Five Things You Need to Consider When Opening Your First Retail Store

Retail is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. This is because there is an ever-growing demand for retail items from consumers- statistics show that about one-third of the 500,000 or so new businesses launched each year are retail establishments. While the retail industry is highly profitable, it is also an extremely competitive sector. However, knowing what it takes to start and run a retail business before you move forward can increase your chances of success. Here's a checklist of the things you need to consider when opening brick-and-mortar store. 

1. Point-of-Sale Solution 
A point of sale (POS) system is an essential solution for any retail business. In addition to processing transactions, it also gives you access to advanced reporting and inventory management tools and employee management capabilities that can help you run your business more efficiently. If you’re considering implementing a POS system for your business, be sure to consider the current and future needs of your business. Additionally, look for a system with features that can enhance your business efficiency. Some of the best low-cost POS systems for small businesses include Lightspeed Retail, Square POS, Breadcrumb and ShopKeep. 

2. Cash Register 
In addition to a POS system, you’ll also need a cash register to keep track of your bottom line. A cash register usually has a barcode scanner, a drawer for holding cash and a printer that prints out receipts. There are different types of cash registers including electronic registers, computerized systems, and MPOS. While each register has its own unique features, they all share similarities in their operation. Key factors to consider when choosing a cash register include your budget, as well as the size and needs of your business. 

3. Security System 
Security is of utmost importance in any retail establishment. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention has it that more than £20 billion worth of goods are stolen every year (equates to about £20.3 million a day) from retail stores. Organized retail crime has become rampant and investing in a security system can give you peace of mind and help keep your profits from walking out of the door. To protect your store from product theft, consider installing surveillance cameras, detection panels, and alarm systems, using anti-theft labels and sensor tags and equipping your staff with long range radios for efficient communication. 

4. Specialty Displays 
Retail displays play an important part in presenting your merchandise to customers. Not only are they key to effective visual merchandising, but they also play a crucial part in leading customers down the path to purchase. Be sure to use specialty displays that are compatible or blend in with each other. Additionally, add lighting fixtures to create a warm and friendly atmosphere inside your store. 

5. Shopping Carts or Baskets 
Customers appreciate the ease of shopping with baskets and carts that are convenient and carry more items within the store. Therefore, make sure that you offer lightweight and flexible shopping carts and baskets. You can also customize the basket colours and add logos to the carts. 

Opening a retail store requires a lot of planning and preparation. However, these five things will you help you get started with the process.

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