The best point of sale systems for small retail stores

Opening up a bricks-and-mortar shop, a retail store or a concept store requires a great deal of preparation. Entrepreneurs need to think carefully about every aspect of their premises, from the lighting to the shelving. By far the most important piece of equipment for a new retail store owner is their point of sale system or POS. 

The point of sale system is used to process every single sale that a small business makes. It keeps customer credit card and banking details confidential and provides records for tax purposes. A point of sale system is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to streamline many of the administrative tasks associated with running a retail store. 

A modern, efficient and reliable till system for a small business can make the process of taking payments from customers fast and simple, can make training staff easier, and can even assist with inventory. Therefore, choosing what point of sale system to install is a major decision for any new retail store owner. 

These days, there are literally hundreds of point of sale systems for small businesses on the market. These can range from standalone tills to portable EPOS systems for small businesses. So, how do you choose the best point of sale systems for your small business? 

In this article, we will provide you with information to help you find the ideal POS system for your small business. We will give you all the details you need on exactly what constitutes a POS system for a small business, why you need a POS system, the benefits of a POS system, and how to go about choosing the right POS system. 


What is a Point of Sale System (POS) ?

It is useful to note that there is a distinction between a physical point of sale and a point of sale system. A point of sale in the physical sense refers to the place where transactions take place, your checkout counter. A point of sale system is the system used to actually process these transactions. 

In simple terms, a point of sale system is a term used to refer to both the hardware and software a business uses to process sales. A point of sale system is only used in the actual store to manually process payments from customers in person. It keeps track of all cash payments and in the case of electronic payments, routes the funds to the business owner’s bank account. 

The term point of sale system was originally used to refer to a standalone cash register. These machines could process transactions, but that’s all. When used to their full capabilities, modern EPOS systems for small businesses can do much more than just process payments. A point of sale system can help a small business owner to keep track of their inventory, monitor sales and employee performance, and assist with onboarding new employees. 

Modern point of sale systems for a small business are usually comprised of three elements:

  1. Software – This is the operating system the POS uses to process sales, record data and manage inventory, staff performance and customer behaviour. Most point of sale system software can be integrated with online sales as well as in-person purchases. In most cases, companies offer POS software on a subscription basis. The more expensive the POS software is, the more features it will have. 
  2. Hardware – This is the equipment you use to process any form of in-person payment. The hardware used for your point of sale system could be one standalone machine, or you can utilise tablets or smartphones to process payments. Other hardware required for your POS system will include:
  • A cash register
  • A tap and chip card reader
  • A bar-code scanner
  • A secure cash drawer
  • A receipt printer
  • A label printer
  1. Payments – Whenever a customer makes a purchase using credit or debit card, your POS system will process the payment to your bank account. Some point of sale systems have integrated payment processing capabilities that allow them to transfer funds directly to an account. Others may use third-party software that can incur additional fees.   

Why do you need a point of sale system for your retail store?

While it is certainly possible to keep track of all your sales by using a spreadsheet, or even on a paper ledger, this is a slow method that is susceptible to human error. Also, this method will not provide you with detailed data on your business.

Modern point of sale systems for small businesses can provide a huge range of benefits and are an essential part of operating your business smoothly and efficiently.

POS systems can accept all forms of payment

If you have the right types of hardware connected to your point of sale system, then your business can accept all major forms of payment easily and quickly. The best point of sale systems for small businesses can easily process cash payments, credit card payments, debit card payments, as well as payments made using gift cards. You can use your POS to accept debit and credit cards with magnetic strips as well as contactless payments and card not present payments. Does a customer want to split their payment by making a portion of the payment in cash and a portion with a credit card? Your point of sale system can handle that situation with ease. 

POS systems track sales accurately

POS systems for small businesses automatically track each sale and provide retailers with a wealth of important information. A professional POS for a small business can record every sale made in precise detail. It can list the wholesale and retail price of an item and keep a running total of your gross and net profit margins. 

POS systems assist with inventory control

Whenever a sale is made, or a product is returned or exchanged, your point of sale system will update your inventory list. Your point of sale system can let you know when a certain product is running low, so you can make sure you always have enough stock on hand.

POS systems make accounting simple

All of this data is crucial for accounting purposes. When it is time to present your taxes to HMRC, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have lost information or if the record of sales is inaccurate. 

Accounting data can also be used to improve your business’s profit margins. Is a certain item selling or not? How effective are your promotions and sales? Could the price of certain items be raised or lowered to encourage sales? Are you not selling enough of a product to make restocking it worthwhile? Your point of sale system will provide you with all the accounting data you need to take the guesswork out of optimising your business. 

POS systems make it easier to manage staff

A point of sale system can make training new staff members a quick and easy process. New employees can practise processing payments, applying discounts and coupons and processing returns and refunds in a training environment. 

Not only that but point of sale systems for small businesses can provide employers with valuable data that can be used to more effectively manage their employees. Your POS system can track what day and what times of day are busiest for your business which can help managers with staff allocation duties. 

The number of sales per staff member can be tracked, as can the speed of a staff member’s sales processing. If a manager needs to know who their most efficient staff member is, the POS system will give them all the data they require. Busy periods, for instance during a seasonal sale, can then be better managed. 

POS systems provide crucial customer data

Knowing what buying habits your customers have can help you to build accurate customer profiles. These profiles can then be used to better serve your customers and enhance your retention levels. Customer profiles can include a certain customer’s contact information, their history of purchases and their lifetime value to your business. You can see at a glance what products they have purchased which can then be used to send targeted emails or text messages. Customer profiles also provide a wealth of information that business owners can use to devise loyalty programmes that reward their best clientele and drive sales. 

POS systems are scalable to your changing business needs

A huge benefit of point of sale systems for small businesses is that they are easily scalable to changing business needs. Are you opening up another store? A modern point of sale system makes it incredibly easy. Just download the software, and a new POS location, connect your card reader to the POS and you’re done!

This flexibility also assists with onboarding new staff members, adding more products to your inventory or expanding a bricks-and-mortar store into the world of online sales. 

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Benefits of using a point of sale system for credit card processing

Many retail businesses use a standard credit card processor to accept credit card payments. While these machines are effective, your point of sale system can provide benefits for both credit card and cash payment processing.

With a standard credit card processor, you usually have to wait to see what percentage of retailer fees are applied. A point of sale system will give you all relevant information immediately in real-time. You can then use this data to decide whether you need to adjust sale prices to account for retailer credit card fees. 

With the right POS system for your small business, you can also easily integrate credit card payments into loyalty schemes such as points programmes. 

What to consider when choosing a POS system for small business

There is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the best POS system for your small business. You’ll need to factor the following points into your decision:

  • What is the initial set-up cost? (Hardware, installation time, etc)
  • What are the ongoing costs? (Subscription fees, updating costs)
  • How much are the payment processing fees? (Flat fees versus a sale percentage)
  • Potential privacy law compliance issues (Managing payment processing and customer data)
  • How much mobility does the system need to have? (Countertop or tablet-based)
  • Can the system accept chip and PIN card payments?
  • Can the system accept cardless payments? (NFC payments)
  • Does the system provide you with enough analytics data?
  • What added features does the POS system have?

Think about your business needs and try to find the best point of sale system that meets your requirements. There is no point paying for staff management features when you own and operate your own retail store yourself, for example.  

What is the best point of sale system for small retailers?

Finding the best POS system for a small business depends largely on the type of retail store you have and the scale of your store. 

Many retail business owners opt for a countertop point of sale system rather than tablet or smartphone-based systems. A countertop system will encourage your customers to gather at one point to purchase goods and is a good option for stores that do not have a large number of employees. If your store is busy and you have the staff to spare, tablet-based point of sale systems can allow for mobile purchasing to occur. This system can, however, be difficult to manage in a retail setting. 

It is possible to buy the hardware for a retail POS for a small business outright or to arrange a leasing agreement. Smaller retailers may find it easier to simply download POS software and run it on an ordinary tablet. Bigger retail outlets may choose to lease or purchase a large amount of POS hardware. 

A busy clothing store with a large amount of floor space and many staff members may find it beneficial to use both countertop and mobile POS systems. On the other hand, a small speciality store with only one employee will manage with a simple tablet POS system set up. 

Popular POS systems for small businesses

Some of the most popular POS systems for small retailer businesses in the UK are:

  • EPOS Now
  • Square
  • Shopify
  • Lightspeed
  • The Good Till Co
  • Take Payments Plus
  • Nobly POS
  • Zettle
  • AirPOS
  • Touchbistro
  • Revel Systems

Where to find more advice on point of sale systems for small businesses

As you can see from the list above, there is a staggering amount of EPOS systems for small businesses on the market. Choosing the best POS system for your small business will require you to carry out intense research and carefully weigh up the pros and cons of one provider against another. 

If you find that you require assistance with making your decision on what POS system to choose, or you just need some general advice and support in opening a retail business, then Ankorstore is here to help you. 

Our Ankorstart programme is free and non-binding and provides new retailers with a range of resources, advice and support. Whether you need to write up your business plan, get a start-up loan or are trying to work out what point of sale system best suits your needs, we’re here to help. 


  • When do I need a point of sale system for my business?

If your business takes any kind of payments over the counter, then a point of sale system can help you to streamline that process. A point of sale system helps small business owners keep track of their sales, manage their inventory, and can even assist with managing staff and building customer profiles. 

