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How to choose the name of my retail store?

16 September 2022

You have developed a solid idea for a retail store, a small business, an online shop or a concept store. You have gone through all the effort and trouble of creating a business plan. Perhaps you have even decided whether you will rent a physical space or open up your store completely online. There is just one aspect you are missing: a good name for your retail store.

Coming up with shop names that are catchy and effective is no easy task. Many entrepreneurs spend weeks or even months coming up with the perfect name for their retail store. A good business name should be easy to remember, encapsulate the spirit of your business, and stand out in the crowded retail marketplace. Your business name is the identity of your brand, so it will also need to be registered and protected. With the right name, your business improves its chances of success and longevity. 

If you are finding that you are stuck when it comes to coming up with shop names, don’t despair! We’ve put together this article to help you find the ideal name for your new store. 

Clara Jammes

The importance of having a good name for your store

Many of the world’s most popular businesses and companies started off with less than perfect names. Google, for instance, began as a company that used the name BackRub. Pepsi started off life under the moniker Brad’s Drink. IBM had the long winded Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation as their company name. And way back in 1889, there was a playing card company in Japan called the Marafuku Company. Marafuku went on to change its name twice, once in 1951 to the Nintendo Playing Card Company, and then again in 1963 to simply Nintendo.

Would these giants of industry have become as successful as they are now with their original names? Perhaps, but it is doubtful. Having a short, snappy, eye-catching name certainly helped to propel these companies to their current iconic status. 

Your shop name is the first impression your customers will have of your business, so it has to be just right. The name of your retail store can influence the direction of your marketing campaigns, it is a crucial aspect of your online visibility, adds credibility to your business, and helps you to stand out from your competitors. 

Things to keep in mind when naming your retail store

The name of your retail store should be instantly recognisable. It should provide your customers with a good idea of what you are selling. It should be short, simple, and easy to remember. Additionally, a good shop name will help to motivate employees. It may even become a valuable entity in its own right.

So, how should you start the process of coming up with a name for your business? When thinking about shop names consider the below points:

Make it timeless

Your name should be evergreen. That is, it should not be made up of any words or phrases that may become dated. Think about where you want your business to be in ten years and how you want your customers to perceive it in the future. 

Keep it short and simple 

Don’t choose an overly long, complicated name. Make sure the name you choose is short, catchy, and makes it easy for your customers to find you.

Keep your competitors in mind

Carefully considering what your competitors are trading under can help you to come up with ideas for your own business. But be careful! Make sure that the name you chose isn’t too similar to anyone else who is in the same retail niche as you. You need to be sure that your chosen business name isn’t already in use, or that it isn’t too close to an existing name. This could lead to legal action! 

Think about your target market

Should you think about the difference between an online shop and a retail store when creating the names? Absolutely. Coming up with effective and stylish names for shops depends on what your market is and where they are located. Good brand ideas and names take their customers into consideration. 

Are you trading locally as a clothing store? Or going online? Or both? Are your customers going to be located in your own country or also overseas? Finding names for a clothing brand that only trades locally is going to be a different process than finding an online shop name for a fishing tackle store that is aimed at customers across the globe. 

Don’t be afraid to be creative

Thinking of cool names for a brand requires you to be a little creative. Don’t get stuck on any one type of idea. Try and come up with a wide range of different names and then choose the one you like best.

Make sure your name is available

If you choose a business name that is already taken, or is too close to an existing name, the owners of that name could take legal action against you. You can approach the business and ask them if you can become a subsidiary, or if you can buy their name outright. But, in general, it is always a good idea to make sure your chosen name is unique to your business!

Register your business name

Once you have come up with a great name and made sure that no one else is using it, you’ll need to have it registered. By registering your business name you will protect your brand identity and protect your business from fraud and misrepresentation.

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How to come up with a stylish name for a retail store

So, now you have a good picture of what you should be focusing on, just how can you generate a bumper crop of shop name ideas? There are many ways that you can inspire your brain to come up with shop names. Try using some of the methods below:

Come up with an acronym

Maybe you have a great name, but it is far too long. Why not just take the initials and make an acronym out of it? 

Mash-up your business name

Mash-ups are hugely popular in the business world. If you want a great name try taking two words and mashing them together. It’s worked great for businesses like Netflix, TripAdvisor, or Go Pro!

Use your own name

Stuck for fashion brand name ideas? Need clothing store names? Why not try what the top designers do and name your brand after yourself! Do you have a nickname? You could incorporate that into your business name. 

Look to literature

Many top brands take their names from famous mythological figures, figures from history, or literary characters. Bluetooth, as well as being a great mash-up, is actually named after the Danish King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson. Nike is synonymous with sporting goods, but it is also the name of the goddess of victory.

Play with spelling

Dropping or adding a letter is also a fantastic way of coming up with cool names for a brand or good shop names. Reebok, for instance, is named after an African antelope, the rhebok. 

Branch out into other languages

Many businesses look to Latin for inspiration for their business names, and you can too! But don’t just stop there. If you have a business selling French clothing, for instance, try incorporating some French words into your boutique name ideas. 

Look at a map

Whether you are opening up a bricks-and-mortar store or looking to expand across the globe, you can look at a map for your inspiration. Try thinking about the name of the town where you grew up, or the name of the place where you first got inspired to open up a retail store. 

Use what you believe

If you want to inspire your customers, think about what you want your brand to represent and then choose words that reflect that. 

Throw it all together 

Mix it all up! Take the name of your hometown, your nickname, some Latin, your own name, or an inspiring word and mash them all up. 

Try a random name generator

If all else fails, you can always get online and try a random word generator. Although you may not find the name you expect, this can be a good way of generating ideas for stylish names for shops.

Workshop your ideas

Make sure you try your shop names out on your friends, your family, and other business owners. Get as much input as possible so you have an idea of how your customers may react to your store name ideas.

Where to find help opening your retail store

Opening up a retail store isn’t always an easy journey. The Ankorstore team know just how much stress new entrepreneurs can be under. We began our Ankorstart program to provide retail business owners with expert advice and guidance. Check out Ankostart today for the support you need at the start of your business journey. 


Is a good name that important for my shop?

Yes! The name of your business is crucial for creating a good impression, building a strong brand, and encouraging customers to check out your shop. 

What do I need to think about when choosing shop names?

Make sure the name of your retail store is short, catchy, easy to understand, and speaks to your desired audience. 

What if the name I want is already in use?

You may be able to approach the business and ask them if you can become a subsidiary, or if you can buy their name outright. In general, you should try and come up with a name for your retail shop that is unique.

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