Table of Contents
Last Updated on 22nd July 2023
The fashion industry is a highly competitive one, so it is vital that you set yours up for success. According to the McKinsey State of Fashion 2022 report, the next few years are likely to be more challenging for the industry.
Choose your location carefully
Being in the right location is vital. The first thing to consider is the size of the market. If your store is near a large city, you will have more customers. But things are not as simple as that. You need to be sure that there are enough of the right type of people living in the area you are planning to trade out of.
Go online and check out the demographics of the area. Speak to people who live there and spend some time taking a look for yourself. Popping into a few coffee shops and having a friendly chat with the waiters and owner is a terrific way to get a feel for the kind of people who live there.
Get your name and branding right
Once you are clear on who you will be selling to and the kind of place you will be trading out of, sit down and think about your branding. Choosing the right name for your fashion store is important. It will set the tone for your target market, and it can also help you to stand out from other brands in your industry.
People often make the mistake of thinking that their name should be something catchy or clever. But that’s not necessarily true. It’s better to choose a brand identity that reflects what your store is about and who you are.
Start by spending ten minutes writing everything that comes into your mind. Often, one of your first ideas will turn out to be the right choice.
Once again, use others for inspiration. Take a look at successful stores and fashion brands in nearby towns and cities and go online as well. If you see something you like, take a photo or bookmark it.
Don´t expect to create your branding in just a few hours. Usually, it will take you a bit of time to decide. So, make sure that you do not leave this task until the last minute.
And think ahead. While you may start up as a retailer, would you ever become an own online clothing store? You can plan ahead when starting your own company.
Designing your store
Once you know what your branding is going to look like, and you have chosen your store you can design it. Again, don’t rush this.
You will need to allow plenty of time to do your research. Look at what others are doing and speak to a couple of shopfitters to get an understanding of what is available and how much things cost. You should have already determined how much of your budget you can afford to spend on fitting out your store. Be disciplined and stick to it.
And consider having an ecommerce platform to run alongside the store based clothing business.
Order the equipment early
It is best to order the equipment you will need to run your store at a fairly early stage. You don´t want to have to take cash only because your Point of Sale (POS) unit has not arrived. Or to only be able to display some of your stock because not all of your racking has been installed.
You should also order your digital screens well in advance of your opening. They are now vital pieces of equipment. Recent improvements made to digital signage software for retail outlets have turned them into extremely powerful marketing tools. Especially for fashion stores. Having the ability to see photos of an influencer on social media, immediately pull something similar from your rack, photograph it and use it for a promotion is a highly effective way to sell more.
Digital signage software enables you to create your own images and short videos in under 30 minutes. Both of which you can display when you want. Enabling you to tailor the in-store advertising used to sort the demographics of the people who shop with you at various times of the week.
Track down your suppliers
It is important to identify your suppliers early on. This provides you with time to get samples and negotiate favourable terms. For example, the ability to pay invoices a month or two after delivery. Something that will greatly help you with cash flow.
The above outlines the most important steps that you need to take to open successfully. Following this advice will enable you to take advantage of the fact that during the pandemic many of the world’s biggest fashion retailers shut up shop leaving space in the market for smaller independent retailers to enter.
People are still buying clothes and always will, and they increasingly want a more personal shopping experience. So, now is a good time for smaller fashion retailers to enter the market.