Feasibility studes

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Retail Netwerks has a specialist toolkit when it comes to feasibility studies. We’ll help you work out if your investment is going to be viable and what you can expect from it.

Why a feasibility study?

It is a piece of work designed to test whether a proposed project or idea will be do-able. Will the project produce the desired results within a time-frame and within costs that are acceptable, and will it be profitable over what period of time. These questions are very important if a large sum is to be invested, or if a proposed development will take a business in new directions as yet untested in the marketplace.

Retail Netwerks (RNUK) consultants have worked with some of the biggest farm retail enterprises in the UK, as well as many smaller ventures - from large Estates to small scale family run farm shops.

As well as drawing on numerous data sources, we employ our own research technique to produce empirical data to inform our feasibility studies. It is called the Retail HealthCheck which was, for example, employed during a three year project with some 200 farmers’ markets in the UK which sought to identify consumer marketing improvements. The tool has been used internationally and provides a detailed ‘snapshot’ of a retail environment (market, shop, high street or otherwise) over a set period of time.

Below are two examples of two recent feasibility studies undertaken by RNUK:

 

Case study 1: New ideas for existing farm shop

Background: We were asked to provide an understanding of the return on investment for a proposed extension to a medium sized farm shop.  The extension was to be on two stories and was desirable because it created a new, more logical layout for the farm shop, particularly in the butchery; and it would provide new offices. However the owner wished to test concepts for the new extension. He also wanted to test home-delivery as a new direction for the business.

Feasibility: RNUK used its Retail HealthCheck techniques to establish a demographic profile of existing shop users, testing their responses to a series of concepts that the farm shop might develop. Focus groups were also used to test concepts with existing and potential customers.

Result: the Retail HealthCheck results showed that the farm shop owner’s concepts would be a costly mistake. While it was disappointing for the owner to abandon cherished ideas, the farm shop is now on course for developing its retail along other lines, following guidance provided by the research. The business is giving customers what they want and the new plans will produce a higher ROI for the business.

 

Case study 2. New farm shop in listed building location

Background: The location was part of a large Estate with a public-facing reputation to uphold. The site already contained some retail aspects on a small scale, none of them food retail. The area was semi-rural with major conurbations within 30 minutes drive-time. Any farm shop on the site would be a new build within the curtilage of a listed building.


Feasibility: The feasibility study included a time-line to a planning permission application for a farm shop. The Trustees needed to be convinced that a farm shop would produce a target turnover within three years, and a satisfactory return on investment over the same time frame.
In addition to other research tools, RNUK employed the Retail HeathCheck to gather empirical data which established the current customer profile for the site and assessed whether that profile was amenable to the idea of a farm shop. The results were positive for the operation, with customers providing an understanding of what the operation should provide for them. In addition, focus groups provided an intense understanding of attitudes among target groups in the area.

Result: The feasibility study was presented to the Board and included comprehensive trading, CapEx and ROI projections over a three year period, as well as an assessment of whether a farm shop or other potential investments would yield the best return. The project was approved and is now moving forward to planning permission, with RNUK working closely with the client to improve the current site, establish new branding, run events and raise public awareness of the site in readiness for the farm shop development.