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Retail Business Plan

A retail business plan is a document that gives you and your potential investors a roadmap on how your new retail business intends to get started and deliver its business goals over its initial few years (usually 5 years).

It is usually broken down into sections about the company, the industry it operates in, the competition it will face and a plan that covers marketing, financials and operations over the first few years in business.

Also check out this one-page Business Model Canvas for a retail business .

Retail Business Plan Template

You can download this free retail business plan template from the link below. You will be able to edit the word file and export it into PDF format afterwards.

In the coming sections, we will explain the different components that go into the retail business plan, which you can then apply to your own plan when completing the template.

Retail Business Plan Template

Check out more free downloads .

Executive Summary

We recommend writing the executive summary at the end of the process, after you have filled out all the other sections in the retail business plan template.

In the executive summary you will cover the following points briefly:

  • Types of products sold at the store
  • Customers served by the store
  • Company mission & vision
  • Market share to be captured

You will also mention the total amount you will need to start this business, backed by the financial plan you prepared as part of this business plan.

The total amount that you want to borrow or have invested in your business will be the sum of pre-opening costs (initial inventory, equipment, rent,..) and the maximum negative cash flow as per your cash flow plan.

If you are writing this retail business plan for a financial institution to get a loan, mention how you expect to repay the loan, and you should have already included the loan installments in your financial plan.

If you are writing this plan for investors, mention how much equity they will receive in return for this investment and the expected return on investment, and expected cash distributions (dividends) based on your financial plan.

For example

An investment of 100,000$ in the business will result in the investor receiving 20% equity. We plan to distribute 50% of the profits every year, and based on our financial projections this will be a xx,xxx$ in the first year, xx,xxx$ in the second year, and xx,xxx$ in the third year,..etc.

Company Overview

Here you will write about your business and give a brief overview about the type of store you will be starting.

You can cover the following points:

  • Store category (e.g. beauty store, toy store)
  • Store location and brief description of the area
  • Product categories carried
  • Company legal structure

Industry Overview

Write an overview about the industry (retail/ecommerce) as a whole and the most recent trends specific to this industry.

Cover areas such as:

  • Total retail sales
  • Contribution of your retail category to the total sales (size of the market)
  • Online vs. Brick & Mortar trends
  • Recent industry trends and shifts in terms of products you are selling

You can find the most recent insights about retail in our Retail Statistics page.

Read Also: What is Retail ?

Target Market

Write about your target customers that you know will be interested in your products. Mention demographic and psychographic details in this section. This will help afterwards in drafting your marketing plan.

You can cover the following details:

  • Age bracket
  • Income level
  • Educational level
  • The specific needs that your products will fill for them

department store business plan pdf


  • Learn the fundamentals of marketing
  • See how they apply to buying, merchandising & pricing
  • Real-life case studies and examples


List the current competition in the market that are serving your target customers. Mention your top 3 competitors in your area.

You can also include indirect competition, such as online stores or marketplace sellers, if you think this might affect your business.

Cover information about:

  • No. of stores
  • Size of stores
  • Product categories they sell
  • Pricing level
  • Sales per day estimates
  • Strengths & Weaknesses

You can also create a summary table like the one below

Competitive Advantage

What will make customers leave the competition and come to you? Use the weaknesses areas that you mentioned about the competition in the previous section, and mention how you will improve on them.

This could be by:

  • Superior quality
  • Better prices
  • Convenience
  • More variety
  • Better shopping experience

Marketing Plan

Describe your marketing strategy for your store and which channels you are going to use.

Cover the following areas:

  • Brand Positioning
  • Branding Strategy (Persona, tone, language,..)
  • Product Strategy (Key products and product features that will attract your customers)
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Promotional Strategy
  • Marketing Channels

Operations Plan

Write how you will operate your store and include details about your manpower plan.

This will include the management that you will hire for the store, visual merchandisers, sales staff and cashiers.

Cover the following:

  • Management structure (store manager, supervisor,..)
  • Staff plan (3 sales associates, 2 cashiers, etc.)
  • Brief role descriptions
  • Compensation structure

Read Also: Retail Scheduling

department store business plan pdf


  • Managing Store Operations
  • Areas of Responsibility
  • Assessing & Managing Performance

Financial plan

List estimates for the capital you will need to start and financial projections for the following years.

Capital Needed

Start with how much capital you will need to start the business

This will include:

  • Initial rent
  • Initial product order (Inventory)
  • Initial staff salary
  • Store fixtures
  • Store equipment

Read Also: How Much Capital You Will Need For a New Retail Store?

Financial Projections

Include a 5-year financial projection for the business based on your forecasted sales and costs.

P&L Management Excel

  • Monthly income statement (P&L) for the first year
  • Yearly income statement for the following 4 years
  • Monthly cash flow projection for the first year

Learn how to create a sales budget for a new store, and 3 years financial projections in our Retail Budgeting Course

department store business plan pdf


  • The step by step retail budgeting process
  • Set monthly targets adjusted to seasonality
  • Templates download & practice exercise

Break Even Point

Include a snapshot of the 5-year P&L plan here and mention the SPD (sales per day) you need to breakeven, based on your P&L numbers.

We have created a sample table with retail data in the business plan template, and you can fill it with your own numbers.

Key Assumptions

Mention the assumptions you used for creating your financial projections.

For example , you assumed that sales per day for the first year will be 1000$ and then will grow by 20% in the second year, 15% in the third year and 10% in the fourth year, etc.

Retail Business Plan Tips

Sales projections.

We recommend being very realistic about your initial sales per day projections, as your entire financial plan will be directly affected by it.

When you then forecast your growth for the coming years, you should also be realistic about how much you will grow year-on-year.

From our experience, retail stores typically see higher growth after the first year and then this starts to level off from the third year onwards.

Having said that, there might be other growth drivers that can affect your business and accelerate your growth in the following years. This could be for example that your new store is in an area that is still under development and will be fully developed by the third year.

What we want to say is, do your due diligence thoroughly and based on that set realistic expectations.

Inventory Projections

The biggest asset you will hold and the biggest part of the investment/loan you will need to start your retail business will go for inventory.

So it is important to calculate your inventory needs correctly.

This will be based on your sales forecasts and the inventory turnover rate you expect or the forward stock cover you intend to maintain.

For example, if your inventory turnover target is 2, this means you maintain a 6 months cover. If your inventory turnover is 3, you maintain 4 months stock cover,..and so on.

We recommend checking out the benchmarks we have listed for different retail categories for inventory turnover and reading our complete Open to Buy guide to get started with calculating exactly how much inventory you will need.

Good luck in your new venture!



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  • Learn the best practices of the industry
  • Download ready-to-use professional templates
  • Get certificates of completion for each course
  • One membership = Access to all courses

More Resources

Thank you for reading this article on Retail Business Plan. We recommend the below free resources as well:

  • Retail Management
  • Starting a Retail Business
  • Buying a Retail Business

Join the academy and get all access to all our resources, which will help you manage your retail business more efficiently.


Learn how to manage a retail business end-to-end.

We’ve put together a curriculum, specifically designed for retail owners or retail professionals who want to advance into senior management roles.

Learn how to connect the dots of the business and take the basic knowledge to the next level of application . 

Departmental Store Business Plan Sample PDF Example | Free Download Presented by BizMove

Free business plan PDF download

Watch This Video Before Starting Your Departmental Store Business Plan PDF!

Checklist for Starting a Departmental Store Business: Essential Ingredients for Success

If you are thinking about going into business, it is imperative that you watch this video first! it will take you by the hand and walk you through each and every phase of starting a business. It features all the essential aspects you must consider BEFORE you start a Departmental Store business. This will allow you to predict problems before they happen and keep you from losing your shirt on dog business ideas. Ignore it at your own peril!

For more insightful videos visit our Small Business and Management Skills YouTube Chanel .

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Analyze all ads in relation to response

Divide ads into at least two classes: high-response ads and low-response ads. Then look for differences between the two classes.

The time the ad was broadcast or run may be responsible for a particular response level. Other factors, however, may be just as influential as time or even more so, though in radio time is often crucial.

Consider the message and how well it was expressed. Did the copy stick to the theme or did it wander? If you used slogans, did they help make the point? For print, consider the effects of illustrations, type, size, color, and ad location. In broadcast, consider whether or not the voice of the person doing the ad or music used may have had an effect.

Emphasis on brand names should also be checked. Price figures should be analyzed. If price lines are involved either in the ad or in the merchandise line of which the advertised product is a part, you should consider them also.

Check the effect of the length of broadcast ads. Did you get the best results with 10-second, 30-second, or 60-second announcements?

Check the size of print ads. Size often has a bearing on response. As a general rule, the larger the ad, the larger the response.

