5 tips for starting your own retail store (Guest Blog)

Owning a shop can be very rewarding and once established it can run itself so you can turn your attention to setting up the next branch or to enjoying your free time. There are many great reasons for starting your own retail store from the visual brand awareness to the income generated by customers. Shops are a fantastic window for your products, a great promotional platform for sales and for moving stock on. Here are my main 5 tips to starting your own retain store:

1. Shop location

A shop’s location can mean success or its downfall. If you are located off the beaten track you will need to work harder to attract customers with signage and marketing more than a shop located on the main street. Before taking on any retail property you need to ask yourself these questions: What is the footfall outside the shop? Who walks by the shop and at which times of the day/week/year? Are there any shops nearby that sell the same products and are they successful? How can my shop be different to the others that are similar nearby?

2. Your shop’s purpose

Having a clear definition of what your products are, your shop’s target market and what your daily targets need to be to cover the costs of running your shop, is important to ensure your shop’s success.
Knowing your target market in detail enables you to dress your shop for maximum appeal to your specific consumers. Not understanding your target market means you will create a confused shop, which confuses your consumers, which in turn translates into fewer sales than a shop who understands who they are trying to appeal to.

3. Layout

It is important to keep the layout of your shop stylish and minimalistic. This enables your products to sing from the shelves instead of compete to grab the attention of customers. Creating the right layout is an art form and one that needs to be looked at from the eyes of a shopper. Grouping products is also useful to keep clean lines instead of cluttering and confusing the consumer. If you are after an effective cluttered look, it is a good idea to get an expert in to dress your shop or read up about people’s buying habits in a ‘busy’ shop – a consumer’s spending behaviour varies greatly compared to a minimalistic shop layout.

4. Shop wall colour

I have found that the more neutral the wall colour the better presented your products are – creating a gallery affect where your products are the main attraction. This is where you need strong products that have their own personality or the shop will be bland and uninteresting. I find greys and whites the best colours for making the colour of your product standout because greys and whites go with any colour. Using correct lighting to backlight or spot light your products also works well on a neutral background colour.

5. Window displays

Window displays are one of the most important aspects of your shop – get this wrong and you won’t attract anyone’s attention to entice them in. When you are dressing your window it is important to reflect what is inside your shop. Therefore, having a stylish and minimalistic window display will give your products more room to shout. It is also important to change your window display regularly to keep people who frequently walk past your shop take notice every time you change your window display not to mention help to promote different products.

 

Article written by The Old Bag Company, a UK bag designer who has recently opened their first shop in Salcombe, Devon.