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Fashion Store Start Ups - Useful Advice from Store Operators

Setting up a bricks and mortar fashion store is the dream of so many, but it takes careful planning to carry it through successfully.

Time is spent on drawing and drafting fashion styles and patterns by designers.  So time needs to be spent on designing and setting up a store too.

Here's some useful ideas from those in the know to help short circuit the process.

Location, location, location.
Can't stress how important it is.
Take time and constantly look for space before you jump in.
Working with commercial real estate agents who are in the know before space is released on to the open market is a useful strategy.
Do the hard yards and walk the streets if you need to.

Store Layout has to be spot on.
This is a golden rule: Make it easy for customers to see your stock so they don't have to delve too far to seek products out.
They'll lose interest quickly.
Fitout and design elements such as the location of the entry, where the sales counter is, the directional path to the change rooms,
prominent display from outside the store, the look of the shopfront, location of signage: all of these must be on the priority list!

Create maximum impact with signage showing off your brand.
Put exceptional effort into this because it needs to be a focal element of your business and store design.
Consult a graphic designer to help you make use of graphics in the best possible way.
Outdoor and indoor signage, online branding, display signs, swing tags and so on.
All have to carry the brand name which will say so much about your fashion business.

Use different types of lighting.
In fashion, you're primarily using accent lighting for aesthetics.
You'll need to use this accent lighting in a directional way.
This means you'll need spotlights and track lighting to light up the merchandise.
Overhead lighting is definitely not enough!! An additional type of very effective lighting is LED backlighting.
Spend some time talking to a lighting expert in this field to get the balance right.

Know your product brands.
Decide on which brands will fit with your clientele and be wary of going too far "out there" and taking too much of a gamble on what you think they'll reach for.
Be careful, though, to select and edit a mix of brands and products so that your customer base is offered something exciting and different.
Setting your business apart from the rest is hugely important. It's a great idea to tell a story about the brands you carry.
Customers increasingly want to know the origin of a product.
Tell them.

Research ? Do heaps of it.
Research not only about what designers and brands you're going to carry but also what your customers are likely to buy and how much they'll spend.
The retail industry publishes figures on customer habits in the field of fashion.

Try to hunt off shoppers who browse in your store, then buy online.
There's a way of doing this. Respond by offering in-store wifi to actively encourage them to browse and even see more product selections from the same brand.
Then provide a timely offer to seal the purchase.
Your sales staff  can provide their expertise to personalise the shopping experience.
Being able to provide instant gratification in-store is a great thing.
Put lots of effort into working on it and not losing these customers!

The time spent on working on all of these is worth it so get ready to jump in and make a start.

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