Try to see a pattern of dominance

Your analysis of high-and-low response ads, may show that certain details make the difference between a high or low response. Try to find the combinations which work best for your firm and merchandise.

Note changes occurring over time

You should never take a winning combination for granted. There is no single formula that will insure high response ads every time. Advertising changes. Therefore, you should watch the ads of others to see what changes are occurring. Continue to analyze your own ads, make small changes occasionally, and note any variations in response.

Listen to what people say about your ads

In doing so, try to discover your mental framework within which any comment about your ad was made. Then try to find points which reinforce believability and a feeling that your product fulfills some wish or need.

However, you should not be misled by what people say. An ad can cause a great deal of comment and bring in practically no sales. An ad may be so beautiful or clever that as far as the customer is concerned the sales message is lost.

When You Use Several Media

When your ads appear simultaneously in different media - such as the newspapers, on radio and television, in direct mail pieces, and as handbills - you should try to evaluate the relative effectiveness of each. You can check one printed medium against the other by using companion ( the same or almost identical) ads in the newspapers, direct mail, and handbills.

You can make the job of analyzing and comparing results from the media easier by varying your copy - the message. Your ad copy, thus, becomes the means of identifying your ad response.

You can check broadcast media - radio and TV - by slanting your message. Suppose, for example, that you advertise an item at 20 percent reduction. Your radio or TV ad might say something like this; "Come in and tell us you want this product at 20 percent off."

You can compare these responses with results from your "20 percent off" newspaper ad. Require the customer to bring in the newspaper ad - or a coupon from it.

Some of the ways to vary the copy are; a combination of the brand name with a word or some words indicating the product type; tone of voice; speed of delivery; picture variation; size variations; and color variations. Check your printed ads against each other as well as against your radio and TV ads.

Be careful that the copy variation is not so great that a different impression is received from each medium. Here you would, in effect, have two different ads.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Advertising Results

Even one ad or commercial or highway poster can result in sales for one product and attention for your business. You should remember, however, that a series of ads that are related will result in sales over a longer period of time than the campaign lasts. Your business name will become very much better know. Your expenditures for advertising therefore, should be scheduled over a period of three, six, and twelve months. Avoid deciding to advertise this week and putting off the decision about when you will next advertise.

Where to Get Help

Most newspaper offices have at least one person who can help you plan the overall layout, design of your ad, provide illustrations for your ad, and make suggestions about the copy that will be contained in the ad. Radio stations will frequently help write copy and provide a music background for the commercial. Television stations may produce your commercial, usually for a fee. Outdoor advertising agencies may paint or design a poster or bulletin for you, again at a price. Specialty advertising firms may recommend gift items, some at very low cost.

Many small towns, as well as all cities, will have one or more advertising agencies that are organized to create and place retail advertising for advertisers.

These agencies will probably charge you a specific fee, as local media may not pay an ad agency fee.

If a college, university or other school is near you, you might find that students will be happy to create your ads and even plan your campaign.

ToBefore opening your Company you Need to decide upon the general price Level you expect to keep. Are you going to appeal to individuals buying in the high, moderate, or low budget? Your choice of location, look of your institution, quality of goods handled, and services to be provided will depend on the customers you would like to attract, and so will your prices. After establishing this general price level, you are ready to price Individual products. Generally, the price of an item must cover the cost of this item, the other expenses, and a profit. Therefore, you'll have to markup the thing by a certain sum to cover costs and make a profit. In a business that sells few things, total prices can easily be allocated to each product and a markup quickly ascertained. With a variety of items, allocating costs and determining markup might need an accountant. In retail operations, goods tend to be marked up by 50 to 100 per cent or more simply to make a 5 percent to 10% profit! Let's work through a markup example. Suppose your organization sells One product, Product A. The provider sells Product A for you for $5.00 each. You and your accountant decide the prices involved in selling Product A are $4.00 per item, and you desire a $1 per item gain. What is your markup? Well, the sale price is: $5 plus $4 plus $1 or $10; the markup consequently is 5. As a percent, it is 100%. So you have to markup Merchandise A by 100% to make a 10% profit! Many small business managers are interested in knowing what Industry markup norms are for a variety of products. Wholesalers, distributors, trade associations and business research firms publish a massive variety of such ratios and company statistics. They're useful as recommendations. Another ratio (in addition to the markup percent ) important to small businesses is your Gross Margin Percentage. The GMP is similar to your markup percent but whereas markup Refers to the percentage over the price to you of each product that you must set the selling price so as to cover all other costs and make profits, the GMP shows the relationship between sales revenues minus the expense of the item, which is your gross profit margin, along with your earnings earnings. Exactly what the GMP is telling you is your markup bears a certain relationship to your sales earnings. The markup percentage and the GMP are essentially the same formula, together with the markup referring to individual product pricing and GMP referring to the item costs times the amount of items sold (volume). Perhaps an illustration will clarify the purpose. Your company sells Product Z. It costs you .70 each and you choose to sell it for $1 each to cover costs and gain. Your markup is 43%. Now let up state you sold 10,000 Merchandise Z's Last month hence producing $10,000 in earnings. Your price to purchase Product Z was 7000; your gross profit margin was $3,000 (earnings minus cost of goods sold). This is also your gross markup for the month's volume. Your GMP would be 30 percent. Both of these percentages use the exact same basic amounts, differing only in branch. Both are used to set up a pricing system. And both are printed and can be utilized as guidelines for smaller firms starting out. Often managers determine what Gross Margin Percentage they'll need to make a profit and just visit some printed Markup Table to discover the percent markup which correlates with that margin requirement. While this discussion of pricing might appear, in certain respects, to Be directed only to the pricing of retail merchandise it can be applied to other types of companies too. For solutions the markup has to pay for selling and administrative costs as well as the direct cost of performing a specific service. If you're producing a product, the costs of direct labour, supplies and materials, parts purchased from different concerns, special tools and equipment, plant overhead, selling and administrative expenses have to be carefully anticipated. To calculate a price per unit requires an estimate of the number of units you intend to produce. Before your factory gets too big it would be wise to consult a lawyer about a cost accounting system. Not all items are marked up from the average markup. Luxury articles Will require more, staples less. For instance, increased sales volume by a lower-than-average markup on a certain thing - a"loss leader" - can bring a greater gross profit unless the purchase price is lowered too much. Then the consequent increase in sales won't raise the entire gross profit enough to compensate for the low price. Sometimes you may wish to market a certain item or service at a lesser Markup so as to increase store traffic with the hope of increasing earnings of Regularly priced product or generating a high number of new support contracts. Competitors' costs will also regulate your prices. You cannot sell a Product if your competition is greatly underselling you. These and other Factors Can make you vary your markup one of items and services. There's no magic Formula that will work on every item or every service all the time. However, You ought to remember the general average markup which you want to generate a Gain.

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department store business plan pdf

Retail Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky Retail Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their retail businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a retail business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your retail business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Retail Business Plan

retail clothing

Sources of Funding for Retail Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a retail business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a retail business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. 

Venture capitalists will not fund a retail business. They might consider funding a chain, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could rarely achieve such results.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Retail business plan template example.

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

retail business plan merchandise

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of retail store you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a retail business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of retail businesses.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the retail industry. Discuss the type of retail store you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of retail business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Speciality Store – a store with a tight focus (e.g., hip apparel for women)
  • Off-Priced/Used Goods Store – sells massively discounted or used products
  • Department Store – often located at a mall and offer tons of products (e.g., Macy’s)
  • Supermarket – focuses primarily on food items
  • Convenience Store – offers just the most popular items a supermarket offers in a much smaller location
  • Drug Store/Pharmacy – primarily offer medicines and medical products
  • Discount Store – offer large inventories at low prices (e.g., Walmart)
  • Hypermarket – offer many food and non-food items often in large quantities at a discount (e.g., Costco)
  • E-commerce – offers products for sale online (e.g., Amazon)

retail business salesperson

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the retail business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the retail industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards local retail businesses with online counterparts, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for a significant online presence.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your retail business plan:

  • How big is the retail business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in your local market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your retail business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of your niche’s market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

retail lighting

The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of retail business you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most retail businesses primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other retail businesses. They are most likely local businesses who sell similar items to you.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. You most likely will have online competitors; companies that sell the same or similar items to you, but which operate online.

retail business shop owner

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. Look at review websites to gain this information.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior products or services?
  • Will you provide products that your competitors don’t?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

retail business plan merchant

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of retail business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your retail business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your retail business located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to operate kiosks, detail the locations where the kiosks will be placed.

Promotions : the final part of your retail business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your storefront extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites 
  • Partnerships with local organizations
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your retail business such as serving customers, procuring inventory, keeping the store clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 5,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

store owner

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the retail business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in retail businesses and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your retail business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, you may need to purchase inventories now that you can’t sell (and get paid for) for several months. During those months, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a retail business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of fixtures
  • Cost of initial inventory
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint or location lease.

