Thursday, July 18, 2024

So You Want To Open A Store?

July 24, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( So you’ve always wanted to run your own store? You’re going to need a really good idea, some great products and a tremendous amount of energy and willingness to get the job done. Retail is a tough business to get into, and there is competition in every niche. Finding your gap in the market will be a challenge. Are you ready for that challenge?

Are You Experienced? 

If you’ve never had experience working within the retail sector, it can be useful to go out and get some before investing money into something as big as a shop. Customers can differ between types of retailer, and while you might think that everyone is as lovely as you are when they are out shopping, the fact is, they are not.

Getting the right balance of service is going to be fundamental to your business. Many people going into retail who have no experience of customer interaction quite often miss the mark, meaning that all of the efforts that they put into a great looking shop, with great products falls down. 

Getting The Right Aesthetic

Store lettering is essential as it sets the tone as you enter the building. It announces who you are, and what you are all about. Get a great designer, and get a few designs mocked up. Don’t just settle for the first thing that you see. 

This look should carry on through the store. Try to find a theme in the design that says something about what type of shop it is that you are running. 

While it may be tempting to do all of the work before, if you can’t finish it to a high standard, hire a shopfitter. 

Think about sourcing good quality shop fixtures that create a look that runs through the store. Having mismatched fixtures will make the shop look cluttered and unprofessional.


Think about how your products are merchandised. Remember, though, that the products that you will need to sell the most of are the high margin lines. You may want to lead customers in with something that will catch their eyes, but you need to quickly bring their attention to the bread and butter of the business. 

Products should all be on display. Things will never sell from your stockroom. And when on display, they should be easy to pick up and shop. Having cluttered, or overfilled displays will frustrate most customers, and you will end up losing sales. 


Think margin. Whatever you are selling, you will always need to source it at the best possible price. Shop around. Remember that on top of the cost price, you will need to factor in taxes, staffing, as well as rent and rates. A certain amount of your products will inevitably be damaged, stolen or faulty. You need to make allowances for this. With all of these things to think about, you will need to make sure that you have enough popular, profitable lines to play with. Having the next big thing can be great for your brand and getting people through the door. But to keep the lights on in the business, you need healthy margins. 

Staff Writer; Latasha Ford

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