In today’s tech world, can you rely solely on having a great location? Absolutely not.
In 1998, I thought the future of brick and mortar shops would have nothing to do with location. To me, where your shop physically stands would not have mattered at all. I would have gone on and on about e-commerce and the future of it; in twenty years, e-comm will have taken over; etc, you get the picture.
In short, had I said any of that, I would have been wrong.
My views on the concept of “location, location, location” have changed greatly. As the gray hairs come in, I recognize that things take longer to evolve, and we are still in a place where location matters tremendously. People still go to stores. People still drive their cars. Maybe if we look far into the future, thirty or fifty years, we might be evolving in interesting ways. But for now, dense locations still provide for choice opportunities in where your store is. A corner spot in New York is still a prime spot. So yes: I recommend respecting your brick and mortars location. If you were thinking of moving for cheaper rent, or maybe you’re checking out new places, just keep that in mind.
Now, that being said, there is a much more interesting variation on this question, which is this: in today’s tech world, can you rely solely on having a great location?
The answer to that question is a big fat no. If you aren’t thinking about some very key things, you aren’t going to win. What are those things? I’ll name a few: your e-comm presence; your mobile strategy; your social presence; your app culture; your content output. Without those things, you are merely setting a game plan in motion for the demise of your business.
So, location still matters. Absolutely.
But the investment in the future, especially with the exponential growth of our culture when it comes to shopping, matters more. To not work on investing in that future is an enormous mistake. You need both.