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Retailing and Fly-Fishing: They really are quite similar

A few years ago while visiting Maine, I wanted to spend the day doing something I love, fly-fishing.  I knew a lot about fly-fishing and trout, but I didn’t know Maine.  So I asked the owner of a local sports shop where he suggested I go and which flies to use.  I knew going to the local expert was important and would determine how successful I would be.

I hiked two miles that day to get to what would be the best trout pond.  It was hard to reach, but I knew I had, in my disposal, the right line, fly, and cast.  As I fished, I made the connection – finding a good location for your retail business is a bit like fly-fishing.

You must utilize local expertise to help you locate the right spot.  I do not believe in just looking for signs on property, nor searching web pages from my desktop to find sites for my clients – that would be similar to going to the closest and most visited trout pond.   Finding excellent retail locations requires understanding the client, knowing traffic patterns, site access, nearby retailers and competition.  I take the time to learn the psychology of the consumer, all while understanding that each unit’s profitability is the ultimate goal.

I caught forty trout in one hour that day – you could say it was a profitable day for me.  All of my retail clients ‘fly fish’, but each may have a different set of flies, pond preferences and technique.  However what they have in common – they opted to attain me as their guide. I help them find the right spot, and suggest which flies to use to catch a lot of fish.


Ted Pfeifer is Vice President of Retail at Landmark Commercial Realty.  He has located over 10 Panera units, Auto Zone and Taco Bell locations throughout South Central Pennsylvania.