Retail Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your retail business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert on retail business planning and know everything you need about writing a retail store business plan. You will really understand the retail business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful retail store.

Download Our Retail Business Plan PDF

You can download our retail business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.  

Retail Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my retail business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Retail Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Retail Business Plan PDF?

You can download our retail business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Retail business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how a Growthink business planning consultant can create your business plan for you.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Use This Simple Business Plan Template

department store business plan pdf

It should be noted that there is no special software required to use these templates. All business plans come in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel format. Each business plan features:

  • Excecutive Summary
  • Company and Financing Summary
  • Products and Services Overview
  • Strategic Analysis with current research!
  • Marketing Plan
  • Personnel Plan
  • 3 Year Advanced Financial Plan
  • Expanded Financial Plan with Monthly Financials
  • Loan Amortization and ROI Tools
  • FREE PowerPoint Presentation for Banks, Investors, or Grant Companies!

1.0 Executive Summary

The purpose of this business plan is to raise $3,000,000 for the development of a department store while showcasing the expected financials and operations over the next three years. Department Store, Inc. (“the Company”) is a New York based corporation that will sell clothing, electronics, appliances, and household items from its large retail location its customers in its targeted market. The Company was founded by John Doe.

1.1 Products and Services

Through the Department Store, the business will offer the general public a number of products that are found throughout many different types of stores. The business will carry thousands of items across many brand names. The business will maintain the following divisions within the market: • Household appliances • Electronics • Clothes • Jewelry • General household merchandise The third section of the business plan will further describe the services offered by the Department Store.

1.2 The Financing

Mr. Doe is seeking to raise $3,000,000 from an investor. The terms of this agreement are to be discussed during negotiations. However, Management anticipates that the business will sell an equity position in the business coupled with a seat on the board of directors. The financing will be used for the following: • Development of the Company’s Department Store location. • Financing for the first six months of operation. • Capital to purchase the Company’s inventory.

1.3 Mission Statement

The Department Store’s mission is to become the recognized leader in its targeted market for providing a broad array of items at a reasonable cost.

1.4 Mangement Team

The Company was founded by John Doe. Mr. Doe has more than 10 years of experience in the retail management industry. Through his expertise, he will be able to bring the operations of the business to profitability within its first year of operations.

1.5 Sales Forecasts

Mr. Doe expects a strong rate of growth at the start of operations. Below are the expected financials over the next three years.

1.6 Expansion Plan

The Founder expects that the business will aggressively expand during the first three years of operation. Mr. Doe intends to implement marketing campaigns that will effectively target individuals within the target market.

2.0 Company and Financing Summary

2.1 Registered Name and Corporate Structure

Department Store, Inc. The Company is registered as a corporation in the State of New York.

2.2 Required Funds

At this time, the Department Store requires $3,000,000 of investor funds. Below is a breakdown of how these funds will be used:

2.3 Investor Equity

This is to be further discussed during negotiations.

2.4 Management Equity

2.5 Exit Strategy

If the business is very successful, Mr. Doe may seek to sell the business to a third party for a significant earnings multiple. Most likely, the Company will hire a qualified business broker to sell the business on behalf of the Department Store. Based on historical numbers, the business could fetch a sales premium of up to 4 times earnings.

3.0 Products and Services

3.1 General Household Products

The primary business unit of the Department Store will be the general household products section, where the business will feature a number of products including small kitchen appliances, dishware, general gardening supplies, silverware, and other related products. Approximately 25% of the Company’s revenues will come from this aspect of the business.

3.2 Electronics

Mr. Doe intends to carry a number of mid to high end brands of TVs, computers, MP3 players, cameras, computer peripherals, and related accessories. Mr. Doe intends to source these inventories for regional and national level wholesalers and distributors so that the Company’s ordering processes are as streamlined as possible while concurrently obtaining the best wholesale prices for these products.

4.0 Strategic and Market Analysis

4.1 Economic Outlook

This section of the analysis will detail the economic climate, the department store industry, the customer profile, and the competition that the business will face as it progresses through its business operations. Currently, the economic market condition in the United States is moderate. The meltdown of the sub prime mortgage market coupled with increasing gas prices has led many people to believe that the US is on the cusp of a double dip economic recession. This slowdown in the economy has also greatly impacted real estate sales, which has halted to historical lows. However, department stores tend to operate with great economic stability as people will continue to purchase needed homewares in any economic climate.

4.2 Industry Analysis

Within the United States, three are approximately 9,000 department stores in operation. Each year, these businesses aggregately generate more than $500 billion of revenues while providing jobs for more than 2.9 million people. In each of the last five years, annual payrolls have exceeded $50 billion. This is a mature industry, and the anticipated future growth rate will remain in line with that of the general economy.

4.3 Customer Profile

The Company expects that the average customer of the Department Store will have the following demographics: • Household/family income of $25,000 to $75,000 per year (in US Dollars) or less. • Has a family of four or five people. • Will regularly use the Company’s store once a quality rapport has been developed. Through these demographics, the Company will structure its advertising and marketing campaigns to appeal to the above demographics.

4.4 Competitive Analysis

This is one of the sections of the business plan that you must write completely on your own. The key to writing a strong competitive analysis is that you do your research on the local competition. Find out who your competitors are by searching online directories and searching in your local Yellow Pages. If there are a number of competitors in the same industry (meaning that it is not feasible to describe each one) then showcase the number of businesses that compete with you, and why your business will provide customers with service/products that are of better quality or less expensive than your competition.

5.0 Marketing Plan

The Department Store intends to maintain an extensive marketing campaign that will ensure maximum visibility for the business in its targeted market. Below is an overview of the marketing strategies and objectives of the Company.

5.1 Marketing Objectives

• Establish relationships with wholesalers within the regional market.

• Implement a local campaign with the Company’s targeted market via the use of flyers, local newspaper advertisements, and word of mouth advertising.

• Develop an online presence by developing a website and placing the Company’s name and contact information with online directories.

5.2 Marketing Strategies

Retail marketing will be the most difficult portion of the marketing strategy. This is because one of the essential elements to reaching a retail audience is that the Company must build a brand affinity with the customer. Management fully expects to enlist the help of a local marketing firm to reach the Company's targeted consumer. The department store industry is an extremely competitive market, and as such, the Management of Department Store, Inc. will need to develop a marketing program that creates a branded image edge over its competition. The Company will maintain a moderate level of traditional print and media advertising, which will be exclusively geared towards the Department Store’s consumer. These traditional advertisements include billboards and distribution of flyers/circulars in controlled circulation publications. This will ensure that the target audience is continually aware of Department Store’s grand openings and regular discount promotions. Finally, the business will develop a small online platform (registered with several online directories) so that people can easily find the Company’s location by searching (via sites like Google, Yahoo, etc.) for department stores.

5.3 Pricing

In this section, describe the pricing of your services and products. You should provide as much information as possible about your pricing as possible in this section. However, if you have hundreds of items, condense your product list categorically. This section of the business plan should not span more than 1 page.

6.0 Organizational Plan and Personnel Summary

6.1 Corporate Organization

6.2 Organizational Budget

6.3 Management Biographies

In this section of the business plan, you should write a two to four paragraph biography about your work experience, your education, and your skill set. For each owner or key employee, you should provide a brief biography in this section.

7.0 Financial Plan

7.1 Underlying Assumptions

• The Owner will acquire $3,000,000 of debt funds to develop the business.

• Department Store, Inc. will have an annual revenue growth rate of 7% per year.

7.2 Sensitivity Analysis

The Company’s revenues are not sensitive to changes in the general economy. People demand certain department store items as a necessity, and the business only expects that an economic catastrophe could result in decreases in revenue. The Company’s programs for general merchandise will ensure that Department Store, Inc. continues to thrive despite deleterious changes in the general economy.

7.3 Source of Funds

7.4 General Assumptions

7.5 Profit and Loss Statements 

7.6 Cash Flow Analysis

7.7 Balance Sheet

7.8 General Assumptions

7.9 Business Ratios

Expanded Profit and Loss Statements

Expanded Cash Flow Analysis

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Shopping Mall Business Plan

MAR.17, 2023

1. Shopping Mall Business Plan Sample and Template

This business plan for building a shopping mall can be a great resource for entrepreneurs looking to start their own shopping mall.

It provides an overview of the mall’s structure, operations, and financials to help them understand the market and make well-informed decisions.

Lastly, it includes a marketing strategy that outlines how to start a shopping mall and how it will differentiate itself from the competition, which can be used for various business plans like Supermarket Business Plan .

2. Executive Summary

Business overview.

