🚀 Ignite your growth: Discover 30+ new tools to get ahead in our new Ecwid Igniter. Learn more →
Everything you need to sell online

Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

retail space

How to Find, Choose and Rent the Best Retail Space

8 min read

In recent years, ecommerce has grown exponentially. It has never been easier to have products delivered straight to your door. While online shopping through online marketplaces such as Amazon continues to rise, in-store retail shopping is still the leader when it comes to consumer spending. In fact, nearly 80% of US retail sales are made in brick-and-mortar stores. Even businesses like Amazon, which does the vast majority of sales online, insist on having retail spaces scattered across the globe.

With this in mind, it is clear that having a retail space is still critical for businesses of all sizes. This article will discuss different types of retail spaces and how to rent and lease one. We will also help you narrow down what type of space is right for your business.

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Please enter a valid email address

Do You Need a Retail Space for Lease or a Retail Space for Rent?

Before seeking a retail space, it’s important to understand the difference between leasing and renting.

When you discover a retail for lease, that means that it is available for the long term. Lease contracts can be anywhere from 6 months to 10 years.

Contrarily, a retail space for rent is designed for the shorter term.

Once you have decided how long you would like to commit to your retail space, it’s time to do some homework. Leasing a retail space is a big commitment that requires clarity and a lot of research. Here are some tips to help you choose your rental space.

Preparing for renting or leasing

When it comes to selecting a retail space, making lists can go a long way. Assess what you need for a space, what you prefer, and what you don’t want. Most businesses require a stock room, bathrooms, sales floor, and offices. Some also require dressing rooms. Be specific about your needs before moving forward.

One of the most important elements to consider is how much space is needed for your business. Is a small retail space for rent enough for you? Do you only need a commercial retail space for rent? If you’re seeking a lease, how long of a lease do you need? Asking yourself questions like this beforehand will simplify the process later on.

Another important element is calculating your budget. Businesses that are up and running should be able to assess financial availability based on sales numbers. If your business has not opened yet, be as precise and realistic as you can when assuming sales numbers.

Once you know what you want and understand your budget, it’s time to explore your options. Websites such as Loopnet offer a wide range of properties for rent and lease in various locations throughout the country.

Subscription services such as Co-Star are also available, although you will need to pay for their services. In addition to searching the internet, newspapers are still a good source for retail properties.

Assessing retail spaces

Once you have begun searching for a place, you may wonder what to ask when leasing or renting a retail space. Fortunately, there is a lot you can figure out by utilizing the internet. Consider the following retail space criteria questions:

  • How much does it cost to rent a retail space? Usually, rental rates range from $0.90 to $2 per square foot. Be sure to check the listing and contact the management office if there is no clear indication.
  • Is there a lot of crime in the area? As a business owner, it’s important to feel safe. You can check crime rates by using mylocalcrime.com.
  • If you have any competitors, where are they located? Being close to a competitor in your field may have pros or cons. If they are successful and draw people close, this may be helpful to your business. However, if customers are loyal to them, they may not serve you.
  • Are there complementary businesses nearby? If your business focuses on selling discount shoes, it may be beneficial to have a store nearby that sells discount clothing. Finding a retail space with a complementary business nearby will give you a major advantage.
  • Is the retail space zoned for your business? Unfortunately, there are zoning laws that may not allow your business. Connect with the local zoning office to make sure you are able to open a store in their area.

How to Find a Retail Space for Rent: Use a Retail Space Rental Agency

Depending on the area, figuring out how to find a retail space for rent may be difficult. A retail space rental agency often assigns agents to particular properties. They become the point of contact when you are ready to rent or lease.

These agencies can introduce you to properties that you may not have discovered otherwise. Generally, they have a number of retail spaces on file, along with agents who can guide you through the process.

How to Rent a Retail Space

Once you have found a retail space that meets your needs, it’s time to move on to how to rent a retail space. At this point, you will contact the leasing agent and receive a proposal. It is recommended to work directly with a lawyer during this process. Otherwise, you might be confused by the contract and get lost in the fine print. A lawyer will also help you negotiate, helping to reduce costs.

Once you have signed the contract and made your first payment, you are ready to begin the process of moving in.

Sign Up for Ecwid by Lightspeed and Expand Your Business

Are you a retailer or business owner who’s looking to start or expand your business? You’re in luck! Ecwid by Lightspeed is here to help. Our role is to help growing businesses sell anything, anywhere, to anyone, at any time. All in all, Ecwid by Lightspeed makes building and managing a business easier than ever through its state-of-the-art POS system.

To learn more about how to sell, market, and manage your up-and-coming businesses, sign up for Ecwid today!


Table of contents

Sell online

With Ecwid Ecommerce, you can easily sell anywhere, to anyone — across the internet and around the world.

About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

Your ecommerce dreams start here

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Your Privacy

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. More information

More information

Strictly Necessary Cookies (Always active)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Targeting Cookies
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Functional Cookies
These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.
Performance Cookies
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.