Opening a Store for Hip Dog Clothes
According to the National Retail Foundation, pet clothing is becoming increasingly popular, and many pet owners prefer to shop in-store. Therefore, a brick-and-mortar store can be an excellent opportunity if you’re looking to sell hip dog clothes. But how do you go about launching your store?
Many things go into launching dog clothing, from finding an excellent location to designing and creating your store layout. All of these aspects can affect the success of your business, which is why paying attention to them is vital. If you’re in the process of opening a dog clothing store, below are tips that can help you.
Choose A Great Location
According to the Business Daily, finding the right location is one of the top and most vital decisions you’ll make for your business. A good site can offer several benefits, such as attracting more clients, improving customer experience, increasing sales, attracting quality employees, etc. Therefore, choosing the right location is one of the top things you’ll need to do when opening a store for hip dog clothes.
You can consider several factors when choosing a location for your dog clothing store. One of the top ones is visibility and high foot traffic, which makes places such as strip malls, busy streets, and areas close to the road ideal. Your chosen location should also be easily accessible and convenient for your customers (for example, enough parking space).
On top of that, you’ll want to place your store in an area close to your target market – pet owners who prefer in-store shopping. According to a report published by Pet Product News, pet owners who live in rural and suburban areas are more likely to shop in physical stores. On the other hand, pet owners living in urban areas are more likely to buy pet products such as clothing. Therefore, you must research your target audience and find a location near them.
Lastly, you need to consider other factors that might affect your dog’s clothing store before you call a real estate agent to find you a location. This includes competition, which means not opening your business close to other pet stores. Additionally, you should consider the ability to expand your store as your business grows.
Plan for the Building of Your Store
If you’re lucky, you’ll find a pet store that doesn’t need much work besides planning the layout and visual merchandising. However, in some cases, you might have to build a hip dog clothes store from scratch or by carrying out some major renovations. The latter option involves a lot of work, so planning is vital.
One of the top things you’ll need to do is acquire the necessary building permits for modifications. These include adding walls, changing the flooring, electrical and plumbing work, and exterior renovations. According to American Legal Publishing, some local jurisdictions require pet shops to be licensed. So, this might be an excellent time to obtain the license and any other necessary business permits and licenses your store will require.
The next step is to hire contractors for your pet store. If you’re building it from scratch – new building and all – you’ll need a reliable commercial construction development company. You may also need to hire other contractors, such as architects, plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc.
You’ll also need to hire good contractors if planning to renovate or modify an already-standing building. For example, you should look into demolition companies if you’re going to tear down walls when creating the floor layout for your store. You may also need to hire flooring, plumbing, electrical, and roofing contractors for your modifications.
Create the Perfect Store Design
According to a study published by Research Gate, the layout of a retail store can significantly affect the customer’s buying behavior. For example, an excellent store design will improve customer movement and offer a great shopping environment. It can also provide other benefits, such as a better image for your business and improve employee productivity. Therefore, the design, especially the floor layout, is another vital aspect to consider when opening a store for hip dog clothes.
Some top floor layout ideas are grid (aisles) and loop (racetrack) layouts. These two are vital for guiding the customer’s movement and flow, influencing them to purchase more. You can also go with a free-flow design, where your customers can come in and wander around the store looking for the dog cloth items they want.
Alternatively, you could go with a boutique layout – popular in clothing stores – where you arrange the merchandise by category. So, for example, you can organize your hip dog clothes by brands, dog ages & sizes, types of dogs, etc.
Lastly, when designing the layout of your store, you also need to consider other workspaces. For example, you may need a stock room, a storage room, an employee break room, washroom facilities for customers, etc. You can hire a general contractor to design all of these areas, guaranteeing the success of your pet clothing store.
Choose the Right Interior Finishes
According to Retail Customer Experience, the appearance of your store can significantly impact your customer’s buying behavior and, consequently, your bottom line. This is especially true for the interior space, which substantially affects the store’s atmosphere and the customer’s shopping experience. Therefore, interior finishes are another area to focus on when getting your hip dog clothes store ready for opening.
One of the top ways you can create a fantastic atmosphere for your pet clothing store is by painting the interior. According to Color Meanings, the choice of paint colors can offer a retail store many benefits, including creating a relaxing atmosphere, assuring the customers, and giving your store a high-end appearance.
You could also use paint for visual merchandising. For example, you can use bright colors that draw customers’ attention to your products. You could also paint your store in colors that match your brand’s. Therefore, you need to look into painting companies that can offer excellent interior painting services when preparing your store for opening.