The Arcade Shopping Mall is a one-stop shopping destination for quality products and services. It will offer its customers various products and services, from clothing, electronics, and health and beauty to entertainment and leisure activities. The small shopping mall business plan will also feature a large food court, a play area for children, and a variety of specialty shops.

The mall will provide a safe, pleasant shopping experience for its customers and will strive to create a sense of community within the mall. The mall will be conveniently located in a densely populated area, making it easily accessible to customers.

We plan to use the latest technology to create an enjoyable, stress-free shopping experience. Our mall will feature a variety of high-end stores, restaurants, and entertainment options, including a movie theater, bowling alley, and arcade. We plan to use innovative marketing strategies, such as social media campaigns and targeted advertising, to reach our target customers.

Our Wholesaling Business Plan offers a wide variety of products for customers. We offer a selection of luxury and everyday items, including

  • Clothing and Apparel: T-shirts, jeans, dresses, jackets, activewear, sweaters, and accessories.
  • Footwear: Athletic shoes, sandals, boots, and dress shoes.
  • Electronics: Phone accessories, tablets, laptops, headphones, and speakers.
  • Home Goods: Furniture, bedding, kitchenware, and home décor.
  • Beauty Products: Makeup, skincare, hair care, and fragrances.
  • Jewelry: Watches, necklaces, rings, and earrings.
  • Toys: Action figures, dolls, and educational toys.
  • Sporting Goods: Exercise equipment, team sports gear, and outdoor recreation gear.
  • Books and Movies: Books, DVDs, and video games.

Customer Focus

Same as our Sandwich Shop Business Plan , we will ensure that our customers are always our top priority. We will provide excellent customer service in all aspects of our business. We will ensure that our customers always have access to the products and services they need. We will strive to create an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. We will also use customer feedback to continuously improve our services and products.

Management Team

Our management team will consist of experienced professionals from various backgrounds. We will have a team of experienced managers and supervisors who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the shopping mall. Compared to our Food Truck Business Plan , we will also have a team of experienced marketing and sales professionals responsible for driving customer traffic and sales.

Success Factors

Our success will depend on several factors, including our ability to provide excellent customer service, our ability to source high-quality products and services, and our ability to market our products and services effectively. We will also need to be able to manage our operations and finances effectively. Additionally, we will need to be able to develop and maintain relationships with our suppliers and vendors.

Financial Highlights

Our financial highlights include revenue projections, capital and investment requirements, and estimated profits. In the business plan shopping mall project, we will generate revenue from selling products and services and tenant rent payments. We will also have initial capital and investment requirements to construct the shopping mall and purchase equipment and supplies. Our expected profits will depend on the success of our operations and our ability to generate customer traffic.

  • Revenue growth of 8.5% year over year
  • Operating profit of £5.0 million in Year 1
  • Positive cash flow from operations of £2.5 million in Year 1
  • Total capitalization of £20 million
  • Debt-to-equity ratio of 1.0:1
  • Return on equity of 15% in Year 1
  • Payback period of 5 years

3. Company Overview

Who is arcade shopping mall.

Arcade Shopping Mall is a modern shopping complex located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. The mall offers a wide variety of goods and services and has grown to become a destination for shoppers from all over the region. The mall is owned and operated by a private developer who has invested significant capital into the mall to keep it competitive and up-to-date.

Arcade Shopping Mall History

Arcade Shopping Mall was opened in the year 2020 and since then has quickly become a popular shopping venue. It is conveniently located near public transportation and other nearby amenities. The mall business proposal offers a wide selection of department stores, specialty shops, and an array of dining and entertainment options. The mall also features an indoor play area for children and a movie theater.

The mall has a management team that is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and creating a safe and comfortable shopping environment. The team works hard to ensure that the mall is clean and well-maintained and that customers have an enjoyable shopping experience. The mall also works to keep up with the latest trends and to stay ahead of the competition.

The mall has grown steadily since its opening, and the management team is always looking for ways to improve the mall and make it more appealing to potential customers. The mall is committed to providing an enjoyable shopping experience for all who visit.

The key elements of the business concept of Arcade Shopping Mall are:

  • Convenience: Arcade Shopping Mall provides customers with a convenient and easy-to-use shopping experience that can be accessed from any device.
  • Rewards: We offer a variety of rewards programs that allow customers to earn rewards points for their purchases and redeem them for discounts.
  • Variety: Our selection of products ranges from the world’s leading brands to unique and hard-to-find items.
  • Quality: We are committed to providing customers with the highest quality products and customer service.
  • Engagement: Our interactive shopping experience encourages customers to engage with our products and services.

4. Industry Analysis

The shopping mall industry has grown tremendously over the past several years, with the number of shopping malls in the United States nearly doubling since the 1980s. Shopping malls have become a staple of American consumer culture, providing various goods and services in one convenient location.

The global shopping mall industry is estimated to be worth £1.4 trillion in 2018, with the U.S. contributing the largest share of that figure. This growth is projected to continue, with the global market expected to reach £2.7 trillion by 2025. The growth is driven by several factors, including changing consumer preferences, technological advances, and an expanding global middle class.

The shopping mall industry is highly competitive and fragmented, with major players such as Simon Property Group, Westfield Corporation, and Brookfield Property Partners controlling a large market share. These companies operate large, regional shopping malls that are often the destination of choice for consumers.

Despite the competition, there is still room for smaller, locally-owned shopping malls to succeed. These malls can focus on providing a unique experience that appeals to local shoppers and differentiates them from larger national players. In addition, these malls can focus on providing services and amenities that larger malls may not have, such as specialty stores, local restaurants, and entertainment options.

Overall, the shopping mall industry is expected to remain a lucrative market for the foreseeable future. With the right approach, locally-owned malls can still achieve success in this crowded and competitive space.

5. Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

The target market for a shopping mall should be identified based on the location, the types of goods and services offered, and the demographic makeup of the local community. The demographic profile of the U.S. target market is highly diverse and includes a mix of gender, race, ethnicity, income level, and age. The U.S. population is estimated to be 329,064,917, with an estimated median age of 37.9 years. The population is 68.6% non-Hispanic White, 13.4% Hispanic, 13.3% African American, 5.9% Asian, and 4.3% of other races or multiple races. The average household income is estimated at £59,039, and the median is £50,895.

Customer Segmentation

Shopping malls should segment their customers based on their purchasing behaviors. For the shopping mall business plan, customer segmentation can be based on age, gender, income level, and geographic location. The segmentation can be further divided into sub-segments such as age (under 18, 18-25, 25-45, 45-65, and 65+), gender (male and female), income level (low, medium, and high), and geographic location (city, suburban, and rural). By segmenting the customers, the business can better understand the needs of each segment and develop marketing strategies to target specific segments.

6. Competitive Analysis

In developing a shopping center business plan, the shopping mall industry is highly competitive and there are a number of established players in the market. In order to succeed, our shopping mall business plan must consider the market competition and identify ways to differentiate our product offering and create a competitive advantage.

Direct and Indirect Competitors

Direct Competitors

The direct competitors of our shopping mall business plan include national and international shopping malls, department stores, specialty stores, and online retail outlets. We must consider the services, prices, location, and convenience factors that these competitors offer in order to compete effectively.

Indirect Competitors

Indirect competitors include other entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, amusement parks, and other leisure activities. We must consider how our shopping mall will provide unique experiences and services that will draw customers away from these competitors.

Competitive Advantage

It is important to identify the unique features and benefits the shopping mall offers to make it stand out from its competitors. Competitive advantages include low prices, convenient location, extensive product selection, and excellent customer service.

Our competitive advantage lies in our ability to offer a unique shopping experience. We will focus on creating an inviting atmosphere with high-quality customer service and an extensive selection of products and services. We will also focus on providing exclusive deals, discounts, and innovative shopping experiences, such as virtual reality tours and interactive displays.

7. Marketing Plan

The marketing plan for the shopping mall business model will focus on five key aspects:

  • Target market identification: The target market for this shopping mall business is consumers who are looking for a convenient, wide selection of products at competitive prices. The target market will consist of individuals with various income levels and spending habits.
  • Branding and positioning: The shopping mall will be positioned as a premier shopping destination offering an extensive selection of products at competitive prices. The brand will be associated with quality and value.
  • Marketing mix: The marketing mix for this shopping mall business will include traditional advertising, direct mail, online marketing, and public relations. The focus will be on reaching the target market and communicating the message of value and quality.
  • Professional website: The shopping mall will have a professional website with an e-commerce platform for online shopping. The website will feature information about the mall, including store listings, events, promotions, and more. The website will be optimized for search engines and will include social media links.
  • Promotions strategy: The promotions strategy for this shopping mall business will include discounts, coupons, loyalty programs, and special events. The promotions will drive traffic to the mall and increase sales. These promotions and discounts could include special offers on particular days, “buy one get one free” offers and more.

