Think you can make it in retail? It’s a cutthroat world on the high street right now, thanks to the recent economic crisis and the rise of online sales. Having said that, traditional bricks and mortar stores are still a major source of revenue for many retailers. So, there is room for more players on the market. Think it could be you? Here’s what you need to know.
Finding a location
The location is everything when it comes to opening a shop. If you don’t have the footfall, you will struggle no matter how nice your store is laid out or how amazing the products are that you sell. However, there is a fine balance to strike. Town centre locations are usually horrendously expensive. Councils will often give you a deal to get up-and-running, but these tend only to last a year. That isn’t a long time to establish yourself anywhere. With this in mind, it could be worth looking at areas just outside the centre. There are sweet spots in any town and city where the footfall is good enough, and the price is exceptional.
Choosing What To Sell
It’s a bad idea to get into the business of selling anything and everything. Although stores like the Pound Shop get away with this, it is only because they have so many shops around the country. You need to be smart about what you retail these days, and there should be a commonality running throughout your shop. You should have an ideal buyer in mind, so use this persona to build up a picture of what to sell them. However, there can be times when a cross purpose can work. For example, while many records shops have closed in recent years, the ones that have survived have added extra functions to what they do. A great example of this is the Pie & Vinyl store in Portsmouth.
Fitting Out Your Store
Before you fit out your store, have a look around the major supermarkets and take some tips from them. They are masters of retail psychology, and everything is planned to the nth degree. Even if you want to open a boutique store, you will be able to get some excellent pointers on how to merchandise your stock properly. Also, think about using retail displays to highlight sale stock or best sellers. People can often drift in shops, and they need help to train their eyes on the right stuff. It’s all about getting attention for the right products, and a bright or striking display is a classic example.
Build a website
Even if you are city centre retailer, you need to have a website. It will give you another income stream, opens up your market to a wider area, and future proofs your business. Although a lot of people still do their shopping face-to-face, a growing number of people are shopping online only. It would be remiss to miss out. Make sure to include a store section with excellent descriptions for all of your products. The hardest part of running an online store is that people cannot touch the products. But, by using vivid descriptions, you can compensate and help them build a picture in their minds.
These key pointers should help you in setting up a retail shop. Think we have missed anything? Then don’t forget to tell us in the comments!