Some people use the phrases “retail space” and “commercial space” somewhat interchangeably and it can get a bit confusing. Is there a difference between the two, or are they one and the same? Is all retail space commercial space, but is all commercial space not retail space? Where and how do they overlap? Never fear, there’s actually a simple explanation. Here are the similarities and differences between the two.

What is the Difference Between Retail and Commercial Space?

In short, commercial space and retail space are, in fact, two different things. “Commercial space” generally refers to office space. With commercial space, there may not be as many people wandering in and out, whereas “retail space” depends largely on foot traffic. Commercial space is typically used for businesses that don’t have a lot of foot traffic. For example, an insurance sales company that does business over the phone or meets clients by appointment in their office would need commercial space rather than retail space.

Commercial Space

What are some typical features in commercial and/or office space? Commercial space used as office space will likely include cubicles, as well as individual offices for those higher up in the company and meeting or conference rooms. There also may be a desk of some type up at the front of the office in order to have someone greeting clients and answering questions right as people walk in the door. Commercial space is used for more than just offices, as well. It’s used for medical facilities, call centers, and even certain multi-tenant buildings like apartment buildings.

Retail Space

What are some typical features in retail space? Retail space is for businesses who rely on a lot of foot traffic. They are typically near another, perhaps larger business that is referred to as an “anchor business,” like a grocery store or department store. They’re placed this way in order to draw customers from the “anchor business” over to the smaller business. Businesses such as grocery stores draw lots of foot traffic. Once someone is done with their grocery shopping, the smaller store may catch their eye, leading them to go explore it. Retail spaces are often in groups, like strip malls or retail parks. They also may have marquees to add another eye-catching detail. Retail spaces will typically have large glass windows, perhaps with products and/or mannequins in them to draw people in.

Which Kind of Space Does My Business Need?

Now that you know the difference between retail and commercial space, you might still be wondering which one would be best for your business. You may even need both, to serve different purposes for your company. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store keeping product on display and dealing with a lot of walk-in customers, you’ll need a traditional retail space. You’ll need to choose one in a convenient location with ample parking for your customers. However, scoring the coveted unit directly next to the “anchor store” can be difficult due to competition, and traditional retail space tends to be a bit more expensive than commercial space. However, if you are a business which does not depend so much on foot traffic and instead does business over the phone, over e-mail, or by making appointments with people who then come in to your space for a physical meeting, then you may benefit more from commercial office space. These spaces will be cheaper than retail space, and give you an adequate space to conduct business that may require individuals to work on their own or in a team, depending on the type of work that needs to be done.

I Need Help Finding The Right Space

Wondering how to find the right space for your business? Schwarz Properties can help you navigate the real-estate market and find the perfect space to make your business a success! Call us at (336)-625-6076 or visit us on our website.