The direct competitors for this shopping mall business are other shopping malls in the area. These competitors include large retail stores, department stores, and other shopping centers. The indirect competitors are online retailers and other e-commerce sites.

Promotions Strategy

We plan to offer a variety of promotions to attract customers to our shopping mall. As the owner knows how to open a mall, he suggested, we will offer discounts and special offers on a regular basis to encourage customers to purchase products and services. We will also host events and activities, such as fashion shows, product launches, and special offers.

We plan to partner with local businesses and organizations to offer exclusive discounts and promotions to our customers. We will also employ loyalty programs to encourage repeat customers.

Our pricing strategy will be based on offering quality products and services at competitive prices. We will offer high-end products and services at premium prices and budget-friendly products and services at more affordable prices. We will also offer discounts and special offers on a regular basis to attract customers.

We plan to offer various payment options to make our products and services more accessible to our customers. We will accept cash, debit, and credit cards, as well as e-wallet payments.

8. Operations Plan

Operation functions.

Security: The mall must ensure that customer safety is a top priority. This will include having a security team on-site to monitor activity and respond to emergencies.

Maintenance: The mall will need a team to keep the building and grounds in good condition. This will include regular cleaning, repairs, and upkeep of the facility.

Customer Service: The mall must provide customers with an enjoyable shopping experience. This will include providing friendly, helpful service and responding to customer inquiries and complaints.

Marketing: The mall must have a marketing plan to promote the mall and attract customers. This will include advertising, public relations, social media, and other promotional activities.

Management: The mall will need to have a management team in place to oversee the day-to-day operations of the mall. This will include setting goals, creating policies, and ensuring the mall operates efficiently and profitably.

4/15/202X – Obtain Funding

4/22/202X – Develop Business Plan & Hire Professional Team

5/1/202X – Lease Property & Secure Necessary Permits

5/8/202X – Begin Construction

5/15/202X – Hire & Train Staff

5/22/202X – Finalize Construction & Buy Necessary Fixtures & Equipment

6/1/202X – Launch Marketing Campaign

6/8/202X – Open for Business

6/15/202X – Monitor & Evaluate Performance

9. Management Team

The management team of the shopping mall will include a team of highly-skilled professionals who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the mall.

Company Staff

The Company Staff consists of experienced professionals who are dedicated to providing superior customer service. The staff is responsible for ensuring that the mall is safe, clean, and enjoyable for customers.

  • VP of Retail
  • VP of Real Estate
  • Store Managers
  • Sales Associates
  • Support Staff
  • Maintenance Staff
  • Security Staff

10. Financial Plan

The financial plan for this shopping mall project is based on an initial investment of £10 million. This investment will be used to renovate the mall, purchase new inventory, and hire personnel to manage the mall. The investments will be made in the following areas:

  • Renovation: £3 million
  • Inventory: £2 million
  • Personnel: £2 million
  • Advertising/Marketing: £1 million
  • Legal Fees: £500,000
  • Miscellaneous: £1.5 million

The total cost of the project is estimated to be £10 million.

Key Revenue & Costs

The primary sources of revenue for the mall will come from rent from tenants, sales from tenants, and from other sources, such as parking fees and food court revenue. The mall is estimated to generate approximately £15 million in total annual revenue.

The primary costs for the mall will include rent for the space, personnel costs, and advertising/marketing costs. The mall is estimated to incur total annual costs of approximately £10 million.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

The total project cost is estimated at £10 million. To finance the project, the mall will need to secure loans and/or equity investments. It is estimated that approximately £7 million in financing will need to be secured to cover the project’s cost.

The funds will be used as follows:

Key Assumptions

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To successfully launch and operate the mall, the following assumptions will need to be made:

The mall will have a total of 140,000 square feet of retail space, including anchor stores and smaller shops.

The start-up costs for the project will be approximately £15 million.

The mall will be open for business 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

The mall’s primary target market will be middle-income shoppers in the local area.

The mall will have an initial occupancy rate of 75%, with an average rent of £25/square foot.

The mall will offer amenities such as a food court, movie theater, and play area.

A team of experienced retail professionals will manage the mall.

The mall will generate approximately £20 million in gross sales in its first year of operation.

The mall will generate a positive cash flow by the end of its first year of operation.

The mall will have an average annual occupancy rate of 90% over the next five years.

Financial Projections

All tables in PDF

  • What is a shopping mall business plan? A shopping mall business plan is a document that outlines the operational and financial objectives of a shopping mall. It typically includes market analysis, marketing strategies, financial projections, operational details, and other information necessary to start and operate a successful shopping mall. The plan should also outline strategies for managing the mall, including leasing strategies, customer service, and marketing.
  • Strip mall : A strip mall, also known as a strip center, is a shopping center that consists of a row of storefronts, typically with surface parking in front.
  • Enclosed mall: An enclosed mall, or indoor mall, is an indoor shopping center that usually features a variety of stores and restaurants.
  • Outlet mall: An outlet mall is a shopping center that features discounted, name-brand merchandise from various stores.
  • Super regional mall: A super-regional mall is a large shopping center with numerous department stores, specialty stores, and restaurants.
  • Lifestyle mall: A lifestyle mall is a shopping center with a mix of upscale retailers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and services.
  • What are the main sources of revenues and expenses for a shopping mall? The main sources of revenue for a shopping mall include retail sales from stores, rental income from tenants, and income from food courts and other amenities. Retail sales are generated from the stores within the mall, which typically includes clothing stores, shoe stores, and other specialty shops. Rental income is generated from tenants who pay to occupy space in the mall. Finally, income from food courts, movie theaters, and other amenities can be a significant source of revenue. The main expenses for a shopping mall include property taxes, rent payments, utilities, maintenance costs, and marketing expenses. Property taxes are typically based on the assessed value of the mall’s property. Rent payments are made to the mall’s landlord and to the tenants who occupy space in the mall. Utilities include electricity, water, sewer, and other services. Maintenance costs include the repair and upkeep of the mall’s grounds and facilities. Finally, marketing expenses include advertising, promotions, and other activities to attract customers to the mall.
  • How do you get funding for your shopping mall business plan? One of the most common ways to fund a shopping mall business plan is to approach investors. This can be done through a variety of options, such as through angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity firms, and crowdfunding platforms. Through these sources, investors can provide funding in exchange for equity in the business, meaning that they will be part-owners of the mall. Additionally, some investors may provide debt financing, which involves the mall receiving a loan from the investor that must be paid back, usually with interest. Other sources of funding may include grants and government programs, bank loans, and personal savings.

Download Shopping Mall Business Plan in PDF

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Home » Sample Business Plans » Wholesale & Retail

How to Write a Retail Store Business Plan [Sample Template]

Are you about starting a retail business? If YES, here’s a complete sample online retail store business plan template & feasibility report to help you get started. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a retail store. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample retail store marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for retail stores. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start a Retail Store?

There are times when one might not be disposed to buy stuff in bulk. This might be due to financial constraint or other contingencies. This is one of the reasons why retail outlets are scattered all over the world. They know the importance of reaching all and sundry, and that is why they want to provide services that can reach all classes of people.

Those who are already in the trade know the huge profit levels which they attain always. If you have decided to start a retail business, then good news is that you are in a profitable trade, as nearly all the type of goods that are being dealt in is such that is important to all

A Sample Retail Store Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

When we talk about retailing, we talk about a business that deals in loads of consumer goods; which can be categorized into three major areas. These categories are: general merchandise, apparel, and furniture. In other words, retailers are engaged in the selling of finished goods; they get the goods from the manufacturers and they sell to the end users (consumers).

Retail goods can also be categorized into durable goods and non – durable goods. Durable goods are goods such electronics, computers and accessories, furniture, and other large appliances et al and non – durable goods are good such as food, toiletries, drinks, beauty products, jewelry, clothing and shoes et al.

The retail industry is a major sector of the economy of the united states which generates a whooping sum of well over trillion annually from more than a million retail outlets scattered all around the United States of America.

The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 15 million people which is about 12% of the workforce of the U.S. published that in 2014 alone, the retailing industry on a global scale generated a revenue of well over $22 trillion; it goes to show that the industry is indeed a very large industry.

It is a fact that an estimated two-thirds of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail consumption. This is why the United States of America’s economy is measured with the yardstick of how well the retailing business is fairing in the U.S. In essence, when there is an unstable economy, purchasing power drops and it impacts the retailing industry negatively which may result in the closure of some retail stores.

In recent time, the retail landscape has seen tremendous changes in the last 20 years; it has grown from the usual mom and pop outlets to a more organized and far reaching venture. The introduction of franchise and online store makes it easier for a retailer to reach out to a larger market far beyond the areas where his physical store is located.

