How to Successfully Open a Second Retail Store
If you own a retail store and find yourself running out of inventory or space you may need to open another location. Opening a second location can be an exciting project and unlock another level of growth for your business, but only if you approach it correctly. Here are some helpful tips on how you can find the right location, build out your space, and be ready for a successful opening.
Finding The Right Location
Important things to consider when picking your next location include:
If you plan on working at your store, you want to consider its distance from your home and your existing location. This will allow you to reduce your commute time while you manage both your locations.
A good inflow of traffic will be essential to getting the sales you expect. Before you sign the lease, consider hanging around the area and counting the traffic. Ideally, you'll be able to find a location with access to public transportation and good parking to ensure that your customers can reach your store.
If there are popular businesses or landmarks near the location you could also expect more traffic. Although this often leads to higher rent, you may be able to make more than enough extra revenue to cover the extra cost.
Check the demographics of the area to ensure that the type of people in the neighbourhood will be interested in your products. You should be able to find publicly available data online.
Some retailers launch a pop-up store to learn more about the demographics in that area. Testing out your store will allow you to see if the customer base there would be interested in your business.
It’s likely that if your competition is nearby, they’ve probably identified the area as being full of opportunity. Also, being close to your competition may allow you to benefit from increased traffic caused by their marketing campaigns.
Your Future Landlord
The reputation of your future landlord will be important to investigate. A bad landlord may stall your operations if they aren’t accommodating to your needs. For example, it’ll be good to find a landlord who will prioritize any building maintenance repairs needed or any other surprises that may happen. You may be able to get helpful information about the landlord by speaking to current and previous tenants of the location. The relationship with your landlord could make or break your business, so you want to make sure you're both on the same page.
Building Out Your Location
Space allocation will help you control traffic flow and what your customers will see. You’ll want your layout to allow customers to see all your merchandise so they know all you have to offer. Locating related product lines near each other can be very strategic. This will encourage people to buy similar products together. You should also avoid theft by keeping easily pocketed items in sight of your staff and under lock.
The atmosphere of your business will determine the customer’s experience with you. That’s why it’s important to be attentive to the interior design of your store. This will help communicate to customers what they should expect from your service and products. It might be worth it to consult an interior designer. Planning ahead could save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
Preparing For a Successful Opening
Recruiting New Staff
Your staff should make a positive lasting impression on your customers. To keep your customers happy you'll want to have employees who are enthusiastic and good problem-solvers.
Find candidates who are experienced with the products you sell or have a genuine interest in them. Having employees that are passionate about your products make it likely that they'll learn this knowledge quickly. This will allow your staff to effectively communicate with customers and help them find the right products they’re looking for.
Systems and Processes
You should be documenting your systems and processes so you can transfer key components of your first location to the second one. This could include inventory management systems and successful sales tactics. This will allow your second location to benefit from the accumulated knowledge that made your first location successful.
Before you should launch your location, you should start building up the anticipation with your current and potential customer base. For example, consider reaching out to your customer base 3 months in advance about the opening of your new store. Perhaps include that you will be offering a promotion to the first 100 customers that visit on opening day. You can build excitement and encourage future sales by sharing the news on different marketing channels such as social media, email, or direct mail.
After choosing a competitive location, designing your store layout, and making early preparations, you'll be ready to successfully open your store. We advise that you treat your second location as a new business venture. This means that you shouldn't rely on the profits from the first store to support your second store. Treating your second location this way will ensure it'll become as self-sufficient as the first. If you'll need a loan to get your new store operating, consider getting a free quote from us here.
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About the Author
Lendified is Canada's premier online lender for small businesses. The company was founded by former bank executives dedicated to provide businesses with fast, easy, and affordable financing. The Lendified team regularly produces blogs and guides to help small business owners succeed.