  • What types of payments can a point of sale system process?

A modern point of sale system should be able to quickly process all types of payments. From cash to magnetic strip credit and debit cards to gift cards, coupons and contactless payments. 

  • What should I consider when choosing a point of sale system?

It is important to keep the needs of your business and the scale of your business in mind when choosing a point of sale system. Make sure you choose a system that fits your budget and has all the features that you will need and none that you don’t.

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How do I get a business licence for a retail store in the UK?

Getting a retail business licence varies according to many factors, such as the location of the business and the nature of the services it operates.

Different regions have their own regulations. You should conduct research into your retail store licencing requirements. 

The business licence required to start a retail business depends on the government department responsible for handling business licencing matters.

Summary : 

What is a business licence?

A business licence is any type of licence that a state requires companies to have so they can begin trading.

Do I need a business licence? Or, what types of licences does my new retail store business need? These questions must be addressed early on in your new business development lifecycle. This ensures everything runs smoothly. If you open an online store, things might start to get complicated.

Not only will you be dealing with local laws and regulations. But you will also be dealing with them on an international level. As reflected by your online customer base.

There are questions that must be addressed when starting a new retail store business such as: what type of licenses do I need for my business? It is your responsibility to ensure that your new retail store business has the correct licence (s) to adhere with the rules, regulations and standards outlined in the relevant business licence specifications. 

How to obtain your licences for your new retail store?

Follow these steps on how to obtain your business licences for your new retail store. 

  1. Incorporate a legal business entity for your retail company.
    You request a business licence on behalf of your company. There are different business entities defined in different countries.
  2. Determine the licence(s) your business requires.
    Depending on your industry and the location of your business, you may need to get licences at different levels of state and local governments. A lawyer or resources from your local business office may help you understand this.
  3. Request your business licence.
    You may request online licences, or you may have to submit paper applications. Submit your licence applications before you operate your business. Some licences could take longer to review during the application process.
  4. Renew your business licence.
    You might have to renew your business licences as often as once a year. Talk to a lawyer about this. Pay close attention to the regulatory requirements for your location. This will help avoid matters such as lapsing periods for your licences.

What is the best business licence for my retail shop?

When you start a retail store business, you might find that you are required to obtain a licence before you start trading. You will need to address specific business licence requirements. 

The requirements will mostly depend on several factors.

Factors to consider when obtaining the best licence for your retail shop

  • Your business structure i.e. corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.
  • Your industry (in our case, your new retail store business)
  • Your state’s regulations
  • Your county’s regulations
  • Your city and or township’s regulations

There are a few ways to determine your specific licencing requirements. Contact your state and/or local authority. They will guide you and help determine the level of licence requirements needed for your retail store. Here is a list of a few avenues to explore in your search.

  • Hiring corporate/retail business lawyers.

A retail business lawyer can examine your specific circumstances. They will carry out the necessary research to ensure your business is compliant.

  • Utilising retail business licence services.

Consider using third-party business licence services, such as Incfile’s business licence research package  The service carries out comprehensive business licensing research. They can determine the requirements of your new retail business, its licensing needs, permits and tax registrations. Business licensing services can provide a list of licence options. They provide the licence itself, along with other compliance and regulatory requirements.

Ensuring that your business is in compliance within your region is your responsibility. Take compliance seriously and obtain the correct licences for your retail store. The types of licences you need will depend on where your business is located and the type of operation. If in doubt, ask your local business agency or governing entity.

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What are the common mistakes to avoid?

An important task that must be addressed from the onset of your new retail business is ensuring you have the correct licences in place. Unfortunately, this important step often gets overlooked  by many new retail business entrepreneurs. 

There are some common mistakes that we see new retail businesses make as they are getting started. Most of these mistakes can be avoided. Talk to your local business licence department.

Below are some common mistakes that we see new retail business owners often make.

Failure to apply for an adequate business licence:

Usually when we encounter a new retail business that is not licenced, it’s not because they are trying to avoid going through the licensing procedures. But rather, they are unsure or unaware about what is required. Check where your new retail store business is located and enquire whether this carries any implications.

Start by asking yourself simple questions and begin compiling a list.

Start by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What licence am I required to obtain if my business is operating from my house as opposed to a commercial space?
  • Do I need a licence to play music in my retail store and if so, what licence do I require and where can I get it?
  • What licence, if any, do I need to sell a product with an ingredient that is new to the market? 

After compiling your list of questions, contact your local authority responsible for business licencing. Check to see what the business licence requirements are for your business. This avoids unnecessary enforcement and avoidable fines further down the road.

Changing your new retail store business without updating your licence:

There are situations that require updating local authorities to ensure a licence is up-to-date. A common one would be a new business owner who buys an existing business.

Depending on the location of the business, this could cause the current licence to be void and might require a completely new licence to be issued. New retail store business owners are advised to check this periodically. 

Contact your local authorities to ensure your licence has the right information.

Being partially or wholly under-prepared:

Getting your new retail store business registered Getting your new UK retail store business registered is a very important aspect when getting started on your new retail business venture. Your local authority should be able to show you how to get the licences registered correctly. It is important to note that you need to make sure that your registration matches your type of business.

How do I make sure my business licence is right?

Business licences are a requirement in most countries, cities and regions. Depending on your retail business operations, you may be obligated to get a business licence at the Federal level, if you are based in the United States.

Almost all businesses require some form of business licence. Get your licences in place before your business starts trading.

Verify with your local authority and check you have the correct licences for your business.

How to determine your new retail business requirements?

There are services that can research licence requirements on your behalf. CSC Global can provide information, instructions, and licencing services. The CSC Business licence Compliance Package provides detailed business licensing research. They can uncover most, if not all, of your business licensing requirements. They provide detailed information covering state, county, and municipal licensing authorities.

As a new retail business owner, it is your duty to comply with all legal requirements that regulate your type of business and its location.

FAQs on how do I get a business licence for a retail store?

  • What is a business licence?

A business licence is a permit issued by governments or local authorities. It gives instructions on how specific business activities should be carried out. They are designed to keep business owners, customers and clients safe.

  • Do I need to hire a lawyer to apply for a business licence?

No, you do not need a lawyer to apply for a business licence. But hiring a lawyer can help with the correct filing and maintenance of your business licence.

  • Can I operate my online retail business without a licence?

Retail businesses are regulated by the locations where they are registered or operated, even if they operate completely online. Check with your local government and business agencies to find out the legal requirements specific to your business.

  • How much does it cost to get a licence for my retail business?

Business licence costs depend on the location and type of business you operate. Different types of licences also vary in cost. Business licence costs are generally low. Check with your local authority to find out more information.

  • How can I obtain a business licence for my new retail store?

You can get a business licence from a local authority. An example of a local authority in the UK is your local council. 

  • How do I change the business licence of my shop?

Amending your business licence will require submitting an application. Applications are sent to your local authority. In some cases, they may request you provide additional supporting documents. 

  • How much does it cost to get a business licence?

Local authorities set the fees. The cost of a business licence will depend on the type of licence that you need. For more information about the cost of business licences in your area, visit your local authority’s website.

You can also visit our business licence support database here. The database gets regular updates to keep in line with evolving regulatory standards.

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How to layout a retail store

Imagine the following scenario: You walk into a retail store with a certain product in mind. However, the layout of the store is jumbled and confusing, you can’t find what you are looking for and nothing seems to have a price on it! Would you leave? The likely answer is “yes”. Consider another scene: You walk into a retail store and are immediately struck by how attractive the products look. You can immediately find what you are looking for and its price is well-marked. However, you also pass by a few other products that compliment your purchase, so you pick these up as well. Is this a likely scenario? The answer is also probably “yes”. 

In these two short examples, we can easily see how important layout is to a retail store. With the right layout, you can attract customers and drive sales. The layout of your store can greatly influence a customer’s behaviour and enhance their experience in your business. If you operate a bricks-and-mortar retail establishment, then you need to spend serious time considering the layout. 

This article will explain the importance of layout for a retail store and give you a basic grounding in how to go about laying out your store correctly. If you are about to open a business, then keep reading to find out just what you need to know about how to layout a retail store. 


What is customer flow and why is it important?

One of the first aspects to consider and understand when designing store layout is the concept of customer flow. In simple terms, customer flow is the way in which people move throughout your store. Retailers need to consider the number of customers that may pass through the store, how they will navigate the aisles of goods, and how much time an individual customer may spend in the store. These details are important when planning customer flow. 

Analysing customer flow patterns once you have opened can identify areas of your store that aren’t getting the attention they need. You can also see what areas are performing well and adjust the design of your shop accordingly.

What are the types of store layouts and designs?

With the right store layout, you can encourage customers to spend longer amounts of time in your store. The longer a customer spends in a store, the more likely they are to purchase products. You can also use store layout to direct customers towards items you wish to sell. 

The design you choose for your store depends on what type of store you are operating. For instance, a small coffee shop design will be vastly different to the design of a clothing store. 

