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3 Crucial Considerations for Start-up Retail Brands

According to recent figures, the rate of UK retail sales returned to growth during September, thanks in part to higher consumer spending on food and an increase in the procurement of big-ticket items. The start of a new school terms also played a pivotal role, as parents rushed to buy uniforms and stationery en-masse.

This belies the concerns that exist in the retail sector, however, as a reported, year-on-year sales rise of 1.3% is unlikely to be sustained into 2017. This is thanks largely to the looming spectre of Brexit, with Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent pledge to trigger Article 50 by March next year sending the value of the pound plummeting and the cost of imports spiralling.

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 3 Important Considerations for Start-up Retailers

 With this in mind, start-up retailers must prepare for a volatile economic climate where the long-term outlook for brands remains extremely uncertain. Here are three crucial areas of consideration for new retailers in the current climate: –

  1. The Importance of a Flexible Business Model

As a new and independent retailer, you are unlikely to be backed by huge financial resources. This means that you will need to think creatively in order to ensure longevity in the current climate, as you look to minimise start-up costs both in the short and longer term.

Flexibility is central to this, particularly when it comes to typically larger financial considerations such as securing premises. Instead of committing to a costly, long-term lease agreement for a commercial outlet, for example, you may be better served by renting a pop-up space at a popular shopping centre or high street location. These types of premises can be secured through rolling lease agreements, meaning that you can minimise your rental costs without commiting to potentially unmanageable terms.

  1. Look to Diversify your Revenue Streams and Payment Options

The diversification of your business model is something that you may not consider until you have established your retail brand, but in truth this is something that you should look to do with a matter of urgency. This is particularly true in the case of sales outlets and purchasing options for customers, as greater flexibility and diversity can increase turnover and profitability over a relatively short period of time.

All retailers will need to ensure that they have an e-commerce website to supplement their store sales, for example, as customers are increasingly likely to buy from a smartphone or tablet device. Similarly, you should also invest in creating a wealth of in-store payment options, from traditional card machines to contactless payments. This type of flexible payment solution optimises conversions at the point of sale and can make a significant difference to your turnover during difficult economic times.

  1. Be a Compliant Retailer

Last but by no means least, we come to the importance of business compliance. There is a wealth of  laws and acts that retailers must adhere to in the modern age, while these are also constantly evolving and subject to subtle amendments on an annual basis.

Form national minimum wage considerations to taxation and the Sale of Goods Act, these examples of legislation cover everything from employee rights to the way in which goods are marketed sold by retailers. It is therefore absolutely crucial that your start-up is compliant from the start, while you must take responsibility for ensuring that you remain up-to-date with changes and adopt a proactive approach to overseeing the strategic management of your brand.

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