Malls, downtown areas with lots of foot traffic, and the like are established destinations because consumers travel there for a variety of products and services. While visiting these high-traffic destinations they can see the salons located there and become aware that walk-ins are welcome. Naturally, rents are higher within established shopping destinations.
The alternative is to create a marketing campaign with newspaper ads, magazine ads, billboards and other media to let your target audience know about your salon. That's how you create a successful, single destination--someplace that's worth a unique and individual trip.
It's important to note, however, that with the rise in gas prices, consumers are less likely to make individual trips to out-of-the-way destinations if they believe they can get the same or similar products and services closer by. It's up to you to weigh the costs of the rent in an established destination where you'll need little marketing versus the cost to market your salon aggressively to your target audience. You also need to determine whether your location is close enough to a high percentage of your prospects who are willing to make the drive.