I own a clothing store where I buy and sell new and used Name Brand/Designer clothing, accessories & shoes. This is my first business venture and I have spent my life's savings trying to get it going. I have been in my location for 4 years now and during the first two years I did pretty good. Well I broke even, but considering how bad the economy was and that it was my first attempt at a business, I was quite proud of myself. During the third year in the store the state decided to put in a bridge which would route traffic away from my store. Immediately I noticed business starting to drop off. The bridge/construction was completed about 6 months ago and my sales are down 35% - 50%. My lease is up for renewal at the end of this month and as I see it I have three options: 1. Start looking for a new high traffic area and move my store, 2. Get rent lowered, aggressively advertise and hope business increases or 3. Close it down.
1. I began looking 6 months ago and have spoke to approx.10 different locations. Three different times I went through the process, paperwork, discussions and even almost signing the lease when at the last minute they changed their mind. My problem, I don't want to have to pay up fitting costs AGAIN which I explained to them from the beginning. Most of this town is dying and there is only a small area with growth potential, which is where these were but after they thought about it they would rather not spend the money and would rather wait it out hoping to get someone in there that would pay to fix up their building.
2. I decided to ask my landlord to lower my rent and he did come off about $300/mo but I'm afraid, considering how much business is off, it's not going to help much.
3. Don't resign the lease, start selling off everything I can and close down.
This may be a no brainer to some of you but here is my question. "Should I keep the store open and aggressively advertise or just take a loss and get out while I can?" Someone told me the other day that no amount of advertising I do can turn a bad location around. Please give advice. I am just torn......... what would you do????