San Jose, California
Silicon Valley’s preeminent shop owes success to a prime location and maximizing efficiency
The old adage in real estate is location, location, location, and nowhere is that more important than it is for retail businesses. In the cannabis space, the idea that “weed sells itself” is quickly being replaced by an ultra-competitive business in which every advantage matters, and those companies set up with a location to drive traffic — and handle that flow of customers — are the ones set up for success.
By Brian Beckley, Garrett Rudolph and Patrick Wagner
Some cannabis retailers have a great location by virtue of their proximity to a major airport or a popular sports team’s stadium, others because of ease of access to a busy thoroughfare or a hub for tourists and travelers.
In San Jose, Airfield Supply Co. has all of the above and then some.
“I would say we probably check the box in three or four different categories,” says Chris Lane, the company’s chief marketing officer.
Founded in 2010, Airfield Supply is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, within four miles of the San Jose International Airport, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and the San Jose Sharks hockey stadium. The shop is also less than 10 miles from the San Francisco 49ers home stadium in Santa Clara and surrounded by numerous corporate campuses and a whirlwind of business activity. And not to be overlooked, the shop also has plenty of parking to handle the 1,500 to 2,000 transactions Airfield Supply sees daily.
Because of the local business community and proximity to the airport, the shop welcomes 250 to 400 new customers each day, with Lane estimating 30-50% of them are business travelers, making efficiency, as well as a comfortable shopping experience, even more important.
With all the benefits of a prime retail location, the company has focused on maximizing efficiency. It’s one thing to have a great location, Lane says, but quite another to put the potential to good use.
“How do we get 1,000 people through the door every day? How do we handle 200 deliveries a day and 300 online pickups?” he says. “We spent a lot of time working, not just on the location, but on the operational logistics and fulfillment methods and all these kinds of things.”
Clearly, Airfield Supply is executing on its mission, generating $30-40 million in sales at its single location.
“It’s the relationship between the perfect location and the perfect operational flow,” Lane says. “Without one the other doesn’t really mean anything.”