In general, however, there are ten interior shop designs used by retail businesses:

  1. The grid layout: Goods are displayed on shelves that form long aisles throughout the store. Most often seen in supermarkets or grocery stores. 
  2. The herringbone layout: Aisles or product displays are placed on either side of the walls creating a long walkway through the middle of the store. 
  3. The loop layout: A closed loop is used to direct customer flow in a rigid pattern throughout the store. 
  4. The free-flow layout: No effort is made to encourage customer flow, aisles and product racks are placed randomly throughout a space. 
  5. The boutique layout: This is where goods are separated by brand or by category to give the feeling of many small shops within one big one. 
  6. The simple layout: Sometimes called the spine layout, the simple layout is a basic way of placing aisles to guide customers to the back of the store.
  7. The diagonal layout: Places aisles at angles throughout the store. This layout is a variant of the grid layout. 
  8. The angular layout: Also known as a curved layout. Uses rounded product displays, corners and walls.
  9. The geometric layout: Creates a unique design focusing on geometric shapes.
  10. Combination layouts: You can use elements from all of the above choices.

Our top store layout design tips

Think about the type of customer you wish to attract and plan your store accordingly. A grid layout is best for stores that have older customers while a free flow layout can work well for stores with a younger customer base. Grid layouts are easier to navigate and locate products, this makes them more attractive for older people. Free flow layouts encourage customers to explore the retail space, so they are an ideal way to attract younger customers who may not be in as much of a hurry as their older counterparts. 

Make sure you have adequate exterior signage and good window displays. Concentrate on creating an impressive initial entrance area to the store. This is where your customers will get their first impression. However, it will only be a cursory glance, so avoid cluttering the area and do not put big ticket items here. 

Base your store design on the insights gained from customer flow analysis. Pay attention to where your customers tend to go when in your store and position key goods in high-traffic areas. 

Try and incorporate break points where customers can rest while inside the store. This will encourage them to spend more time browsing. You can also use speedbumps to control the speed of foot traffic and use shelf-stopping signage to encourage shoppers to linger at certain aisles and browse certain items. 

Retailers must consider that customers also expect physical stores to have a professional e-commerce  component. It is advisable to incorporate a digital experience into the layout of your store. This can be done by providing customers with QR codes they can scan to access exclusive online sales, for example.

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Some examples of good store design

The most obvious examples of good store design can be found in supermarkets such as Tesco or Sainsbury’s. The grid layout is familiar, easily navigable by people of all ages, enables optimum product placement opportunities, and encourages shoppers to make their way through the stores in an orderly fashion, passing by huge amounts of products as they do so. 

One example of good store design that everyone will be familiar with is IKEA. The Swedish home decor giant uses the loop layout technique to funnel customers past all of its products in a display section in combination with a straightforward herringbone design for its warehouse below. Customers can choose whether to spend a good amount of time browsing products in mock-up settings or simply go straight to the warehouse to pick what they want quickly.

The design concepts employed by large supermarkets and chains such as Ikea can also be utilised by smaller retailers. Applying these principles to more compact spaces is simply a matter of scaling the designs. 

A good example of how to use an unconventional store layout is exemplified by the fashion store River Island. River Island uses a free-flow layout where display racks are placed seemingly haphazardly throughout a large space. The stores are separated by themes, (Men’s, Women’s, Boys’, and Girls’ clothing segments) but this is not immediately apparent to the customer. This design encourages customers to spend more time browsing aisles and has a real sense of excitement and style.

How to choose the best retail store layout and design for you

Choosing the right retail store layout for you means considering a number of aspects.  What type of business do you have? Who are your customers? How much time will your customers want to spend in your store? Opting for a trendy, free-flow design may be the best option for a fashion store aimed at younger people who wish to browse, but will not be a suitable option for a pharmacy that caters to older customers who want to make their purchases quickly.

You should also consider what types of products you are selling. If you have a large amount of inventory made up of many different types of products, then a grid style may be the best option. For stores that have a smaller number of products on offer, a free-flow style can work well. Opting for a loop layout can ensure that your customers pass by all your products.  

If you are opening up a retail store and need advice, try checking out the Ankorstart programme from Ankorstore. Ankorstart provides new retail entrepreneurs with support, advice and guidance on launching a new business. Ankorstart is non-binding and completely free! Have a look for yourself and see why so many new retailers are signing up to Ankorstart. 


  • How important is layout to a retail store?

The layout of your store will encourage your customers to browse and purchase products. An attractive layout that appeals to your targeted customer group is crucial to the success of your store. 

  • What are the most common types of retail store layouts?

Loop layout designs, grid, diagonal and herringbone designs are commonly seen in supermarkets, grocery stores, home decor and hardware stores. Boutique stores, speciality shops, and fashion and clothing stores often use free-flow designs.

  • How can I find the right store layout for my business?

Consider your target customer and what their needs are. Think about what types of products you sell and the best way of showcasing them. Take note of other retailers you like and what they have done. You can also get great advice from talking to the experts at Ankorstart. 

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How to start a retail clothing store

One of the most important things when deciding to open a retail clothing store is who your target market is. Do you want to sell clothes to fitness enthusiasts, teenagers or older people? This will determine your brand and product range.

There are lots of clothing websites and bricks and mortar stores out there and the success of your business will depend on you finding a niche market, creating a solid business plan and effective marketing. Are you thinking of setting up a retail clothing store? Read this article for all you need to know.


Find your business niche 

What are you going to sell?

Profitable small business ideas start by coming up with a unique idea. You need to decide which niche market you want to sell to and review the market. For example, do you plan to market sports clothes, prom dresses or babywear? Once you have decided on your niche you can focus on the products and how to differentiate from your competitors.

Choose a theme

The niche you choose will help you design the theme of your store, whether you’re starting an online clothing store or selling from physical premises. You need to give each customer an enjoyable shopping experience that makes yours the go-to store for their clothing purchases.

Identify your target audience 

You can’t sell everything to everybody

A business start up has to understand who its target audience is. The key factors to consider are:

  • Age group 
  • Gender
  • Style/theme

If you decide to promote clothing to young families struggling with the cost of living crisis you’ll be selling cheaper items than those aimed at older people who may have more disposable income. Try not to mix markets – focussing on a niche makes you look like a specialist. 

Use your experience

Combine any experience you already have in the clothing market when you identify your audience. Have you worked with sustainability, do you understand drop shipping, have you ever purchased from wholesale clothing stores online?

Write a business plan 

What does a business plan include?

This is one of the most valuable parts of setting up a retail clothing store. Your business plan should detail the short and long term goals of the store and identify:

  • Business goals and overview
  • Market analysis 
  • Product offering
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operational needs
  • Financial analysis and forecast
  • Staff/management roles

Why do I need a business plan?

The business plan is a core part of your strategy and serves as a document to keep you on track and also to present to potential investors or banks if you’re looking for financial back-up.

The business plan should be reviewed and updated at least every three months to ensure you are meeting your targets. A business plan can be flexible – if an idea didn’t work you can come up with an alternative. The secret is perseverance and to never give up.

Perform a competitor analysis 

Keep an eye on the competition

Whether you have a store in your local town or online it’s essential you know who your competitors are and what inventory they’re carrying. Before you set up your store, monitor the competition over a period of months and at crucial times like during seasonal sales or when they introduce new ranges.

Never be more expensive than the competition

You also need to monitor competitor pricing, particularly if you’re buying from a wholesaler and selling the same or similar products. If they’re selling a line of t-shirts at £4.99 yours should be cheaper or the same, but not over £5. There’s also something psychological about pricing – £1.99 sounds better than £2.

Register your business

Company registration

Depending on whether you intend to be a sole trader, limited company or partnership, you may need to register your business if you are based in the UK. Sole traders do not have to register with Companies House until they have earned more than 1k in a tax year.
If you have a physical store you will also have to consider if you need any licences, such as health and safety certificates. This link tells you all you need to know about registering a business in the UK, including what to do if you are selling online.

VAT registration

As part of your business accounting you’ll need to register your business for VAT if you’re based in the UK. This is because you have to charge VAT on products you are selling in clothes stores and pay this back to the Inland Revenue.

Secure financing 

How to get financed 

If you’re not lucky enough to have a large cash sum for your clothing store, the business finance will need to come from elsewhere. The best idea for this is in the form of an investor, a startup business loan from a bank or a business angel. 

If you decide to apply for a business loan you should be clear on which will best suit you. There are main types of business loan:

  • Secured – when you borrow money against your assets, such as a property you own or a vehicle.
  • Unsecured – when you borrow money without putting up assets as security.
  • Peer-to-peer – a popular choice for start-up retails to borrow money from an individual, a group or another business.
  • Government-backed start-up loans – for UK-based businesses wanting to borrow between £500-£25,000.
  • Personal – borrowing from a bank and only advisable for small amounts.

Before agreeing to finance be sure you understand the terms of payment and interest rates, or you could end up losing your business.

Read this informative article on business loans to find out more.

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The costs

Being upfront and transparent about the costs to set up and run your clothing store will help the potential investor or bank make a decision. You should provide them with a detailed plan of projected costs over at least the next 12 months, that includes:

  • Rent of premises
  • Utilities
  • Equipment and shopfitting 
  • Business registration
  • Insurance
  • Stock
  • Transport and delivery costs
  • Staff
  • Marketing 

Not all of these costs will apply, especially if you are opening an online clothing store, but you should consider all of them in case they are relevant.

Find your storefront 

Physical premises or online?

The location of your shop will depend on whether you’re looking at businesses to start from home, in which case the store will be online, or want to open a bricks and mortar store. Either way, the first impression of your store is the one that will attract customers, whether it’s a shop window or on the Shopify platform

How to make your storefront stand out

Your storefront reflects your brand and is a window into what’s inside. How are you going to tempt people in? This is where clever marketing comes into play. Both a website and a shop window should be enticing, free of clutter and look stylish. Cheap posters plastered over the glass or pages advertising special offers can downgrade your business image. Of course you can still run special offers, but they should be presented in a professional way. 

