in the profile means each time a new vacancy is uploaded that matches retailers' needs, they are immediately notified.
“This is normally a 26- to 40-week process,” StoreMatch co-founder Mike Whitfort said. “But as soon as a decision is made to sell the store, they can put it on StoreMatch and get people interested from day one. That closes the gap of time from when you can publicly rent the store, and also helps the retailer exit the leases to which they have a financial burden.”
3. Accurate and secure information
Another downside to wading through multiple listings manually is that information quickly becomes outdated. StoreMatch monitors every listing on the site, ensuring that only accurate and updated property information reaches retailers.
Because StoreMatch vets every landlord and retailer before they can take advantage of the platform, retailers do not have to worry about data mining from other users.
4. Tailored growth strategies
Whether retailers have hundreds of stores or are a much smaller franchise, it can be daunting and expensive figuring out how and where to expand. StoreMatch users have access to experts who will work with clients to identify the best locations for a successful expansion.
5. Confidentiality and discreet listings
As retail evolves to attract consumers that crave customizable, experience-based shopping, targeted store selection can help reposition stores to take advantage of more profitable locations. Even successful stores need to occasionally downsize or rightsize, but publicly visible store closings can lead to employee resignations and an accelerated decline of the location.
Great American works with retailers to assess the value of their assets and, when necessary, manage the sale of those assets. Its services range from the development of complex store closing programs to asset valuation services and advising on mergers and acquisitions.
The investor saw StoreMatch as an opportunity to improve on that process, allowing retailers to discreetly and confidentially post their stores. Even if a retailer is performing well, the platform creates an opportunity to rightsize and relocate underperforming locations.
“Ninety percent of your business might be solid, but you may want to post those underperforming stores on our site,” Whitfort said. “Using StoreMatch, retailers can discover and move into more profitable locations.”
Retailers can remarket stores on the site without external parties knowing.
Each retailer and landlord is assigned a personal account manager that works closely with it to get the most out of StoreMatch and address any issues or questions along the way.
7. Always improving
StoreMatch plans to continually build its services to fit the growing needs of retailers. Users will soon be able to find vacancies based on desired demographics, complementary stores and more.
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