It is interesting to note that more retail shops; especially lager retail outlets have started to include self-serve checkout lanes in their stores. It creates shorter lines that appeal to consumers; the average customer would not want to stay longer on queue.

Over and above, the retail industry is a profitable industry and it is open to any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can chose to start on a small scale in a street corner like the average mom and pop business or you can chose to start on a large scale with several outlets in key cities.

2. Executive Summary

People’s Choice Retail Shop is a retail shop that will be located in one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio. We have been able to lease a facility that is big enough to fit into the design of the retail shop that we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece directly opposite the largest residential estate in Columbus, Ohio.

Our retail shop will retail a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices from different brands. We retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, baby stuffs, children’s toys, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

We are aware that there are several large and small retail outlets all around Columbus, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey, so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering. We have sell service options for our customers, and our outlet is well secured with the various payment options.

Much more than selling the goods and products of top brands in the manufacturing industry, our customer care is second to none in the whole of Columbus, Ohio. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business, and that is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they visit our retail shop and also to become our loyal customers and ambassadors.

People’s Choice Retail Shop will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our shop. We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers, no matter how large the numbers of our customers base. We will ensure that we get our customers involved in the selection of brands that will be on our racks and also when make some business decisions.

We are aware of the trend in the retail industry and we are not only going to operate a system where our customers would have to come to our shop to make purchase or whatever they want but we will also operate an online store and our customers can order goods online and they will get it delivered to their houses or any location they want us to deliver the goods to within Ohio.

People’s Choice Retail Shop is a family business that is owned by Bob Wesley and Family. Although the business is launching out with just one outlet in Columbus, Ohio, but there is a plan to open other outlets all around Ohio.

3. Our Products and Services

People’s Choice Retail Shop is in the retailing industry and we will ensure we go all the way to make available a wide range of goods and products from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world.

We will have available in our store a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices. We retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, children’s toys, baby stuffs, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a one stop retail shop in Columbus, Ohio and in other cities in Ohio.
  • Our mission is to establish a retail business that will make available a wide range of goods and products from top manufacturing brands at affordable prices to the residence of Columbus, Ohio and other cities in Ohio.

Our Business Structure

People’s Choice Retail Shop do not intend to start a retail business like the usual mom and pop business around the street corner; our intention of starting a retail business is to build a standard retail outlet in Columbus, Ohio. Although our retail business might not be as big as Wal-Mart or Marcy, but will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

We will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers).

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Store Manager

Merchandize Manager

Sales and Marketing Manager

Information Technologist

  • Accountants / Cashiers

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for recruitment
  • Responsible for payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Store Manager:

  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the restaurant
  • Ensures that the store facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Interfaces with third – party providers (vendors)
  • Controls the sales floor inventory
  • Ensures that goods and products are properly arranged
  • Supervises the entire sales staff and workforce
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO
  • Manages vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Helps to ensure consistent quality of goods and products on our rack
  • Responsible for the purchase of goods and products for the organizations
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
  • Ensures that the organization operates within stipulated budget.
  • Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Manages the organization website
  • Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
  • Responsible for installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the organization
  • Manage logistics and supply chain software, Web servers, e-commerce software and POS (point of sale) systems
  • Manages the organization’s CCTV
  • Handles any other technological and IT related duties.

Accountant / Cashier:

  • Receives payments on behalf of the organization
  • Issues receipt to customers
  • Prepares financial report at the end of every working week
  • Handles all financial transaction on behalf of the company
  • Interfaces with our bankers
  • Responsible for payment of tax, levies and utility bills
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO / store manager
  • Responsible for cleaning the store facility at all times
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Cleans both the interior and exterior of the store facility
  • Any other duty as assigned by the restaurant manager,

6. SWOT Analysis

Our intention of starting just one outlet of our retail store in Columbus, Ohio is to test run the business for a period of 2 to 5 years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then open other outlets all over Ohio. We are quite aware that there are several retail stores all over Columbus and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

People’s Choice Retail Store employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in retailing to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for People’s Choice Retail Store;

Our location, the business model we will be operating on (physical store and online store), varieties of payment options, wide range of products and our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for People’s Choice Retail Store.

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new retail outlet and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi – billion dollars retail outlets like Wal-Mart and co when it comes to retailing at a rock bottom prices for all their goods.

  • Opportunities:

The fact that we are going to be operating our retail store in one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio, provides us with unlimited opportunities to sell our goods to a large number of people. We have been able to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey and we know what our potential clients will be looking for when they visit our retail outlets; we are well positioned to take on the opportunities that will come our way.

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new retail outlet in same location where ours is located.


  • Market Trends

Retailing business has been in existence for as long as humans started trading goods, but one thing is certain, the retailing industry is still evolving. The introduction of technology and subsequently online retail store has indeed helped in reshaping the industry.

It is now a common phenomenon for retail outlets to leverage on technology to effectively predict consumer demand patterns and to strategically position their shop to meet their needs; in essence, the use of technology help retailers to maximize supply chain efficiencies. No doubt data collected from customers goes a long way to help retail shops serve them better.

Another common trend in the retailing industry is the pricing system. Aside from having varieties of products in a store, one of the easiest ways for retail stores to sell the goods on their racks as fast as they can and keep re – stocking is to ensure that the prices of their goods are a bit lower than what is obtainable elsewhere. For example; it is common to see items with prices in this format; $3.99, $99 and $199 et al as against $4, $100 and $200.

Retailers also engage in massive clearance sales and discount sales to attract customers. It is a strategy that helps them welcome new customers and also reinforce the loyalty of old customers.

8. Our Target Market

Perhaps the retailing industry has the widest range of customers; everybody on planet earth has one or more things that they would need in a retail shop. It is difficult to find people around who don’t patronize retail shops.

In view of that, we have positioned our retail store to service the residence of Columbus, Ohio and every other location our retail stores will be located all over Ohio. We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us. We are in business to retail a wide range of products to the following groups of people;

  • Corporate Executives
  • Business People
  • About to wed couples
  • Expectant Mothers
  • Sports Men and Women

Our Competitive Advantage

People’s Choice Retail Store is launching a standard retail shop that will indeed become the preferred choice of residence of Columbus, Ohio. Our retail store is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Columbus, Ohio. We have enough parking space that can accommodate well over 100 cars per time.

One thing is certain; we will ensure that we have a wide range of products available in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our store and not see the product that they are looking for. One of our business goal is to make People’s Choice Retail Store a one stop shop. Our excellent customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for us.


  • Sources of Income

People’s Choice Retail Shop is in business to retail a wide range of products to the residence of Columbus, Ohio. In essence, our source of income will be the retailing of a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices. We will retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, children’s toys, baby stuff, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

10. Sales Forecast

It is important to state that our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies, market survey and also some of the assumptions readily available on the field. One thing is common with retailing business, the larger a retail store the larger the numbers of customers that will patronize them.

Although we may not be as large as Wal-Mart, but we will ensure that within our capacity we make available a wide range of goods from different manufacturing brands in our retail outlet. Below are the sales projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of operations;

  • First Year-: $200,000
  • Second Year-: $450,000
  • Third Year-: $700,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location for People’s Choice Retail Store, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to be able to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice for residence of Columbus, Ohio. We have a detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the numbers of customers we want to attract per time.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the retail industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Columbus, Ohio. In order to continue to be in business and grow, we must continue to sell the products that are available in our store which is why we will go all out to empower or sales and marketing team to deliver.

In summary, People’s Choice Retail Store will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters to residence, business owners and organizations
  • Promptness in bidding for contracts
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages ads
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Direct marketing
  • Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our retail store is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. We are going to explore all available means to promote our retail store. People’s Choice Retail Store has a long term plan of opening outlets in various locations all around Ohio which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Columbus before venturing out.

As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for winning customers over but to effectively communicate our brand. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise People’s Choice Retail Store;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Columbus, Ohio
  • Engage in road show from time to time
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where our retail store is located.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Pricing is one of the key factors that give leverage to retail stores, it is normal for consumers to go to places (retail outlets) where they can goods at cheaper price which is why big player in the retail industry like Wal-Mart will attract loads of consumers. Products in their store are tagged with the cheapest price you can get anywhere in the United States.

We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with Wal-Mart or any other big retail store, but we will ensure that the prices of all the products that are available in our store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst retail stores within our level.

