Opening a fashion store is not cheap. If you get it wrong and have to close after just a couple of years, it is easy to lose a lot of money. But when you get it right you can make a good living. That is what this article is all about, looking before you leap, planning carefully and running a store that can adapt as the way people shop for clothes changes.
Choose the right business model
People cannot go without clothes. But it is important to accept that the recession is going to change what people wear and the way they shop. You need to take this into account when deciding what type of store to open. This article explains what is happening with people´s spending habits and tells you about two fashion business models that normally continue to work, during a recession.
Research your market and the area
Before you decide on where to locate your store, do your research. Go online and find out what the demographics are like in the areas in which you are interested. Sites like Zoopla enable you to compare neighborhoods in terms of housing ownership, employment, family makeup and a few more telling metrics. This information is enough to tell you how well-off your customers are likely to be. In most places, you can also find out how many of each age group live there.
Armed with this and what you learn by looking around other local businesses will enable you to work out what type of clothing you should be selling. As well as get an idea of the price points you should be aiming for.
Set a budget
You will also need to find out how much your rates, rent and other overheads are likely to be. This will enable you to work out what level of turnover you will need to make a profit. You can use this article to help you to do that. But if you have never run a business before, it might be wise to ask an accountant to go over the figures as well.
Open with a bang
Prepare the marketing for your opening well in advance. You do not want to be sorting this out while trying to get your store fitted out. No matter how well you plan everything, things still tend to go wrong.
You want as many people as possible to come in during the first week. This is essential because despite everything everyone tells you word of mouth is still important. You want people to be talking about your store from the start, on social media as well as face to face. Use some of the ideas you can find here to make sure that you catch people´s attention and have a busy opening week.
Know your customer
Once you are open, do everything you can to get to know your customers and understand what they want. Spend time on the shop floor and study your sales figures carefully. Doing that will enable you to spot positive trends early and buy more stock to take advantage of them.
Keep things fresh
Keep your store looking neat, tidy, and well-stocked. It needs to look good to attract customers in to browse and keep them shopping with you.
Do your best to keep things fresh. Continually change your window displays. Modern digital displays for fashion stores make that easy to do. These large digital screens catch people´s eye and the fact that you can use any images or videos you want means that you can change things quickly. Potentially you can do so several times a day.
In the morning, when older people shop, you could display clothes and promotions on your window display digital screens that appeal to them. Around lunchtime, when office workers are walking past to grab lunch, change to something more likely to appeal to them. The changing seasons, the holidays and other events also provide you with the chance to change things up and get some attention.
Consider trading online
If possible, open an online store too. Usually, you will find that people who shop with you regularly will also buy from you online. It also enables them to tell friends and family that do not live close enough to pop into your store about what you have to offer.
Nobody is saying that opening and running a successful fashion store is easy. But with the right approach, it is possible to do. Even during a recession.