Purchase and price your inventory 

When to buy stock

Once you have the finance in place you can start to buy your stock. This should be done in good time, but not too early as you’ll lose money on stock that’s sitting around while you’re setting up your store. This particularly applies to seasonal stock – if you’re ordering summer clothes and beachwear, you will need to do this well in advance, so you don´t have an out-of-stock situation during the peak sales period.

It’s also important to anticipate the sales you can achieve during specific events that apply to your clothing range. For example, if you’re selling dressing up costumes you will need to order in time for Halloween, Christmas clothing has to be in stock well before the season to take advantage of present-buying and if you plan to run promotions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday you’ll need to order extra merchandise.

You should also monitor sales of sizes, colors and styles to ensure you order replacements and are never out-of-stock. If medium-sized dresses sell better than small or large t-shirts are more popular than extra-large make sure your stock-holding reflects these trends . You need to study the demand to ensure that you create cost-effective supply.

Who to buy from

You may choose to buy your inventory from wholesale clothing suppliers or direct from clothing manufacturers. It’s always a good idea to visit your suppliers to ensure the clothing is of good quality. You could also visit clothing suppliers at trade shows, which is also a way to meet representatives in person and build a working relationship.

Market your store

Have a solid marketing strategy

Promoting your brand and fashion range is the next step. You will need a marketing plan to follow to ensure you reach potential customers. This should include:

  • Presence on social media
  • A blog using SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • Email marketing
  • Targeted advertising
  • Special offers and promotions
  • Quality photographs on the website

Successful marketing also means offering a wide range of products to give your customers plenty of choice. Ordering your stock from the thousands of products on the Ankorstore marketplace allows you to offer a breadth of range as minimum orders are only €100 per brand.

You can also take advantage of our Brand Accelerator Programme which promotes your shop when you refer new retailers to us. For more information visit the Brand Accelerator Programme page.

Maximise your online presence

With so many people using social media it makes sense to offer your products online, even if you have a bricks and mortar boutique. Use Instagram to post photos of people wearing the clothes, make YouTube videos and create content to engage your audience. People also want to know how a garment will look on them, so consider adding a virtual fitting room to the website.  


Are you considering setting up a retail clothing store? Why not take a look at the free Ankorstart programme which can guide you through the steps of setting up a retail store.


  • Are clothing websites difficult to set up?

No. You can either set up your own website or use a platform like Shopify, which contains many options to set up unique clothing websites.

  • How do I come up with a name for my business?

The best way to come up with business name ideas is to brainstorm words linked to your brand. Write down all the words you can think of related to the product category, no matter how silly they seem. Then you can gradually pick out the names that don’t work and the one you like.

  • Why do I need a marketing plan?

Your marketing plan will help you identify your target market and how to attract customers. It will also show you how much you need to spend on marketing.

  • How can Ankorstore help me set up a retail clothing store?

We offer a free programme to give you advice and guidance on setting up a store – Ankorstart.  From which products to select to how to launch your business, we want you to succeed.

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How to start a successful food business

Running your own food business can be a highly profitable and rewarding opportunity to earn a living as an entrepreneur. Whether you want to start an e-commerce store, a restaurant or set up a food truck, following our step-by-step guide on how to start a successful food business will help you achieve success.

Summary :

How to write a food business plan

Whether you’re planning on offering free food online, selling bulk food or intending to run a food truck business, to start a food business you need a solid business plan.
Your business plan should cover these 7 main sections:

The 7 points you need to include in your food business plan

  1. The type of business
  2. Branding (name and logo)
  3. The target market
  4. Location (online or brick-and-mortar)
  5. Projected budget and finance
  6. Product range and menu (and where you will order the supplies)
  7. Employees (who do you need and how many)
  8. Marketing plan (including research and advertising/promotion)

You can find more details on how to write a business plan on our blog and apply our guidelines to your food business ideas, whether it’s for retail, a restaurant or a food truck business plan.

Keep things realistic

When buying wholesale food, it’s important to understand the food wholesaler’s costs and how much profit you can make. There is a charge for VAT on food for certain products (including sweets, crisps, alcohol, takeaways, ice cream, soft drinks and sports drinks). Check the UK government website for the most recent VAT food charges, as these are subject to change. At the moment there is a standard rate of 20% for VAT on restaurant food. Plus there will be delivery and marketing costs.

It’s important to set a realistic budget and stick to it as closely as you can to ensure you don’t overspend, particularly when starting a food business. 

Secure your financing

What will the budget cover?

Before starting with the action points in the plan, you’ll have to put the funding for your food business ideas in place. Most people don’t have a large amount of cash available to bulk buy food, rent premises and pay for marketing. 

You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll pay for recruiting employees and cover their salaries, training, and licences. You need to make sure you meet the health and safety regulations, plus extras costs like attending food trade shows or catering events.

How to fund a new food business?

These are some of the ways to find the required financial support for a food business:

  • apply for a business loan (some banks offer preferential rates to small businesses or if you’re starting a food business from home)
  • ask family or friends for a loan
  • source investors
  • check if there is government funding available

Whether you want to start a restaurant, are wondering how to start a cake business from home or want to sell wholesale foods online, getting the funding is essential so you can buy your stock from wholesale food suppliers.

Choose your food business location carefully

Restaurants and food trucks

If you’re considering how to start a restaurant or how to start a food truck, you need to find the perfect location. Monitor any competition in the area and who your target market is. Gather as much information as you can on menus and prices so you can be competitive. A high-class establishment will have a different audience from a roadside food truck, and both need to be located where they will attract the most customers.

Food stores

You may decide it’s a good idea to set up a wholesale food store, selling to retailers. To do this you can buy bulk food online or from a local supplier. Alternatively, you may want to set up a new retail store in a prime location, offering anything from luxury chocolate to wines and spirits. It’s essential to do your research and make sure there is a need for your food business before you decide where to locate your store.

Carefully source your suppliers

Where’s the best place to buy from?

Once your business is running successfully, you’ll be able to organise a bulk food order when you need it. However, initially, you may wish to place a small order to see which products sell well. Suppliers will more likely give discounts on bulk orders, which you can negotiate as your business grows.

The type of supplier you decide on will depend largely on the type of business you operate. A busy cafe catering mainly to office workers on their lunch break will require a different type of supplier than an upscale restaurant or a store selling speciality gourmet goods. The cafe may choose to work with a local wholesaler. The restaurant may source produce from local farmers, butchers, and producers. The gourmet store may need to order supplies from overseas merchants.

In each of these scenarios, business owners will need to do their research thoroughly and establish relationships with each of their preferred suppliers. This takes time and resources. Another way of finding a supplier for a food business is to use the Ankorstore online marketplace. Ankorstore connects businesses with suppliers and distributors from throughout Europe and across the globe. It’s a fast, easy, and cost-effective way to source quality goods from reputable suppliers.

Placing an order with Ankorstore

If you’re starting a business, you need to make all the cost savings you can. Whether you’re setting up a food business from home or on physical premises, getting the right mix of stock can be expensive. Ankorstore offers low minimum orders to help you.

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Design your restaurant and food store space

Create a stunning environment for a restaurant

One of the key points on the checklist for opening a restaurant is interior design. There should be an ambience that reflects the menu. Is your business a romantic setting, a fast-food venue or a themed restaurant? Creating the right environment will attract customers, so design a friendly layout with some distance between the tables and a relaxed atmosphere. And don’t forget the bathrooms, which are a major part of whether customers decide to return.

Laying out a food retail store

The design of a physical store will depend on the products you sell. Allow plenty of space for customers to move around the store and browse. Don’t overcrowd shelves if you’re offering quality products such as gourmet foods or food gifts. 

However, if you’re selling bulk food for wholesale, the “pile it high, sell it cheap” concept will maximise your profit per square foot. Food shop ideas include placing promotions at the entrance to entice customers. Make sure high-value items are placed within sight of the staff to prevent shoplifting.

Get your food business licences and permits

Licences for food stores

You must ensure that you have the right selling food licence to legally sell food in the UK. Registration as a food business is essential to ensure you comply with food safety standards, the correct hygiene procedures and labelling requirements. It is easy to apply for food business registration on the UK government website.  

Licences for restaurants

To set up a restaurant in the UK there are several authority licences you will need to register for, including:

  • the food business licence mentioned above ;
  • food premises approval ;
  • a licence to sell alcohol (and one for each person selling it) ;
  • an event or music licence, if you intend to include either of these.

Insurance is also vital, in case of any unforeseen circumstances. You will need Public Liability insurance, Employer’s Liability insurance and Buildings insurance (which is usually paid by the landlord). Insurance should be included on the checklist for opening a restaurant when planning the restaurant start-up costs.

Start hiring your employees

Advertise and recruit

Once the business is nearly ready to launch, it’s time to search for the right employees – if you need them. You may not need anyone if you’re running an online start-up food business, but physical premises will require staff. You could advertise on websites promoting food retail jobs or contact an employment agency.

Happy employees are loyal employees

No matter whether you’re considering how to start a restaurant, online store or retail store, treat staff well and they will be motivated and loyal to your business. In addition to paying them a good salary, employees will appreciate staff discounts and reasonable time off.