  • Payment Options

Our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that will be available in every of our outlets;

  • Payment by cash
  • Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
  • Payment via online bank transfer (online payment portal)
  • Payment via Mobile money

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our payment plans without any itches.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

This is the key areas where we will spend our start – up capital;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Ohio – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of People’s Choice Retail Store in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • Cost for hiring Consultant – $2,500 .
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • Cost for payment of rent for 12 month at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $105,600.
  • Cost for Shop remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of products) – $100,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case) – $3,720
  • Cost for serving area equipment (plates, glasses, flatware) – $3,000
  • Cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • Cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $10,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $4,000 .
  • The cost of Launching a Website: $600
  • The cost for our opening party: $7,000
  • Miscellaneous: $10,000

We would need an estimate of $500,000 to successfully set up our retail store in Columbus, Ohio. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

Generating Funding / Startup Capital for People’s Choice Retail Store

People’s Choice Retail Store is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Bob Wesley and family. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital to 3 major sources. These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from my Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 ( Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If any of these factors is missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

People’s Choice Retail Store will ensure that all the factors listed above are reinforced on a regular basis and also we will engage in continuous capacity building of our workforce. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more.

We will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that staff welfare is well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner.

Check List / Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check:>Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility and remodeling the shop: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • writing of business plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
  • Compilation of our list of products that will be available in our store: Completed
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of all our needed raw materials: In Progress

More on Wholesale & Retail

The Essential Guide to Retail Store Layouts that Shape the Customer Experience

By Kate Eby | October 26, 2017 (updated June 28, 2023)

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Although the retail industry is transforming as technology continues to shape the consumer landscape, the primary goals of a sound retail strategy have not changed: Deliver value in the supply chain and create a unique customer experience. The rebirth of retail stores — after years of digital disruption and economic challenges — is possible if retailers can successfully contend for their consumers’ attention, and in return, earn their business. One way to do this is to design a digital and physical retail environment that captures the overtaxed attention of consumers today.

In this article, you’ll learn about how retail customers predictably behave, why this behavior matters, and how you can influence it with a thought out store layout design. Use the navigation guide on the left to find a collection of essential retail floor plans and discover the pros and cons of each. If you’re ready to plan and design your store, jump ahead to the tips and best practices from professional retail designers, and browse through the design resources to help you imagine and create a new environment that captures your customer’s attention. 

What Is a Retail Store Layout?

A retail store layout (whether physical or digital) is the strategic use of space to influence the customer experience. How customers interact with your merchandise affects their purchase behavior. This retail principle is one of the many from Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, keynote speaker, and founder of Envirosell. 

The interior retail store layout has two important components:

  • Store Design: The use of strategic floor plans and space management, including furniture, displays, fixtures, lighting, and signage. Website designers and user experience (UX) researchers use space management techniques and web design principles to optimize e-commerce websites. We’ll further discuss a variety of popular retail floor plans later in this article.
  • Customer Flow: This is the pattern of behavior and way that a customer navigates through a store. Understanding customer flow and the common patterns that emerge when customers interact with merchandise based on the store layout is critical to retail management strategy. Physical retailers are able to track this using analytics software and data from in-store video and the wifi signal from smartphones. For example, solution providers like RetailNext provide shopper analytics software for retailers to understand flow and optimize the customer experience based on in-store video recordings. The technology also exists to track the digital customer flow and online shopping behavior. Using “cookies” and other software, online retailers can track customer behavior, including how customers interact with their website.  

While the exterior retail store layout includes exterior store design and customer flow, it also includes the following factors:

  • Geographic location of the retail store (real estate)
  • Size of the building and length of the walkways accessible from the entrance and exit
  • Use of furniture and exterior space for people to gather and interact
  • Style of architecture of the retail building
  • Color of paint and choice of exterior building materials 
  • Design of the physical entrance and exterior window displays

The objective of retail store design is to positively impact customer experience and create value, which is the primary goal of retailers in the supply chain. For more information on retail strategy and management read the article “ How to Survive and Thrive in Retail Management .” 

What Is Store Planning?

Store planning is the designing and optimizing of physical retail stores to upgrade customer experience and maximize sales. It involves determining the ideal store size, layout, fixture placement, signage, and product placement to create a visually appealing and engaging shopping environment.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Planning Store Layouts that Maximize Your Space

It is essential to understand your customer flow and the general patterns of navigation in your specific retail environment before you can optimize customer experience and plan a strategic store layout. Retailers, consultants, store planners, interior designers, and architects all use a variety of retail floor plans and concepts to influence customer flow and behavior. Retail giants along with small, independent retailers can improve customer experience, and in return, long-term profitability with efficient store layouts. In Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying, author Claus Ebster offers valuable insight into maximizing your retail space. 

Step One: Target The First Floor

The first step to maximize your profitable retail space might be the most unavoidable, however the principle and knowledge behind the customer behavior is crucial for understanding your overall design strategy. Ebster’s research indicates that customers prefer to navigate the floor of a retail store they initially entered. Walking up and down stairs or using elevators and escalators to navigate a store hurts customer flow. When possible, planning for a single floor store design will optimize the customer experience. Exceptions exist, such as downtown locations where real estate is at a premium or large department stores with multiple categories of merchandise. Further, Ebster points out that retailers should consider customer perception if they are a luxury retailer, as shoppers often associate multi-level stores as “elite.” Conversely, if a discount retailer is planning store layouts, as customers associate single floor layouts with “less high-end” merchandise. Consider your overall retail strategy and store layout design prior to selecting your store location. If you have multiple floors, account for the preferences of first floor shoppers by using this space for the feature or high-margin merchandise in your retail mix. 

Step Two: Identify Customer Flow

Ebster presents some general rules for customer traffic. Customer flow patterns vary depending on the type of retailer, the size of the store, and the target customer. Ebster encourages retailers to use their observations to discover the problems and opportunities unique to their environment. The next step in maximizing your space for profitability is identifying your customer flow. The most effective method for understanding your existing customer flow and identifying areas of opportunity is video recording and heat mapping analysis. This service is available via solution providers such as Prism (you can also do a quick online search for heat mapping consultant services in your area). However, setting aside different times of the day to make in-store observations in person and recording your notes is a step in the right direction for identifying customer flow patterns. 

Step Three: Avoid The Transition Zone

After you identify how your customers navigate your entire retail space, turn your attention back to the entrance. The transition zone area, coined the “decompression zone” by Underhill, refers to the space just beyond the entrance to a retail store. The average customer needs this space to transition so they can familiarize with the new environment. Underhill is adamant that nothing of value to the retailer, not high-margin merchandise, prominent signage, or brand information goes inside this zone. Customers need time, however brief, to adjust to new lighting, smells, the music, and the visual stimulation in the store. 

Step Four: Design for Clockwork Navigation

The next step moves beyond the transition zone and shifts the focus on how to leverage a customer’s tendency to navigate the retail environment. The area just outside of the transition zone is where most retailers make a first impression. Customers consistently turn right after entering the store and continue to navigate the store in a counterclockwise direction. Ebster points out that this customer behavior repeats itself time and again in consumer research. Although researchers and design professionals have different explanations for the reaction, in general, many recommend displaying high-margin merchandise and valuable information just to the right of the entrance (outside of the transition zone). Underhill popularized the “invariant right” and proved the effectiveness of the technique with thousands of hours of video. 

Step Five: Remove Narrow Aisles 

Finally, follow your customer flow through the transition zone and around the retail space in a counterclockwise pattern. Search for tight spaces or bottlenecks along aisles or around fixtures and displays. Repeated analysis of Underhill’s video research demonstrates that customers in the US — women in particular — value their personal space when shopping. If a customer is touched, bumped, or otherwise interrupted when interacting with merchandise, they are likely to move on from the items or exit the store altogether. Ebster uses customer behavior research from one study of a supermarket to further advocate for broader aisle design. Video analysis showed fewer customers entering narrow aisles in the store compared to the more expansive, accessible walkways. These aisles send positive signals to shoppers and positively impact customer flow and merchandise interaction. Avoid narrow aisles and corridors when planning your store layout and strive to protect customers from what Underhill coined as the “butt-brush effect.” 

Essential Retail Store Layouts

Once you research and understand how customers navigate your store, you can start influencing how they interact with the merchandise. The foundation for this strategy is the design of your store floor plan. To create an environment that strategically emphasizes the desired purchasing behavior, it is essential to use all of the floor space you have allotted for merchandise, base your layout on the principles of customer behavior, and not sacrifice customer flow for artistic taste. With these factors in mind, the following are common store layouts for your consideration.

Forced-Path Store Layout

Forced Path Store Layout

This layout directs the customer on a predetermined route through the retail store. As an example, Ebster uses furniture retailer IKEA to demonstrate the use of the forced-path store design. Research shows that, with this type of store layout , IKEA achieves a uniform and efficient customer flow that promotes higher sales. 

Ebster discusses the advantage of a forced-path layout: Every aisle in the store is maximized. With customers exposed to all of the merchandise offered, this design might entice the customer to make an unplanned purchase. However, he points out that using this store layout risks irritating shoppers that have a specific task and desired location, and could also overwhelm shoppers by hurrying them through an experience of customers all moving in one direction together, quickly.

