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How to Start a Clothing Store
Your choice of a customer target market (the customer group you will seek to sell your clothing to) for a new clothing store will influence most aspects of how your business is run. Different challenges present themselves depending on whether you target the high-end, middle tier or discount markets.
To be a high-end clothing store, look to sell products of the highest quality, fashion, or both, to discerning customers who buy clothes for the statement they make rather than just to cover their skin. When seeking this market, you face choices as to whether you will focus on the products of one or a few high-end designers, or whether you will carry many designers and focus on a certain type of garment. Your marketing and operations work will be focused around supporting the high-end brand you want to create by emphasizing fashion and not the price customers have to pay.
At the middle of the market you may face more competition, but also find you have more leeway to differentiate your store through factors other than fashion, like service or variety. Many department stores, offering a broad range of moderately priced clothing, are in this market. By offering higher variety than other retailers, department stores draw in customers who aren't sure what they'd like to purchase and those who are looking for non-clothing items as well. With a new, small store, be careful to consider how you can compete against stores that offer this level of variety.
Some customers seek high-end and mid-market quality at discount prices. Stores like Filene's Basement serve these customers by clearing out older designer fashions. Other discount customers are simply looking for the most inexpensive clothing regardless of brand associations. To serve this market, stores like Wal-Mart lower costs across the board to offer the lowest possible prices to customers. Extreme efficiency, like that achieved by Wal-Mart, is difficult to achieve, making this a very difficult market to break into successfully. If local conditions present a specific opportunity (no big competitors are around yet) then you have a better chance.
You can find success by narrowing in on certain customer niches (i.e., older women, teens, expectant mothers, young men). By choosing a certain market segment in this way, you narrow the customers you can sell to, but also effectively narrow the competition you must deal with. If you choose well and narrow down enough, you may find you are the only store of your size in driving distance and can take advantage of an unserved or growing market.
The first step to starting a clothing store is to develop your clothing store business plan. Growthink provides products and services to help you develop a professional business plan and turn your dream into reality.
Finish Your Plan Today With Our Quick & Easy Template!If you want to create your own business plan quickly and easily, we now offer a business plan template that allows you to develop a professional business plan in hours or days, not weeks or months.
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OR, We Can Develop Your Plan For You
Our professional business plan consultants can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business. Over the past decade, we have created business plans for hundreds of clothing stores.
To speak with a Growthink business plan consultant, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.
Important: Growthink will never share or sell your personal information and we will keep all business information completely confidential.