Advertise your food business

Marketing is key

Targeted marketing ensures potential customers know about your food business and what it offers. A marketing plan is an essential part of the overall business plan. A food business marketing plan should include:

  • a brand and logo design to reflect your image and food shop name
  • the USP (unique selling point)
  • a website and social media content (with a regular blog, articles and customer feedback)
  • an app, if your budget allows it
  • a promotional schedule to include discounts and seasonal offers
  • product packaging (for retail stores and wholesalers)
  • an email marketing strategy
  • listing on online directories for customer reviews

Where to advertise a food business

Advertising in the local press, whether it’s for a restaurant or to promote your food business from home ideas, can be expensive and a rather short-term strategy. Instead, you should keep your website up to date and promote your business via the social media platforms your target audience visits. If you’re opening a restaurant or food premises, a good marketing strategy is to invite people to a private event, including the press. 

For more information and guidance on starting a food business why not take advantage of the free Ankorstart program? You’ll receive advice from a retail expert on how to set up a food business and run it successfully.


  • Where is the best place to buy products for a food business?

Research local suppliers and check their delivery lead times and minimum orders. Take a look at our food and drink product page which allows you to order smaller quantities.

  • Can I start a food business from home?

Yes, if you follow our advice and guidance it’s easy to learn how to start a food business from home.  

  • Is the food industry difficult to enter?

Setting up any business can be a challenge, but people will always need food. Groceries are one of the biggest selling items in the UK, so this is a good market to enter.

  • Do I need approval to set up a food business?

You will need certain licences to establish a food business, whether it’s a wholesale food distributor or a fast-food outlet. See the above article for which licences you will need.

  • I don’t have much money for marketing, what can I do?

Word of mouth is the best form of free marketing when you’re considering how to start a food business. Tell everyone what you’re doing and ask them to spread the word.

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Discover the simple steps to open a decoration and interior shop

Do you have a lot of self-motivation, entrepreneurial skills and a love for art and interior design? Then opening a home decoration shop can be a profitable business venture. Not sure where to start? There are several steps and elements involved when opening an interior design business. Discover some of the steps to take to open your very own decoration shop! 


What is a home decoration shop? 

A home decoration shop or company is a business that can be found both online or in a brick-and-mortar retail outlet. Traditionally a home decoration shop will offer both products to buy and interior design services. This means that a consumer can come to business looking for ideas to decorate their home. Depending on the size of home and type of decoration, there are usually a lot of opportunities in this sector. The interior design industry is a big industry that requires experience and innovation.  If you have entrepreneurial skills, a passion for design, a creative mind and great networking skills, then we can help you achieve your dream business.  

The steps to open a home decoration shop

Opening a retail store of home decoration can be a fulfilling creative path, yet it requires good marketing skills and a solid plan. Read on to discover the steps you need to take before starting your own interior business. 

Build you business plan 

One of the very first steps before launching any business start-up is sketching out a business plan. It’s thrilling to set up a new home decoration or home interior design shop, but you also need to apprehend the market you’re entering. To build a strong project, you must marry your good eye and creativity with a solid business plan. For more in-depth ideas to build your business plan, read our article on the Ankostore blog.

Cover your base with some market research 

The interior design market is a multi-faceted sector which requires a large amount of market research. Before starting any business, it is important to understand the market you’re entering. This step is crucial to your success. Here are some questions to consider before opening your home decoration shop: 

  • Who are your target customers ? What is their age range and profession?
  • Where will your business be located? 
  • Is there a need for a home decoration shop in your location? 
  • Who are your competitors and what is your niche? 

If your business can afford it, hiring an experienced decoration retail business advisor to conduct an in-depth market research analysis could help propel your business to success and beyond.

Coming up with sale strategies 

Once conducting an intense market research and business plan, it is time to think about a sales strategy. It is important to remember when opening a home decoration shop that there is a lot of stiff competition on the market. This is exactly why it is crucial to have a strong sales and marketing strategy in place. When starting your home decoration business think about where your business wants to be advertised and why.  

Brand identity 

The identity of a brand is at the heart of any business. It is essential for its success. Creating the brand identity should be at the forefront when opening a home decoration shop. Keeping the DNA consistent is important for consumers. Think about colours, lighting, the brand logo and what you want your shop to represent.  

Set up a website 

Setting up a business website will allow potential customers to discover the business from the comfort of their potentially about-to-be decorated homes. It is also a great space to show off design portfolios, your business experience and even sell products online. There are various free and useful sources online to help with building a website. Squarespace and Wix are two of the most popular and easy to use for first time web builders! 

Marketing strategy

Most businesses today need to enter the digital world of social media to guarantee they are being seen and heard. Creating accounts on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are a great way to show off your decoration store and business. By blasting content online, this will maximise exposure and engagement with consumers. It will also allow them to understand the brand identity and even ask questions by sending direct messages to the platform. Today social media is the perfect artistic portfolio to show your creativity and design inspirations. 

In addition, every great business strategy should include an email marketing strategy. There are several platforms where this can be done for little to no cost. There are great free email marketing platforms, such as Mailchimp, that can be set easily and can guide you through your first email marketing campaign.

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Franchise fees 

Franchise fees are more commonly known as initial or starting fees when opening a business. For most entrepreneurs franchising their business is appealing as you can see your fees upfront and therefore budget accordingly. The initial franchise fee is the one time cost you must pay to be a franchise. This cost puts you in the business. Paying this initial franchise will allow you to use your own brand name, intellectual property rights and products. 

Operating costs

A home decoration shop will have several costs that will need to be accounted for before the business is even open. These are called operating costs which can be paid for by taking a loan from a bank or from savings. Money needs to be sent aside monthly for rent, insurance, employee salaries and general utility bills. Without this it will be difficult to get the shop running. Here is a list of elements to think about when opening a home decoration shop: 

  • Equipping the office (computers, laptops, printers, projectors, tables, chairs, decoration…etc.). 
  • Website costs. 
  • Software for computers and electrical equipment. 
  • Rent 
  • Health permit costs. 
  • Water, gas, and electricity bills. 
  • Parking. 
  • Employee Salaries. 
  • Additional expenditure. 


Efficient retail inventory management is an important consideration. Stocking products that consumers want to purchase for your home decoration shop at quantities that meet demand is a skill that will need to be learnt. Shop owners look to retail wholesalers for inventory inspiration. By using a wholesaler it means they can either buy a certain product in bulk if they think it could be a best seller and negotiate lower prices. Wholesalers are the best places to find the latest trends and designs.  Shop owners can also look online for retail online for wholesalers. At Ankorstore online, decoration shop entrepreneurs can find a host of decor products to buy in large quantities. 

A few more  elements to consider when it comes to shop inventory include the below: 

  • Accurate product data 
  • Stock location tracking 
  • Regular inventory checks 
  • Analysis of sales and inventory

Job roles and responsibilities 

There are several different roles that can be found within a home decorating business. Although it depends on the size of the company, there are few roles to consider when opening a home decoration shop. 

Chief Executive Officer 

The Chief Executive Officer will most commonly be the owner and founder of the home decoration business. This role is responsible for providing the direction of the business and implementing its vision efficiently. 

Sales assistants 

Sales assistants are needed on the shop floor helping customers and drumming up sales in store. For a home decoration shop, they should have a good knowledge and passion for the industry of interior design. 

Accountant or financial advisor 

For any business it is extremely important to have an accounting team or at least someone with financial advisory experience. This role is responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and statements. They are one the ones keeping track of what is coming in and what is coming out. They also can be in control of sorting out legal documents for the company.

Need more advice about how to open a decoration shop`? Look no further than Ankorstart, a platform dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build their dream business from Ankorstore. Ankostart’s experts can help guide you through anything from business plans to local wholesalers and retailers to get your store ahead of  the rest! Find exciting products and ideas and more by checking out Ankorstore online. 


  • Do I need a degree to open a home decoration shop? 

Of course, a degree can help, but it is not the be all and end all. There are plenty of ways to learn how to open an interior design business without studying a formal degree. Look to videos online, business books and talk to people with experience in the business. A clear passion, motivation, and desire to succeed alongside a great eye for design and art can go along way. 

  • What are the most important things to consider when opening a home decoration shop? 

There are several important things to think about. A few crucial elements include: 

  • Brand identity and philosophy 
  • Design and layout
  • Location 
  • The customer
  • Products 
  • A passion for art, interiors, and design. 
  • Partnerships and collaborations 
  • Legals and financials environments
  • What is the target market for a home decoration shop? 

In general, the business of interior design and home renovation and decoration is extremely popular, which means it can also be highly profitable. Whether it is a student flat, a first time buy or redecorating a holiday home, there will always be a demand for home decoration products. Target market research is crucial in understanding who you are trying to reach.

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Opening a concept store: how to get it started

Even though online shopping is more popular than ever, there will always be a demand for traditional stores where customers can have a pleasant shopping experience whilst presented with a variety of products. The business idea of a concept store idea appeared in 1955 when British fashion designer, Mary Quant, opened the first ever concept store in the world on the Kings Road in London. This new business idea of a concept store was called Bazaar. The store represented a mix of music, fashion, and art. At the time the open retail store was not known to be a concept store as the term was only coined around 30 years later. What is important to know about concept stores is that they go far beyond just simply selling products. They represent a lifestyle that appeals to a certain type of consumer. It is an exciting business idea to become a part of. Keep reading to discover what exactly a concept store is today and the steps to open your own business.  


