How to Start a Clothing Boutique

Written by Dave Lavinsky

How to Start a Clothing Boutique


How to Start a Clothing Boutique

If you’re looking to start a Clothing Boutique, you’ve come to the right place. Since we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.

We’ll start with key Clothing Boutique industry fundamentals like how big the market is, what the key segments are, and how revenues and profits are generated.

Then we’ll discuss the keys to not only starting a Clothing Boutique but succeeding in it!

And definitely check out our boutique business plan template if you need a business plan to start or grow your boutique.

How Big is the Clothing Boutique Industry?

The Clothing Boutique industry is made up of 34,892 stores. Collectively, these stores are expected to see revenues of $28.2 billion. In the past five years, the industry has grown at an annual rate of 3.1%.

What are the Key Segments of the Clothing Boutique Industry?

The majority of sales in the Clothing Boutique industry come from the sale of Women’s Clothing. This segment brings in over half of total industry sales. Men’s and Children’s Clothing make up the second- and third-largest segments, collectively accounting for almost 1/3 of industry sales. The remainder of sales are generated by Accessories and Footwear.

What External Factors Affect the Clothing Boutique Industry?

A number of factors affect the performance of the Clothing Boutique industry. These drivers include:

Per capita disposable income – Boutique Clothing stores tend to have more expensive merchandise; therefore, when disposable income rises, customers are more likely to shop at industry stores.

Consumer confidence – If consumers are confident in their jobs and income, they are more willing to loosen their purse strings and spend their discretionary income.

Percentage of services conducted online – E-commerce is a threat to boutiques, since the majority of them have a limited online presence.

Make sure you create and properly format your business plan in order to account for these external factors.

Who are the Key Competitors in the Clothing Boutique Industry?

The Clothing Boutique industry is made up of small stores, for the most part. Although none of the companies in this industry have a very significant market share, the two most recognizable stores are: Barbara Jean (<1% market share), and A’maree’s (<1% market share).

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What are the Key Customer Segments in the Clothing Boutique Industry?

The key customer segments in the Clothing Boutique industry are Generation X and Baby Boomers. Other key customers include Generation Y, Commercial Buyers, and Consumers older than 65.

What are the Key Costs in the Clothing Boutique Industry?

Purchases are the greatest expense for any retail operation, and Clothing Boutiques are no exception.

Wages are the second-largest expense for Clothing Boutiques, because employees need to have a specialized knowledge of the merchandise and provide a higher level of customer service.

Rent is also a significant expense, since most boutiques operate from prime retail locations. Other expenses include utilities, advertising, general administrative costs, and insurance.

What are the Keys to Launching a New Clothing Boutique?

1. Identify your niche. Decide what your look and style specialty will be.
2. Choose a location. You need to make sure you are in a high-traffic retail area, and make sure there are no other boutiques like yours nearby.
3. Do your research. Make sure there is a market for what you want to sell. If you want to specialize in high-end fashion, you need to make sure the people in the area have disposable income.
4. Settle on a vibe. Maybe you want to open a high-end fashion boutique, or a trendy, or artsy boutique. Make sure both the inside and the outside of your boutique communicates this vibe.
5. Plan the store layout. Choose a floor plan that works for your space.
6. Select a supplier. Find several wholesalers and compare their prices and their delivery practices.
7. Stay current. Trends in the fashion world change regularly, so be sure to keep up with the latest changes and purchase stock accordingly.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template and complete your plan and financial model in hours.

Starting a Fashion Boutique

Starting a Fashion Boutique infographic

What are the typical startup costs for a new Clothing Boutique?

Initial costs:

  • Building rental or purchase
  • Renovation
  • Fixtures (racks, shelves, etc.) and office supplies
  • Starting inventory
  • Marketing
  • Accountant or attorney

Ongoing costs:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Inventory
  • Marketing
  • Wages
If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Clothing Boutique Business Plan Template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

Helpful Videos

How Much It Costs To Start A Boutique



Additional resources in the Clothing Industry

For additional information on the car dealership market, consider these industry resources:


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