How to Open a Candy Store

Written by Dave Lavinsky

how to start a candy business


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Starting a candy store can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching and running a successful Candy Store.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a candy store is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.

9 Steps to Open a Candy Store

1. Research the candy store market

Conducting the proper market research is one of the most important steps when starting a candy shop. During this process, you will research your competitors, how much market share they hold, how the industry is expected to grow over the next couple of years, how many businesses are currently serving your niche market and how profitable their business is.

Make sure that there is enough demand for your chosen product and that you have competitive pricing to stay profitable.

2. Develop a business plan

As you develop your candy store simple business plan template, it is important to think of how the business will operate on a day-to-day basis. Which products or services will your candy shop provide? How many employees do you anticipate needing? What are the estimated costs associated with running this candy store?

For example, how much money will it take to start the business? What are your projected costs for rent, inventory, marketing and utilities every month? At what point will you see revenue coming back in?

3. Secure financing

Before you start a candy shop, make sure that you have enough money saved up to handle the costs of starting your candy store. If you do not have enough capital for your own business, consider obtaining a loan from a bank or other lending institution that will enable you to fund your candy store.

4. Lease or purchase a property

There are two options when it comes to how you will set up your candy shop. If you have enough capital, it is possible to purchase a property and start your candy business from the ground up. On the other hand, another option is to rent retail space or a warehouse and build out your candy store yourself.

You should also take into account how long you will need to lease the location for. If it is only a couple of months, leasing may be your best option to get started quickly while making sure that you are in a central location. However, if you plan on renting for an extended period of time, purchasing a property may be worth exploring since leasing often comes with restrictions that may not fit your business model for the long term.

5. Design and decorate your candy shop

Before you open your candy store, make sure that you have all of the necessary permits and licenses to operate your business. While waiting for these to come through, you should begin designing and decorating your candy store.

There are many things to consider when designing your candy shop. Will it be geared towards children, teenagers or adults? How much space do you have? How will customers flow throughout your business in order to make the most of your retail space?

6. Purchase inventory and stock your candy store

In addition to designing and decorating your candy store, it is important to purchase inventory before you open for business. You should buy a wide variety of products as this will make customers want to come back again and again.

Here are some examples of products that may interest potential customers:

  • Bulk candy 
  • Specialty candy
  • Homemade candy
  • Dark chocolate
  • Chocolate bars 
  • Canned candy 
  • Hard candy
  • Sweet treats
  • Candy bouquets

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7. Market your candy store 

Before your candy store opens, you should begin marketing your business on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Make sure that customers are aware of how to find you. One way is by making a website dedicated to your candy shop. If you’re open to online sales, you can advertise how to purchase your candy online. You also need to account for the additional ongoing expenses of packaging and shipping your products.

Once your candy shop opens, market your business further by placing flyers at other local businesses and in apartment building lobbies. Make sure that your customers know how they can follow you on social media for exclusive deals and discounts.

You may also want to consider partnering with local schools and organizations to have your candy store host fundraising events.

8. Train your staff

Once you acquire enough capital and open for business, you should begin training your staff how to run the candy store. Your employees will be one of the biggest determiners of your candy store’s success.

Candy shops are fun places for people of all ages, so make sure that you hire staff members who are friendly, personable and approachable. Consider holding training sessions for your employees to see how they respond to customers so that you can decide how well they will fit within your candy store’s environment.

9. Manage your candy store 

The first few months after you open your candy store will be the most important as far as marketing and sales go. You should make sure that you are constantly promoting how your customers can follow your candy store on social media as well as how to place online orders.

As previously mentioned, it is also vital that you take note of how your customers interact with your employees so that you can decide how to promote sales.

If sales are low, it might be beneficial to host special events or sales where you offer certain candy for discounted prices. Not only will this drum up business, but it is an effective way of luring new customers if they have not visited your candy store before.


How Big is the Candy Store Industry?

The candy industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and continues to grow as more and more candy stores open their doors. In the next 5 years, the confectionary industry is estimated to reach a whopping 52 billion dollars in annual revenue.

What are the Key Segments of the Candy Industry?

Companies in the candy store industry can be broken down into three main segments:

  1. Online retailers – Companies that sell candy online.
  2. Candy distributors and manufactures – Companies that distribute candy to candy stores and manufactured candy.
  3. Candy Shops – Companies that open their doors as physical establishments where customers can purchase candy products.


Who are the Key Competitors in the Candy Business Industry?

The key competitors in the candy business industry include:

  • Candy Manufacturers – Companies that produce their own candies for consumer sale. This includes smaller, locally owned candy makers that create specialty treats.
  • Confectionery Distributors – Companies that distribute mass quantities of candy to retailers.
  • Candy Retailers – Retail chains such as Walmart and CVS Caremark operate their own grocery stores where they sell products directly to customers.
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What are the Key Customer Segments in the Candy Target Market?

There are several types of people in the target market for a candy store:

  • Kids – Kids love spending time in candy stores with their friends or family members, so they make up a large portion of customers.
  • Adults – Adults can enjoy how candy stores provide a fun and nostalgic shopping experience, so they also make up an important segment of candy business customers.
  • Tourists – Tourists might stop by candy stores as part of their visit to a new city and spend money on local products.
  • Gift Shoppers – Many people buy candy as gifts for friends and family members, so other potential customers include gift shoppers.

What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Candy Store?

Opening a candy store requires several different costs:

  • Real Estate Costs – Finding and leasing a location for your store is the first major expense you will face.
  • Renovations – Before opening, it may be necessary to renovate or update your space. You can choose how much money you want to spend on these updates.
  • Product and Inventory Costs – You will need an initial inventory of candy to sell. This amount varies depending on how much candy you are willing to stock.
  • Marketing & Signage –  Marketing materials, signage and other promotional tools help attract new customers to your store.
  • Labor Costs – You will need to pay for employees if you want anyone else working in the store beside yourself.
  • Utility Costs – Utility costs include internet and phone bills, as well as the cost of heating and cooling your store.


Are Candy Stores Profitable?

A candy store can be a great way for making money, but how much you make depends on several factors including how much you spend on your shop, how much candy you are willing to stock, how many candy store customers visit, how much profit margin you build into each candy item and how well your store is managed.


What are the Keys to Launching a New Candy Store?

Keys to a successful candy business launch include:

  • Location – You will need a good location close enough to how many customers you expect, but far enough away that you don’t have direct competition.
  • Marketing – You can use methods like social media marketing, search engine business directories, local radio spots and flyers to tell people about your candy business.
  • Quality of Items – You will need to consider how much candy to stock and how high-quality the candy is.
  • Price – Pricing your candy items too high or too low could prevent you from making money, so you must find a balance that works for both you and your customers.


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How to Open a Candy Shop FAQs

What are the Most Popular Types of Candy to Stock?

One of the most popular types of candy you can stock is gummy candy, especially Sour Patch Kids. Other popular candies include M&Ms and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Whatever candy you decide to stock, make sure they have high profit margins so that you can earn enough profit from its sale.

The candy industry is constantly evolving with new products being added every year. One trend you might want to look out for in your candy business is how craft candy has become popular in recent years. Craft candy is produced by small candy companies and sold in small batches, making them more expensive than traditional candies.

A candy business can make itself stand out by offering a unique experience for customers that includes games to play inside the store, free samples of new items or giving away free candy with purchases. You might also have an online store where customers can shop for candy that they won't find in your physical location. If you are a candy maker, you could also offer candy making classes so customers can learn how to make their own candies.


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