What is a concept store in 2022?

With online shopping taking over the retail sector, it has never been so important for traditional brick-and-mortar retails stores to provide more than just products. Meet therefore the concept store, the future of brick-and-mortar retail. What makes them so different from shopping online or traditional retail stores? They are experiential, beautifully designed, enticing and offer sensory experiences that cannot be found online. The design of a concept store is generally known to be unique with a strong theme and aesthetic. The products inside are well curated and appeal to a cultured consumer.

The Steps to Open a Concept Store

The concept store is an exciting and new retail model for shop owners. It is a great business idea, so if you are planning to open a concept store, there are a few steps to think about along the way. Discover some important elements to consider when opening a concept store.

Business Plan of a concept store

One of the very first steps for any kind of retail store is developing a business plan. A business plan should include the answers to the following questions: 

  • What products will be sold in store?
  • Naming a business – what will your concept store be called?
  • How much does it cost to open a shop?
  • Who is the target consumer?
  • What type of price point will your concept store be?
  • Who are the competitors of your concept store?
  • Staff. Who do you need to employ to make your business work?
  • Sales strategy and advertising. How will you make your store known to the public?

Of course, there are a lot more questions that should be answered but when opening a concept store these are some critical points to consider that should be written into a business plan. Deciding on what you sell and how you are going to make profit is critical.  Every new start-up business idea should have a solid business plan. 

Documents and Administration

There are several types of retail businesses licenses and permits your concept store will need to get off the ground. Each document requires time and energy, but it is of the upmost importance to gather the correct documents before opening your concept store. Some of the important things to include are:

  • Tax identification number. This is used to identify your business. The application fee is normally free, and the process is simple.
  • Business License. A general business license will allow your concept store to be legally registered.
  • Resale certificate. This is necessary to purchase products that you will resell in-store without having to pay tax on. Every retail business needs this certificate.
  • Health permits. If including a small café or restaurant inside your concept store, then you will need the correct health permits to sell food and beverages.
  • Professional licenses. Depending on what experiences and what type of products will be sold in the concept store, industry specific licenses may be required. Always make sure to check what you need if in doubt.

Make sure to cover all the legal basics required before officially opening a concept store.

Financial Aid

It is likely you will need some form of financial help to open your concept store. There are several paths to take when applying for a loan.

  • Start-up Business Loans. In the UK start-up business loans are backed by the government. You can borrow up to £25,000 with a fixed interest rate of 6%.
  • Business Loans. These loans are not just for new businesses. All businesses need capital, either to cover the basics or help turn a profit. Bank lenders can provide this money in advance if it is paid back upon an agreed schedule with interest.

It is also important to remember to track your finances. When opening a concept store the best business plan would be to hire a business finance manager and accountant to separate your business and personal accounts. Make sure you know what finances are going out just as well as what is coming in!

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Conducting Market Research

Concept stores tend to offer a unique and sensory experience that cannot be found in your traditional brick-and-mortar retail store. This can be anything from offering a café or restaurant inside the concept store or monthly pop-up events for customers. Before opening your concept store it is important to look at the competition. What are the best concept stores already out there and why are they so popular?

Discover a list of some of the most well-known concept stores in the world that have all represented exciting new business ideas from their beginnings. Discover what makes them unique and why consumers love to shop there.

Colette, Paris

Colette in Paris is one of the most well-known concept stores in the world. Although it closed in 2017, this industry leader was a must-shop destination for fashion and culture lovers and even a host of celebrities. Colette represented technology, fashion, and art all in one place and even had its own water bar in the basement that served 90 different water brands. Colette was a pioneer of the concept store industry.

10 Corso Como, Milan

10 Corso Como is known to be the store that first coined the term “concept store”. Launched in 1991, it describes itself as “a collage of cultural and commercial entities from fashion to design, including music, lifestyle, art and photography it marks the beginning of total shopping”[i]Customers can therefore shop for many different things all in the same space. It even has its own bookshop, gallery, and café.

The Apartment, Copenhagen

Even the entrance to The Apartment is an experience. Located at the edge of a canal, the shopper must weave their way through a beautifully scented and blossoming courtyard and a narrow winding staircase to reach The Apartment. The unique thing about this concept store is that it feels like you are going home when visiting. The expertly curated space has a strong focus on local artists and designers, making sure you are bound to pick up a one-of-a-kind product when shopping. It also hosts regular art exhibitions.

Bonds Hackney, London

The location of Bonds Hackney in East London used to be a carpentry workshop. The space was transformed into the beautifully designed concept store by owners Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin. They created a lifestyle retail outlet where one can find a coffee shop, creative workshops, and events all under one roof. 

The Webster, New York City

The Webster concept store in New York is a luxury multi-brand retailer that is situated in a 12000sq ft. cast iron building dating back to 1878. With an exciting mix of fashion, art and design, the concept store boasts four floors dedicated to array of luxury designers. Many of the items sold are exclusive to The Webster, so you will not find them anywhere else.


Location, location, location! Finding the right location for a concept store is important as it should be the best possible space for your business. Making sure your concept store is in the right location with the best foot traffic for the target consumer and business is key. Although it can be tempting to pick out the cheaper rent options, it may not always be the best option for business. Being in the centre of town will make sure the concept store has a current flow of traffic. It is also important to research your target consumer. When researching your target audience, it is always best to answer the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • How much on average do they earn per annum?
  • What industry do they work in?
  • What kind of house do they live in?
  • Where do they normally shop?

After doing extensive market research into what and who the concept store is then it should be clearer to find a location that suits your target audience and retail consumer. Remember to get a location big enough to hold all retail stock!

Partnerships and Collaborations

As a concept store is a multi-brand retail space, this means a concept store owner will need to be working with several suppliers and collaborators. Creating, maintaining, and building relationships with fashion designers, artists, musicians and whatever more your concept store will represent is crucial. It is key to always be on the lookout for potential partnerships and collaborations so that the concept store can stay innovative, original, and creative. Finding the right partners to do this can make or break a business. It is always a good idea to research trends, retail patterns and consumer consumption habits when opening a concept store.

The Layout

Once you have found the perfect location for your concept store, it is important to consider the design and layout. The moment your customer walks into the concept store they should be blown away. When planning the space, keep in mind the most important aspects of the concept store. What is the first thing the customer will see when they walk in? Understanding your target audience and brand identity will also play a big factor in this.

Brand Identity 

When opening a concept store, brand identity can become tricky as it is in essence a retail outlet that represents several brands. Therefore, there are already different brand identities being revealed under one roof including the overall brand DNA of the concept store itself.  No concept store is ever the same but the one thing they do all have in common is a strong and powerful identity. This is what makes a concept store memorable and sparks word of mouth from shoppers. It is also what makes them stand out from the traditional retail stores.  Concept store owners will need to actively search for the brands and types of products and merchandise they want to sell. A great concept store will have a mix of local and established brands. The brands represented should all represent the brand identity.


  • What are the advantages of opening a concept store?

There is a growing appetite in the retail world for experiential retail. Consumers want to be taken aback or surprised when shopping. They also prefer to find many products in one place. Concept stores can also provide a great meet up location for friends and families alike. Besides the business advantages, owning your own concept store means that you will be the boss. You will get to decide what goes where and why. If you are passionate about business, retail, and culture then opening a concept store could be the right business idea for you.

  • What are the most important things to think about when opening a concept store?

There are several important things to think about. A few crucial elements include:

  • Brand identity and philosophy
  • Business idea and business plan
  • Business accounting and business finance
  • Design and layout
  • Location
  • The customer
  • Products
  • Experience
  • Partnerships and collaborations
  •  What are the most common mistakes when opening a concept store?

Concept stores that are created too quickly and not thought out properly are not a sustainable business idea. Take time to consider the aesthetic and philosophy of the concept store. To stand out, it needs to offer something different from the rest. A small business idea can turn into a hugely profitable business if thought out properly from the get-go.

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How to open a grocery store : start with these 15 simple steps

Opening a grocery store is an exciting opportunity to venture into the business world. Grocery stores are one of the few businesses where there will always be demand, which is why it’s such an exciting and appealing retail opportunity. 

Grocery stores are also one of the few business ideas that are of a low-risk endeavour and do not require huge start-up costs. It is historically a very stable venture. Although there are grocery stores on every street corner, this does not mean that the market is saturated. The food retail business is booming and is expected to grow further into the future, with many niche markets to explore : exotic food, gourmet and fine dining, organic and vegan produce, and much more. There is plenty of room for new grocery store businesses to thrive.  Read on to discover some of the essential tools and elements to consider when opening a grocery store.


The first 3 steps to take when opening a grocery store

Food consumers love to shop in convenient and local grocery stores, as it can give them everything that they need in one place. Getting the right products to the right people is the most important thing when it comes to grocery stores. 

Before opening a retail store, a plan and strategy should always be put in place. Paperwork, suppliers, products, and location are just a few fundamental steps that you must get right from the start. If you want to open a grocery stop but you’re not sure where to start, here are some simple tips to help you start your business. 

Discover the game-changing elements to take into consideration from the get-go – and allow your grocery store to launch into the food retail market. 

