Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I am seriously considering opening a gallery. Okay, I've actually decided to but the question of location is still a big one. I have fallen in love with a charming spot that is just the right size and layout. The problem is there would be no walk-by traffic. It is on a busy road and there is already a large sign in front that should be quite visible to the cars driving by.
The galleries I have participated in do not seem to depend on walk-by traffic but the question is really bugging my husband and I need his total support before proceeding.
What do you think?
What type of work do you plan to sell? If it is impulsive then walk by would be helpful. But if you are selling larger more expensive, then I think it would be more like a furniture store clientele, as in serious purchase, in that driving would not matter.
Best wishes in your business venture.
Once you establish yourself, I don't think it will matter but if it's on a busy street there should be plenty of cars driving by that would take note and make a return visit, don't you think? Traffic is traffic, either way and if there's a prominent sign, it's all good.
Thanks! I agree.
Opening a gallery isn't quite like being in an art show. Art shows rely mainly on passing traffic: people who chose the show as a destination, people who happen by, people who are out for entertainment. A gallery is a retail destination, so passing traffic is good advertising, but it shouldn't be your only advertising.
Keep in mind that you need to create awareness of your gallery through advertising, social media, networking, community outreach, PR, outdoor advertising (signage and billboards) as well. If your business plan has thought that through, and you have the time and money budget to support it, being on a busy road will not be an issue.
You're probably better off being in a visible location versus an invisible location, too. You won't have many "walk-ins" on a busy road. Is parking easy to come by? Will you have signage that allows people to impulsively decide to pull in and take a look well in advance of the driveway?
I am in marketing. I love to sell stuff. I have a radio show on the subject and several companies.
I personally feel that walk by traffic is key for a good gallery. Problem with that is that the rent is going to be higher based on that. It is the double edge sword, but location is the key. There is a gallery in Savannah GA on the water that I was impressed with their marketing. They hung walls from the ceiling every 5' apart and loaded that place with 2D artwork. It was also the stop for people to get on the Savannah Ghost Tours. Brilliant!
I disagree with anyone who thinks that drive-bys will fit the bill. I have lived in my town for 33 years and there is a cute little gallery/gift store in town and I have personally NEVER been in it. I am their market. I have never once stopped. Gallerys have a high failure rate because the owners don't have a sharp pencil and keep their eye on the ball.
If you pick a crappy location you can just take a long time to wither or you will have to be a brilliant marketer who pours a ton into that work (and it costs). Make it easy and pick a location with walking traffic, something that has a destination near the gallery.
It sounds like you are interested in a 'destination' store? With this type of storefront, customers will be coming just to see you and not just casually stopping by to browse...i.e. foot traffic as described by Jim and Wendy. So having this type of store you should feel confident in your marketing abilities to bring in enough customers and from your own existing clientele base. Having this type of physical location, you are making it convenient for your current customers to come see you. I wouldn't expect much traffic from the street sign or street visibility to bring in additional customers but rather it be a bonus when that does happen.