There is a lot of competition in the fashion industry, which is something you need to be conscious of when opening your first store. Taking the time to set things up right, greatly improves your chances of making a success of your business. After all, you do not want to end up being one of the many fashion outlets that close after just a year or two of trading.
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Be sure there is enough demand
Top of the list is ensuring that you are opening in the right place. Unless you sell specialist clothing, for example, evening dresses, you do need to be located somewhere busy. Initially, you are going to be relying on passing foot traffic popping in to see what you have to offer and being tempted to buy.
Before signing a lease, hang around near the retail unit you are thinking of basing yourself in. Watch what happens throughout the day. It will be boring and time-consuming. But you want to be 100% sure you are not opening up somewhere that is only busy with people rushing past to drop their kids off or get to work.
While doing this, take note of the way people are dressed and how busy the surrounding shops are. Spend a little time in a local café and have a chat with anyone who wants to talk. You do not necessarily have to tell them you are thinking of opening a store nearby. The aim is to gain an understanding of the type of people who live in the area, so you can work out if you can provide them with what they want at a price they can afford.
Keep things simple – at least initially
Many things go into designing a fashion store. Perhaps the most crucial factor is interior design. The interior design has to be appropriate for the store’s target customers. But you don´t want to spend too much on decorating. At least not until you are sure your business will be a success. Usually, the best approach is to keep things simple and go for a modern, clean look. That tends to appeal to most age groups and classes of people.
Just be careful not to take things too far. You don´t want to end up with a store that looks cheap, ratty, or temporary. The guides you can find here will help you to get the balance right.
Choose your initial stock carefully
To be successful in the fashion industry, you need to have a clear understanding of what products will sell well. After you have been in business for a few years, working this out will be almost second nature. Until you reach that stage, you will need to do the following:
Make a list of what you want your store to offer. Include items that are in high demand, for example, t-shirts and tops. Clothing that you see stocked by practically every store.
Research what items are trending on social media, blogs, and magazines. You can use tools such as Google Trends or Instagram Insights to do this. Also, look at Amazon’s best sellers and those products that attract the most positive reviews. You can learn a lot about what people like and don´t like by reading a few of the 5-star and 1- or 2-star reviews.
Keep a close eye on what your main competitors are doing. Especially those that have been in business for a while. They tend to have a good understanding of what is likely to sell best. Following their lead, at least initially, will save you a lot of money.
Use this guide to gain a deeper understanding of how to ensure you buy the right type of clothing to sell in your store.
Track your metrics carefully
From day one, keep careful track of your finances. Doing so will help you quickly work out whether your fashion business is likely to be profitable, in the long run.
Set things up so that you can easily drill down into the fine details. You want to be able to find out which items are selling best. As well as, ideally at what point of the week, month or season each category or group of garments sells best. Doing this will help you to select the right products to sell and manage your inventory.
It is also really worthwhile investing a little money into buying some decent digital signage software too. Provided you buy the right kind you will be able to determine which of the adverts you use on your in-store digital screens translate into sales and which are a failure. Armed with this information you can gradually refine the ads you display so that you can sell more.
Setting up a fashion store is not going to be easy. But with the right planning and perseverance, you can make a good living with this business model.
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