Market research

First things first, do your research. The luxury of opening a grocery store is that it appeals to all demographics and socioeconomic spheres. A grocery store truly is for everyone. However, knowing this, it is still important to differentiate yourself from the competition. What is the niche aspect of your grocery business? What do consumers appreciate the most in the location of a grocery store? Focus on in-depth market research before opening your grocery store so that local customers can be satisfied.  

Create a grocery store business plan

All new businesses need a business plan. This will aid in the structure and strategy of opening a grocery store. It will help you find a target audience and put finances in place. Here are a few essential elements and questions to consider when constructing your grocery store business plan: 

  • Grocery store location: Rural or in the city? Small towns may be more in need of independent grocery stores, whereas in a large city there will be more competition.  
  • Competition: How are you different from the rest? What is your niche? 
  • Food products: What do you plan on selling? Local and organic produce, exotic food, specialised or gluten-free products? It is always a good idea to have an outline of the products you plan on selling before opening a grocery store. 
  • Costs and accounting: How big is your grocery store location? How much space do you need? What are the costs of rent and suppliers reaching your store? Who will take care of your finances, taxes, and profit?  
  • Problems: What are some of the potential risks and problems that could arise when opening your grocery store? Make a list of every possible outcome. 
  • Staff: How many employees will you need to open your grocery store and what will their salary be? 
  • The customer: Who is the customer? What is their average income? Understanding the way your target markets shops and consumes food products is extremely important.  

Make your grocery store into a legal entity 

Of course, there are various legal requirements that must be obeyed when opening a grocery store. Making sure you have the right legal documents and that you are obeying the correct laws are of the upmost importance. In most areas, a grocery store will be inspected at least once a year by local councils and governments.

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Grocery store permits, licences, and insurance 

Get your grocery store documents in check. Before you can open your grocery store, it is compulsory to register your retail business and obtain the various licences, permits and insurance necessary to exist as a business. Some of the paperwork involves includes: 


Independent grocery stores are exposed to various risks. Whether an employee slips and falls or a fridge breaks down and ruins its contents, it is important to have the right kind of insurance to protect your grocery store for any mishaps that may occur. In general, there are four types of insurance that grocery stores need. 

  • Business owner policy : this protects customer injuries, damages or stolen goods and business interruption incidents. 
  • General liability insurance : this includes slip and fall accidents, any damaged customer’s property and product liability insurance. 
  • Worker’s compensation insurance : this protects any employee medical expenses and lawsuits over employee injuries that could happen in store. 
  • Alcohol liability insurance : an essential for any grocery store that wants to sell alcohol. This insurance protects your grocery store if customers purchase alcohol, then cause any harm or damage. 

Retail food store licence 

Businesses that sell food products must have a Retail Food Store Licence. This is particularly important for grocery stores that sell products such as milk, eggs and meat, as these products can potentially cause harm if not conserved properly. 

Employee identification number or National Insurance Number. 

This will ensure your business is a fully fledged and functioning retail business that can legally sell products to consumers. 

Inspection and permits from the Department of Health

A health permit allows grocery store owners to sell produce that is cooked to the public. This must be regulated for public safety. Annual inspections are also required. 

Equipment needed inside a grocery store 

Naturally, you will need to source produce and food products – but what else is needed when opening a grocery store ? Here is a checklist of equipment that you can’t do without: 

  • Cleaning supplies 
  • Shelves and furniture for stacking products 
  • Plastic or paper bags 
  • Cash registers 
  • Shopping bags and trolleys 
  • Office supplies 
  • Signs for inside and outside the store 
  • Business cards
  • Refrigeration

Depending on what type of grocery store you are opening, other useful equipment may include meat and cheese slicers, or full-service kitchens where freshly-made food can be produced on site. 

Set up your grocery store supplier network

To ensure consistency and ease of logistics and operations, setting up a solid grocery store supplier network is essential. Grocery stores need wholesale suppliers to help them distribute their products. The distributor’s role is to produce food products that retailers then sell to consumers. Grocery store retailers need to balance various elements from suppliers. 

Online ordering and order fulfilment 

Many grocery store businesses now have an online ordering system available to their consumers. The speed of order fulfilment can be challenging, so you must set up a viable strategy to keep up with the pace.

Competition within the food industry 

Another thing to consider when choosing wholesale suppliers for your grocery store is who else they are selling their produce to. Restaurants and food-on-the-go services are more popular than ever. Make sure that your grocery store supplier can keep up with the demands of your grocery store. 

Fresh short-lived produce 

The rise of healthy eating has meant that consumers are looking for fresh produce, which normally has a much shorter shelf life. For grocery wholesaler supply networks this means that getting fresh produce from point A to point B must be efficient and fast. Choosing a supply network that is not too far away from your grocery store is therefore very important. 

Grocery store brand identity and website 

Creating a brand identity for your grocery store will drive sales and boost performance. To make your retail store stand out from the rest, it is important to identify its position within the food market and make sure it is seen by its customers. To do this, there are various marketing strategies that can be implied. 

Social media 

In the digital age, it is more important than ever for any new business to have a solid social media strategy. Customers spend hours online browsing for products and health information. Small daily reminders of your food products, services, and events on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are the perfect way to remain in your customers’ minds unknowingly. You may share recipes with ingredients that can be purchased at your grocery store, beautiful images of fresh produce, start a contest or come up with quizzes designed to gain information about your customers… There are so many ways that social media can benefit a grocery store business! Also, it is a simple and cost-effective way to advertise. 


Let’s face it, we all love and cannot resist a bargain! It is the perfect way to drive sales, attract customers and stay at the forefront against competition. It is interesting to pay attention to seasonal events, such as Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Mother’s Day, and so on. You may also start a loyalty program (punch card, fidelity points, etc.) to boost sales and build a network of returning customers.

Tastings and events 

In-store events, such as food and drink tastings, are another fantastic way to drive sales and customers. Having a different theme every week or every month is a way to keep customers excited to see what you have in store. Using social media to promote the said event is a fast and cost-effective way to spread the message. 


Sustainability is another trend that retail food consumers are becoming more and more concerned about. The environment and how we shop in general has become an essential consideration in food retail. Lowering carbon emissions and promoting a positive message is something that grocery store owners need to think about. Consumers need to know where the food produce is coming from and how it is being transported. These challenges in the wholesale supply chain management are at the heart of both success and failure when opening a grocery store. 

Online and print marketing materials  

Online or offline, marketing your grocery store and the business it entails is a great way to boost sales. Producing leaflets and print ads in magazines will make sure your business is seen in the local community.  However, if this becomes too costly, a great way to spread the message about your grocery store is to move online by using social media platforms or paid advertisements on websites. 

Build a website

Creating a website for your grocery store is another good marketing strategy. It can be a way to sell, promote and present food products. It can also act as your customer service where your business can receive crucial feedback from customers on ways to improve. Answering consumers’ questions and comments directly will enforce loyalty and let your customers know that you are paying attention to their remarks.

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The 4 benefits of opening a grocery store 

There are various benefits of opening a grocery business. Here are a few positive and empowering elements when opening a grocery store business.  

Be your own boss 

When starting your own grocery store business, you are the one in charge of all the business operations. Being a business owner is not only empowering and liberating but extremely satisfying. If you are passionate about business, retail, products, food, and communication, then opening a grocery store could be the perfect adventure for you. 

Local community 

Another great advantage of developing a grocery store is that you can create a local community and following.  If you love interacting face-to-face with grocery consumers, then this is the business for you, as you will be hands-on with both employees and food customers every day. By selling products not only in store but at local events such as a farmer’s markets, town gatherings and more, you can not only expand your grocery store business and revenue but also create loyal local consumers. It is a great way to maintain a good brand image and identity. 

Simple business model

A big plus of opening a grocery store is that it has a simple business model, which evidently makes the process of launching and building a store business a lot easier. 

The perks 

When running your own grocery store, you will of course get to enjoy a range of perks and discounts on food products. As a seller and buying in bulk, you will be able to reap the rewards of paying less or nothing at all for some food products. 


  • How much money do I need to open a grocery store? 

This depends on factors such as the location of your grocery store, how big your grocery store is, property prices, the required licences and permits and the costs of staff. In the United Kingdom starting a small-scale grocery business can cost anything from £100,000 to £250,000. 

  • How much on average does a grocery store owner make? 

Again, there are many factors to consider including the size and location of a grocery store, however on average, a grocery store owner can earn close to £60,000 a year. 

  • What food products sell best in a grocery store? 

When considering what items to sell in your grocery store, it is a good idea to research what sells best, why, and what products are currently trending with food shoppers. In general, top selling products include meat, dairy, and baked goods. Make sure to stay in season and up to date with what is happening in the food world! 

  • Where should I locate my grocery store? 

There are several factors to consider when choosing the location of your grocery store. Firstly, there’s the size. How much produce do you plan on selling and how much space will you need for your products? Property and rent prices should also come into play. If you’re locating your grocery store in a big city, there will undoubtedly be a lot of competitive food sellers close by. If you’re locating a grocery store in a small town there will be less competition but less foot traffic. In this case, it is important to make your store stand out to attract customers far and wide for your produce. 

  • Do grocery stores work well online? 

Everyone loves to shop online, and this is no different when shopping for food products. Not only does it save time for consumers but it is also far less stressful than shopping in-store. Customers are given the opportunity to put more thought into their purchases, receive their order at their doorstep and save money on petrol.  Most online grocery sites save your previous orders, so it is easy to look back on what you bought before and make changes if necessary.

