What Is a Destination Business?

What is a destination store

We define the concept of the destination business as a retail outlet that chooses to focus on creating a  unique set of products and product experiences for its clients.  This business usually places a premium on brands, products, the experience of purchasing, trials, and post-purchase relationships in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

The emphasis placed on the unique and the premium is intended to result in creating an overall experience that delivers something special to the client.  Something so special that the client may be willing to travel several hours, cross country or otherwise expend extra resources in order to take part in the outlet’s unique premium experience.  

Why should I care?

The destination business is so often an independent and/or family operated enterprise.  These type of businesses enliven the economic landscape of large city neighborhoods, suburban sprawl and rural pastoral land alike.  In the world of music merchandising the destination business is to the instrument buying experience what the farmer’s market is to the localvore movement. 

Destination businesses support your town’s tax base.  They willingly pay property tax while many larger corporate entities won’t locate in your community without significant tax breaks.  They are the restaurants that pay into your municipal meals tax.  They are the retail outlet that garners sales tax.  They bring people and other resources to your community that would otherwise pass you by.  These businesses provide valuable economic development to your neighborhood.  These businesses generally pay better, offer better wages and carry themselves as if they are beholden to their client base as well as their staff.

What the Future may Hold

We are on the cusp of an age of wildly diversified direct sales entrepreneurship delivering by and large high end products and experiences to a discerning clientele.  

Destination businesses recognize they can garner success by avoiding the commodified, quantity game.  But they can’t do so without YOU.  The consumer must be a part of the winning combination that keeps food on the table for these business owners.  With so many destination businesses in food, hotelier, retail, etc the need for large groups of people with the time and the money coupled with the knowledge of and will to engage is paramount.  Every resource available to economic development, urban planning, rural development professionals, etc. should focus on this fact.  

In our next installment we’ll discuss specific techniques to build your destination business plan and fundemental concept.

Interior image of a local music store
Interior image of a local music store
Image from a recording session inside a studio with a man manipulating a computer recording software
Interior shot of a music store
Scott M. Graves

Scott M. Graves is founder of SMGraves Associates and host of SMG’s ‘Are We Here Yet?’ Podcast which is a part of M the Media Project, a solution providing robust local journalism.

The SMG team develops unique and powerful economic development tools to support business incubation, business management services and real estate development.