Business view: Location is still crucial for success
The simplest of factors can dictate whether a business survives or dies.
The Chocolate Room on Lisburn Road is closing — partly because of the usual twin demons of high rent and rates, but also because a new business across the road has harmed footfall.
M&S used to operate a Simply Food store three minutes from the Chocolate Room, purveyor for many years of chocolates to mothers-in-law and other deserving people .
But the M&S move last year to bigger premises with ample carparking means people are now driving, instead of their old habit of dandering down to pick up a few things, and popping into the Chocolate Room before or afterwards. In theory, a higher-end grocer like M&S should complement a luxury, niche retailer. But sadly, even a walk across the road makes all the difference.