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Checklist - Visual merchandising

Visual merchandising is a marketing technique that combines different elements to capture shoppers’ attention and encourage them to buy from your shop. When done well, visual merchandising displays products in a way that attracts your target audience and, ultimately, increases sales.

What are the main elements of visual merchandising?

  • Furniture & decor
  • Lighting
  • Displays
  • Colours
  • Smell
  • Music
  • Storytelling

Top 4 tips for effective visual merchandising: 

  1. Prioritise creating an attractive window display. It’s the first thing your customers see, so making a positive impression is essential. An impressive window display is also a great way to capitalise on foot traffic, as it’s likely to catch the eye of shoppers who weren’t initially intending to visit your shop. 
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of storytelling. Using your visual merchandising display to tell a story describing your featured products’ benefits will resonate with your customers and increase your chance of making a sale. Continue to tell the same story throughout the shop journey – from your window and interior displays to your checkout counter.
  3. Don’t just display the products your customers need, but the products they might want as well. Shoppers know what they need. That’s usually why they’re in your shop to begin with. Often, your customers won’t know what they want until they see it – especially if it’s showcased enticingly. 
  4. Let your visual merchandising do the heavy lifting. When planning your product displays, group the most commonly bought products. Cross-merchandising is one of the easiest ways to increase your customers’ basket size and grow your margin.

Want to attract maximum foot traffic, boost sales and create loyal customers? Download our visual merchandising checklist and complete it every morning before you open.


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Where to buy jewellery wholesale for my retail store?

The retail jewellery sector in the UK is experiencing a boom! The overall projected value of the UK jewellery industry is expected to reach more than £3.3 billion by the end of 2022. Worldwide, the jewellery industry is predicted to reach an overall value of more than £360.6 billion by 2026. Certainly, it seems that the levels of consumer demand for quality jewellery are only set to rise.

The sheer scale of the UK jewellery industry makes it tough for new retailers to stand out in the crowd. Staying competitive means securing inventory at better wholesale rates than your competitors. It is crucial that anyone who is starting a retail jewellery business, whether online or as a bricks-and-mortar business secures a reliable wholesale jewellery supplier. 

However, finding the right wholesale jewellery suppliers can be difficult and spoil your retail logistic. Many new business owners are unsure of where to start looking for a wholesaler and do not know how best to approach jewellery manufacturers. We have written this article as a quick guide for new jewellery shop owners to give them an overview of how to find wholesale jewellery suppliers.


What products are best for a jewellery shop?

Jewellery shop owners can ensure that their store stands out in the market by providing their customers with products that cater to their needs and wants. If you are opening an upmarket jewellery store, then you will need to source bespoke, unique pieces that are exclusive to your store. If you are aiming to attract customers that are simply looking for affordable but good-quality jewellery, you can select from a wide range of wholesalers both in the UK and across the globe. 

Generally, a reputable jewellery store will stock:

  • Necklaces
  • Engagement Rings
  • Men’s Rings
  • Women’s Rings
  • Wedding Bands
  • Charms 
  • Pendants
  • Bracelets
  • Gemstone Rings
  • Earrings
  • Costume Jewellery
  • Brooches
  • Watches
  • Cufflinks
  • Tie Pins

How can jewellery shop owners anticipate seasonal and market needs?

Jewellery is always a popular gift option, so jewellery shop owners need to take notice of the holidays more than most other businesses. You can expect to see spikes in sales before Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and during the Christmas period. The wedding season in the UK runs from May to October with its peak in the summer months of June and August. Jewellery shop owners should expect increased demand for engagement rings and wedding bands during this period. 

The advantages and disadvantages of different wholesale jewellery suppliers

A high-end jewellery shop will need to source stock from specialist jewellers, artisans and small manufacturers. Quite often, their customers will expect to be offered a variety of hard-to-find or one-off pieces. This may require the jewellery shop owner to look far and wide to find the right wholesale jewellery suppliers. They may need to make contact with suppliers across the UK or overseas.

Jewellery shops that cater to the lower or middle sections of the market can source products via online wholesale jewellery suppliers or from local wholesale jewellery suppliers. They may make bulk orders of wholesale costume jewellery or wholesale stainless steel jewellery. Rather than exclusive pieces, these retailers will need to concentrate on securing large amounts of stock they can then sell at competitive prices. 

Using local, UK-based wholesale jewellery suppliers will ensure that your business receives stock quickly without any extra paperwork or tax issues, but you may pay a higher price for the goods. Conversely, higher-end stores may find exclusive pieces from overseas manufacturers and lower-end stores may find better deals from international wholesale jewellery suppliers. However, delivery times can be longer, and tax and excise charges may apply. 

Choosing what type of wholesaler to use is a critical decision for any businessperson. Weighing up the pros and cons of different types of wholesalers should be a careful, deliberate process. Retailers can choose between merchant wholesalers that sell to the public, retail wholesalers that only sell to other businesses, or they can use an agent or broker to act as a middleman. Merchant retailers may have higher prices than retail wholesalers and agents and brokers may charge fees. Retail wholesalers often require paperwork and sometimes only take on certain amounts of clients.

Another option is to use the Ankorstore B2B online marketplace. Ankorstore provides retailers with access to thousands of brands from manufacturers across the EU and the world. It is a safe, reliable and simple way for retailers to find the suppliers they need without extra expense or additional paperwork.

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How can I buy wholesale jewellery from abroad?

There are many methods a new jewellery store owner can use to locate wholesale jewellery suppliers. Many wholesale jewellery suppliers will advertise on online forums or in trade magazines. You can also simply ask other business owners what suppliers they recommend. 

For anyone operating a high-end, exclusive jewellery store, the process of locating a wholesale supplier may be a little more complicated. Often, high-end jewellery stores need to speak with artisan jewellers directly or work with agencies that source unique pieces.  

It should be noted that some wholesalers may require ‘proof of trade’ before conducting business. This means that you will have to show that you are a legitimate business and not simply a retail customer. You can supply proof of trading by providing your business card or letterhead. You may need to show proof of a merchant bank account or supply a previous invoice from a different wholesaler. Larger wholesalers may require that you register for a trade card with them.

How can you make payment to wholesale jewellery suppliers?

The majority of wholesale jewellery suppliers accept cash, bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, or digital banking options such as PayPal payments. There may be wholesale jewellery suppliers that are happy to accept cryptocurrencies. 

How to manage VAT with wholesale jewellery suppliers

Any type of business that operates in the UK and has more than £85,000 of yearly profits must be registered for Value-Added Tax (VAT). The VAT charged on any jewellery purchased for inventory can be claimed back via a company tax return. Wholesalers located outside the UK or the EU will not charge VAT. In these cases, business owners will need to calculate the VAT due and include these amounts on their tax returns. 

Purchase orders for wholesale jewellery suppliers

Purchase orders act as reverse invoices. Instead of a request for payment after goods have been supplied, a purchase order is a request for goods from a retailer to a supplier. 

Purchase orders are often used by retailers to make bulk or repeated orders from wholesale jewellery suppliers. A purchase order can provide a guarantee for a retailer that a supplier will in fact provide them with the requested stock. From the wholesaler’s perspective, a purchase order establishes trust with a retailer and assures them that a store will be a good client. When dealing with an online B2B marketplace like Ankorstore, however, retailers do not require purchase orders. Using Ankorstore can simplify the process of locating and working with suppliers.

Common payment terms for wholesale jewellery suppliers

Wholesale jewellery suppliers understand that their clients usually need to sell the provided stock before they can make payment. For this reason, most wholesale jewellery suppliers will offer retailers 30-, 60- or 90-day terms before payment is due. If you have a particularly good relationship with your wholesaler, you may be able to negotiate even better terms. The Ankorstart program can provide retailers with the advice and assistance they need to learn how to negotiate properly. Ankorstart is a free program offered by Ankorstore that aims to assist new business in getting a good start in the marketplace.

How to make contact with a wholesale jewellery supplier

Drafting a letter of introduction is a good idea for new jewellery store owners looking to make contact with a wholesale supplier. Start by introducing yourself and describing your business. The aim of the letter is to assure the wholesaler that you are a legitimate business and will be a reliable, trustworthy client. You may wish to provide proof of trading and an estimate of what your monthly or quarterly inventory orders may be. The letter can be sent via email or by using an online form in the case of larger wholesalers. 

Where to find help for new jewellery shop owners

Starting a new jewellery business can be tough. Entrepreneurs face a wide variety of challenges and issues. If you need support, advice or guidance in opening up your new retail venture, take a look at Ankorstore’s Ankostart programme. Ankostart is totally free, non-binding and provides new business owners with a range of services they can use to get their business started the right way. 


  • Should I contact more than one wholesale jewellery supplier?

It makes good sense for a retailer to make relationships with multiple wholesale jewellery suppliers. If any of the suppliers are unable to fulfil an order, then you will have a backup option on hand to provide you with the stock your customers need. 

  • Will a wholesale jewellery supplier help me cut my costs?

If you are able to negotiate a good price for the goods you require from a wholesale jewellery supplier, you will be able to sell the products at a greater profit. 

  • How can I get a wholesale jewellery supplier to deal with me exclusively?

Some jewellery shops negotiate exclusive deals with wholesalers. This can help to give you an edge in the marketplace. You will need to ensure that your wholesaler trusts you and that you are providing them with a lucrative long-term business relationship.

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