Besides painting, other interior finishes can also help create a welcoming atmosphere for your pet store. These include a shiny floor that gives your store a neat and clean look, large windows to increase natural light, and light fixtures to improve the lighting. You can also use other features, such as air conditioning, mirrors, and music speakers, to create a comfortable and soothing environment for your customers.
Spruce Up Your Store’s Exterior
According to survey findings published by Chain Store Age, 95% of consumers consider the exterior appearance when selecting a store to shop at. In addition, 52% of consumers will not enter a store if its exterior is in poor condition – dirty, old, worn out, etc. Therefore, the exterior space is another vital aspect to consider when launching a store for hip dog clothes.
The walls are one of the top areas that can help to create an excellent exterior atmosphere for your store. You can paint the exterior walls to give them a clean and shiny look or even use your store brand’s colors and logos for advertising. Alternatively, you can use materials such as vinyl, wood panels, stone, stucco, brick, fiber cement sidings, and others for your external walls.
Besides the walls, you can use the windows to improve your store’s image. Large windows can help improve your store’s curb appeal and give passersby a glimpse inside, attracting them to shop. Additionally, you can hire a custom window shade company to install shades for your store’s windows. This can help to keep them clean and reduce excess sunlight that makes the interior uncomfortable. Shades can also prevent sun glare, ensuring passersby get an unobstructed view of your store’s interior.
Lastly, you can improve your store’s exterior by creating functional spaces. For example, you can install a parking lot, driveway, and pathways to increase customer convenience. You can also use your exterior space to increase your store’s floor space, for example, by installing a glass patio enclosure.
Purchase the Necessary Store Equipment
Purchasing the required equipment is another vital step for getting your hip dog clothes store ready for opening. Having the right equipment in your store will increase the workers’ productivity. It will also help streamline the store’s operation in areas like display and customer checkout.
When purchasing equipment, office supplies, such as furniture, computers & laptops, stationery, and checkout registers should be at the top of your list. These will help to make your employees more effective, leading to better customer service.
You must also purchase your dog clothes display equipment like display cases, hangers, pegs, price tags, dog mannequins, etc. Additionally, buying breakroom equipment such as a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee machine can be an excellent way to cater to your employees’ needs.
Lastly, you should purchase emergency supplies to ensure the store is prepared for any incident. For example, installing smoke detectors and fire suppression systems in the store is a good idea as it can protect your store against a fire outbreak. A first aid kit can also be helpful if a customer or employee is injured in the store. Lastly, consider installing a commercial generator that can provide backup power in case of a blackout.
Source Your Inventory
Inventory is one of the most vital features of any business. Therefore, you need to find a source for your store’s hip dog clothes – you can use vendors or design and manufacture the clothes yourself.
If you plan on using vendors, you’ll need to do a lot of research to find reliable companies offering you quality products. Your chosen company should also have a reliable shipping service to ensure you get your inventory on time. Some top ways to find vendors include online research, attending trade shows and exhibitions, and asking for recommendations from other businesses.
When using vendors, you should test their services before launching your store. This will help you to find out how responsive and reliable they are. You can also make a test sale of the products you have acquired, thus getting a feel of customers’ satisfaction towards them.
Lastly, if you plan to manufacture your hip dog clothes, you should set up a production facility at your store or a separate location. And for successful production, you’ll require various equipment such as sewing machines, stitching supplies, manufacturing tables, packaging equipment, etc. You also need other supplies and tools, like fabrics, scissors, tape measures, irons, manufacturing table replacement part, etc., to ensure your production line succeeds.
Come Up With a Plan to Promote Your Store
According to CEO Monthly, promotion is vital during the launch of a physical retail store. You can generate a lot of interest for your store through various marketing tactics, which can help you reach many potential customers. Therefore, advertising is another vital area to focus on when launching a hip dog clothes store.
One of the top ways to promote your dog clothing store is to place adverts on various media platforms. These include local newspapers and magazines, notice boards, posters, etc. You can also hand out posters and flyers to passersby, especially in dog parks. Lastly, you should utilize digital media advertising, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO (if you own or plan to launch a website).
Display advertising is another top way to promote your business. You should have conspicuous signage on your store’s exterior and other areas around your location. Additionally, you can print logos on your pet’s storefront and windows. In addition, you can use a pad printing machine to print logos on the dog clothes you’re selling, thus increasing the promotion of your store.
Lastly, planning a grand opening event can promote your dog clothing store. A grand opening is an excellent way to introduce your business to the local community and your potential market. It can also create brand awareness for your business, leading to many leads. In addition, you’re likely to register some good sales during the opening event, which can be an excellent start for your business.
Launching a store for hip dog clothes can be a lot of work, with many preparations that need to take place. However, the above tips can help you plan for a smooth opening. They will also give your store a good head start, thus allowing you to build it into a large and successful business venture.