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Topic: Brick and Mortar Stores: Advice? Info?  (Read 7348 times)
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« on: January 16, 2004 06:02:03 PM »

anyone else dream of opening an honest to goodness retail shop of some sort? or have a past experience doing same? please share.

talking physical presence here, not web shops.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008 01:17:05 PM by jungrrl - Reason: Made subject more specific. » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2004 09:36:29 PM »

i opened a small retail  shop in arizona on a 3 month trial period. It was 12 x12 feet wide! Tiny.. and i sold homemade candles and clothing. I also sold crafts, knitted stuff... and stickers and anything i could find to sell... i did very well and everyone loved the place.. they loved it cause it was tiny and unique and darnit if i was shut down!! the place i rented from was ordered to close down because of faulty electrical wiring and the landlord didnt want to spend money to fix it.. so i am in the future going to reopen something. If anyone wants to know details like how i ran the cash register (wasnt one hahaha).. just a notebook.. then i can post more of those details you know what i mean. and decorating and selling tips i have a lot of that advice.. hint hint.. * IMPULSE BUYING IS WHERE THE MONEY IS ****
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2004 07:59:54 AM »

sounds like fun..how did you pick the spot? was it a struggle to afford rent? did you do any promotion or mainly just word of mouth?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2004 12:18:08 PM »

I picked the spot cause it was the only area that would lease for 3 months (not a common thing) usually the smallest lease u will find is 6 mo. or more. It was also a high traffic area near a bingo hall (people w/money willing 2 spend). Dont rent a place in an area w/a lot of bums etc, u wont get the people w/ money coming in that area to *shop*. I did word of mouth promos, also ad in the paper, and door to door fliers on doorknobs and balloons everyday by the front door, an ad in every bag that people left with.(and a lot more to list)
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2004 12:22:37 PM »

I had codes i lived by in the business too.. which were.. Bring a bag lunch when at work, eating out costs!! also bring like a thermos or gallon of water. sucking  down sodas at work is easy to do and robbs the body of calcium. anyway to lower YOUR rent substantially.. have local artists consign* (rules go with this believe me).. like a woman sold earrings at my place i charged her 50 $ a mo. and 10 % of her sales.. helped my rent a lot..more to come Wink Cool
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2004 01:11:14 PM »

where i used to live, there was this awesome shop called "empress" downtown. it was an eastern/ bellydancing / all around cool boutique. the thing that made it the best was the atmosphere - great "theme" music, low lighting (but not too low Wink) - everything went with the theme of the store. she must have been succesful, because she opened another store in a town nearby, and then one more that was downtown as well. the later is called "the barefoot contessa." the walls and the ceiling are painted bright red! so i guess what i was getting at was that if you have really unique merchandise and your store looks really awesome, i bet you would do well. good luck!!!

ps- the store was not expensively-put-together (but looked great anyways). one of the things that i noticed in the shop was that for wall beautification, they had glued old posters of bellydancers and what not and painted a frame around it - swirly gold designs - it was beautiful.

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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2004 03:50:33 PM »

my friend rebekah and i had a shop (sodafine) in philly for a year and a couple months and now we're moving to brooklyn. we sell vintage clothing and handmade clothing, and some artist made books/zines, accessories, handmade soap, jewelry...
i'm super excited about opening our brooklyn shop (feb. 14!!soon!!) the stuff that seems to do best is  handmade clothing which we sell on consignment (50/50 split usually) anyway, i'd  be happy to answer questions if anyone has any...

« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2004 04:05:15 PM »

thanks for sharing! if i may ask, what's your monthly nut like in brooklyn and what was it like in philly? trying to get a sense of how much merch you need to move from month to month just to keep the bills payed...
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2004 05:48:51 PM »

I managed a store in a really high end area, and watched other businesses come and go due to the high rent and slow retail environment after Sept. 11th.  The thing I can tell you is this, pay attention to what sells in your area. Go to other stores that are established in the area and see what they are doing right. Consign, it's a cheap way of procuring merchandise. If someone requests something, more than likely others will want it as well, so consider carrying the item, even if only in small quantities. always have a website in addition to your physical location. It opens up a world of orders you would have never received otherwise
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2004 06:37:43 AM »

i dream of this, too. my sketchbooks are filled with how i would design the store, where the merchandise would be...what the displays would look like...maybe one day.
i always like to start off with a good how-to book...
here's a link i just found http://www.infomat.com/publications/infpu0001435.html

i don't know if what they recommend is any good, but perhaps if you got some literature on what's involved in starting to retail you could begin to start a plan. perhaps a book would lay out what to alot for financially etc.

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