Vacant storefronts make a shopping complex appear abandoned or dilapidated, but the true impact goes much further. Many retailers have had to downgrade or even close their businesses and commercial landlords are losing the income they count on to continue operating. The challenges presented can produce devastating results, but one solution aims to turn misfortune into an opportunity to innovate.
Post-Pandemic Impact on Physical Stores
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, thousands of retailers have closed their doors, leaving physical store locations vacant. The need to quarantine and prevent the spread of illness has brought on financial hardships that many business owners have not been able to overcome.
As such, landlords who typically lease commercial properties are finding fewer tenants and on top of losing rent revenues, they are struggling to come up with a way to recover some of their losses.
In 2020, around 12,000 stores closed and in 2021, the number increased to an additional 10,000. While physical stores are not entirely gone, their recovery is happening at a relatively slow rate.
As such, many landlords are looking for clever ways to continue making money through properties that stand vacant.
New Advertising Opportunities
Marketing has always embraced some level of creativity and innovation, and today’s world is no exception. Business owners and marketing professionals alike are constantly coming up with interesting new methods to advertise their services in ways that stand out.
Ad space can become quite expensive, so understandably, business owners want to utilize marketing strategies that produce results.
In an effort to address two significant needs, the landlord’s need to make money on their properties and the business owner’s need for effective ad space, a solution has emerged that focuses on one key asset – vacant storefronts.
Making Use of Vacant Storefronts
Many physical storefronts are composed of full-length windows or large, open wall spaces and because these stores are typically inaccessible locations, these spaces are ideal for ads and banners.
While leasing storefronts for advertising purposes may not always generate the income that leasing the entire store would ordinarily yield, leasing the wall and window space to other businesses can keep steady income flowing in.
In fact, in a central location, storefront ad space can produce between $25,000 and $30,000 per month, much of which goes directly to the landlords that own the space.
The Benefits of Storefront Advertising
It’s certainly understandable that landlords want their commercial buildings and units to be occupied by tenants and their stores, but it may be some time before physical businesses are performing well again.
Repurposing a vacant storefront as ad space presents an array of benefits, both for the landlord and the business that is renting storefront space.
Benefits for Landlords
On top of helping the landlord recoup some of the financial losses they’re experiencing in light of the pandemic closing physical businesses, there are numerous other benefits the property’s owner can take advantage of when providing ad space on vacant storefronts.
- Storefront ads provide creative marketing opportunities for growing businesses.
While storefront ads weren’t as desirable as other forms of advertising in the recent past, this method is one of the few advertising types that are thriving rather than declining.
- Storefront ads can generate significant income.
Plenty of marketers are looking for ways to get their products and services out to the public and they’re willing to pay landlords quite handsomely to post their ads in places that are easy to see.
- Landlords can rent out ad space to more than one business.
Depending on the landlord’s strategy, storefront space can go to more than one company’s ads, especially when the storefront is large and spacious.
- Landlords can help spread the word about local businesses, thus helping improve the local economy.
Hosting ads for growing businesses helps get the word out to the public, and when a company grows, money circulates through the community and enhances the overall quality of an area.
Benefits for Marketers
Effective advertising isn’t easy. Any business professional who has had to market their business will attest to that. The cost and functionality of an ad are crucial when it comes to investing in a marketing venture, especially for a small business.
Vacant storefront advertising provides a unique opportunity for businesses as well as landlords renting space. For example:
- Storefront ads get noticed.
Every day, people walk around on city sidewalks, and having ads posted at eye level ensures that the business is going to be noticed by passersby.
- Storefront ads are a cost-effective alternative to other advertising methods.
A billboard can reach a wide audience, but renting one is often not affordable for smaller companies. Using storefront advertising is more cost-effective and still ensures that the ads are going to be seen.
- Storefront ads can be easily swapped out.
If a sale or promotion is about to start, storefront ads can be very easily swapped out to display timely information about what service or product the company is offering. Additionally, seasonal ads are easy to exchange when the time is right.
- Storefront ads draw the eye away from an empty complex.
Empty buildings can be a bit of an eyesore, but placing ads along windows and walls can help bring life and color to an otherwise lifeless complex.
The past couple of years has fostered significant changes in the way the world operates, some positive and some negative. However, creative ideas and the determination to grow in spite of challenges have presented the world of business with a new venture that benefits both parties involved.