A wide variety of shoe stores are available to consumers, from those made just for babies to shoe stores for brides and grooms. If you are into fashion and looking to start a retail operation, starting a shoe store may be the ideal business for you. A shoe store is versatile, in that it can be operated physically within your local community or online, where you can service customers worldwide.
Opening a shoe store requires planning and a good deal of preparation, but it can be a lucrative way to make money. Below are a few steps to help you start a shoe store business.
Target a Niche Market
Target a niche of shoes to sell. For instance, you can sell orthopedic shoes, designer women’s shoes, toddler and children’s shoes or formal men’s shoes.
Prepare a Business Plan
Write a business plan for your shoe store business, including marketing and public relations plans, analysis of competing shoe stores, details about your target market and niche, three-year expense budget and profit projections.
Obtain Permits and Licenses
Obtain the permits needed in your state to start a retail business. Depending on where you live, this may include a resale permit, state tax identification number, Employer Identification Number or assumed name certificate.
Open Wholesale Accounts
Open accounts with wholesale distributors of shoes. You can find such companies online, and if you live in a major metropolitan area, there may be local vendors available. Ensure you buy your inventory wholesale, at a discount of 40 percent to 60 percent off retail price, to make a profit.
Lease a Storefront
Lease a storefront for your shoe store. Alternative selling venues include online auction sites, your own e-commerce store or a flea market stall. When choosing a selling venue, keep your target market in mind. For example, selling designer shoes at a flea market likely won’t work well, but selling discounted kid’s shoes at a flea market would be a better idea.
Decorate Your Store
Decorate your store in an attractive way, and logically organize your inventory of shoes. For instance, if you open a children’s shoe store, use vibrant decor, set up a children’s play area, place shoe measurement guides throughout the store and separate the toddler shoes from the shoes for older children.
Promote Your Business
Promote your shoe store business. Open accounts on social networking sites to connect with potential customers, launch a website and offer a newsletter with exclusive discounts for subscribers or place fliers and coupons in complementary local businesses, such as beauty salons, clothing stores and jewelry shops.