Grid Store Layout

Grid Store Layout

The grid store layout design is a familiar, repetitive pattern favored by retail drugstores like Walgreens and hardware stores like Ace Hardware. According to Ebster, there are multiple advantages to the grid layout, including the following: 

  • Customers can move quickly through an efficient floor space using standard fixtures and displays. 
  • The presentation is uniform and comfortable due to its popularity, creating a seamless customer experience. 
  • Design simplifies inventory control for the retailer - a key to retail strategy that leverages store design to maximize profitability. 

However, the downside of this layout is the lack of aesthetics and the “sterile and uninspiring” environment often associated with its use. To counter this, Ebster recommends effective signage to guide customers and create a “cognitive map” of the store. 

Loop Store Layout

Loop Store Layout

Also known as the “racetrack” layout, think of the loop design as the “yellow brick road” of retail store layouts. Ebster uses this analogy to describe the way a loop store layout uses a path to lead customers from the entrance of the store to the checkout area. This is a versatile choice for store design when implemented with another layout style or used as a prominent feature of the retail store. Ebster recommends this layout for a larger retail space (over 5,000 square feet) and encourages a clear and visible loop for customer flow. 

Designers accomplish the loop effect by making the floor path a standout color, lighting the loop to guide the customer, or using a different floor material to mark the loop. Lines are not recommended, as they can be a psychological barrier to some customers, potentially discouraging them from stepping away from the loop and interacting with merchandise. Ebster encourages a loop design that rewards the customer with interesting visual displays and focal points on the way to the checkout area. 

Straight Store Layout 

Straight Store Layout

The straight store layout is efficient, simple to plan, and capable of creating individual spaces for the customer. Plus, a basic straight design helps pull customers towards featured merchandise in the back of the store. Merchandise displays and signage is used to keep customers moving and interested. 

Liquor stores, convenience stores, and small markets use the straight design efficiently. However, the drawback is the simplicity: Depending on how a customer enters the store and moves past the transition zone, it may be more difficult to highlight merchandise or draw them to a specific location. 

Diagonal Store Layout

Diagonal Store Layout

Just as the name implies, the diagonal store layout uses aisles placed at angles to increase customer sightlines and expose new merchandise as customers navigate through the space. A variation of the grid layout, the design helps guide customers to the checkout area. Small stores can benefit from this space management option, and it is excellent for self-service retailers because it invites more movement and better customer circulation. 

When the checkout is located in the center and possibly raised up, the diagonal layout offers better security and loss prevention due to the extra sightline effect. The downside of this layout is that it doesn’t enable the customer to shortcut toward specific merchandise, and the risk of narrow aisles is higher.  

Angular Store Layout

Angular Store Layout

The name of this design is deceptive, as the “angular” store layout relies on curved walls and corners, rounded merchandise displays, and other curved fixtures to manage the customer flow. Luxury stores use this layout effectively because, according to Herb Sorenson’s research from Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing, customers notice free-standing product displays 100 percent of the time (end cap displays - those at the end of aisles - also get noticed 100 percent of the time). 

There is a perception of higher quality merchandise that the angular layout leverages to target the appropriate customer behavior in that environment. And although this design sacrifices efficient space use, because of the rounded displays and limited shelf space, if a retailer has sufficient inventory storage away from the sales floor, this layout is useful in creating a unique perception. 

Geometric Store Layout  

Geometric Store Layout

Popular with retailers targeting trendy millennials and Generation Z demographics, a geometric layout offers artistic expression and function when combined with the appropriate displays and fixtures. The unique architecture of some retail stores, including wall angles, support columns, and different ceiling styles mix well with the uniqueness of a geometric layout. 

Merchandise displays and fixtures of various geometric shapes and sizes combine to make a statement, often as an extension of the retailer's overall brand identity. Clothing and apparel stores use a variety of environmental merchandising strategies (for example, music, scents, and artwork) with the geometric layout to enhance the customer experience.  

Mixed Store Layout

Mixed Store Layout

The mixed store layout uses design elements from multiple layouts to create a flexible option for retailers. Department stores use a compelling mix of straight, diagonal, and angular concepts, among other design elements, to create a dynamic flow through a range of departments featuring a variety of merchandise. 

Large grocery store chains also successfully combine mixed store layout elements. For example, customers have the flexibility to navigate through a grid layout for their basic groceries but feel compelled to search the angular displays featuring high-margin wine, beer, and imported cheeses. The advantages of combining different store layouts seems apparent, but the space and resource requirements to maintain this design can pose difficulties to retailers. 

What Is a Free Flow Store Layout?

Free Flow Store Layout

A free flow layout rejects typical design patterns and styles commonly used to influence customer behavior. In a free flow layout, the intent is not to lead the customer using predictable design patterns, displays, or signage. There are no specific design rules followed for this retail store design, and customers have more liberty to interact with merchandise and navigate on their own. For this reason, the free flow layout is sophisticated in its simplicity.

Ebster points out that customers feel less rushed in this creative environment. Retail stores look less sterile in the free flow design, and merchandise may seem more intriguing. The only limitation for retailers using this layout is the overall space available, but that doesn’t mean that the research on customer navigation behavior and tendencies shouldn’t be accounted for as well. The main disadvantage to this experimental design layout is the risk of confusing customers past the point of their preferred behavior and disrupting customer flow. 

What Is a Boutique Store Layout?

Boutique Store Layout

According to Ebster, the boutique layout (also called shop-in-the-shop or alcove layout) is  the most widely used type of free flow layout. Merchandise is separated by category, and customers are encouraged to interact more intimately with like items in semi-separate areas created by walls, merchandise displays, and fixtures. Typically used by boutique clothing retailers, wine merchants, and gourmet markets, this layout stimulates customer curiosity in different brands or themes of merchandise within the overall category. 

  • The downsides of the boutique layout include the following factors:
  • Reducing the total display space for merchandise with inefficient space management 
  • Encouraging too much exploration of separate areas within the store 
  • Confusing customers past the point of purchasing behavior. 

Ultimately, the exploration can distract from customer interaction with the merchandise.    

Retail Store Design Tips From The Pros

Jaina Rodriguez

Jaina Rodriguez is a Creative Director of the Integrated Design-Retail Design Studio at Microsoft. She is adamant that store design is important and should not be overlooked when designing the customer experience. 

“It is everything! The look, feel, and sounds evoke feelings in consumers and the more it resonates, engages, comforts, or surprises them, the more likely they are to purchase or become a fan, which leads to [more] fans,” says Rodriguez. “If [the design] is too loud, has obstructed or confusing pathways, which some retailers use as a sales tactic, no rhyme or reason [...], it is not conducive to customers spending more time [in store] or converting sales.” 

A store’s layout design is not an isolated advantage for retailers. Rodriguez points out that the customer experience is influenced by more than the overall layout. “It’s a mix of thoughtful moments — placement of product stories and unassisted digital experiences throughout the [store] footprint — mixed with sales people that help consumers make decisions quickly and effectively.”

“I think alongside [customer] flow is understanding the sales data to help better inform where you want to [attract] the customer and what the overall experience is from the front to the back of the store,” says Rodriguez. “For a store footprint [design] within a mall, a commercial shopping area, or [inside] a third party retailer (for example Best Buy or Target), understanding the key players around your area and their sales tactics should be a priority. Many companies make the mistake of copying what others are doing, which creates more confusion. People have brand loyalty and want to see differentiation and a reason to move from their comfort zone.”   “Best Buy does this well,” says Rodriguez. “They do a great job with a mix of digital innovations, retail pros and the Geek Squad. They can entice the customer via emails, push alerts via their app, digital experiences throughout the store, assisted and unassisted sales, and tech help to ensure your product is ready to use or installed properly. Basically, they cover all the bases from start to finish and while they don’t always hit the mark, they are open to innovation and trying and measuring new ways to reach the customer base and beyond.” 

Rodriguez does not agree with all of the store layout design and “storytelling” that Best Buy uses throughout some of their locations. For example, she believes the video game section could be designed to be more cohesive and less scattered in different spaces. 

Authenticity Creates Real Customer Experiences

When it comes to designing the retail store and customer experience, Rodriguez has a specific message. “Be authentic and real,” she says. “Create memorable moments to build and keep fans.” 

“So many companies are obsessed with going viral, ROI (which is important), and creating something they think is cool, that they forget why they are doing it. Building fans and purveyors of quality takes time and not every campaign or interactive experience you install will hit the mark,” adds Rodriguez. 

“Sometimes it hits the mark but the reaction is delayed. There is no way to measure whether someone saw a great campaign or experienced a digital innovation you created and if that led them to buy months down the road. But the reality is those authentic and real moments stick with people and it takes time [...] The focus should be continuing to be authentic and real — negotiating and editing with successes and failures, but never wavering on those two things.” 

Rodriguez points to Nordstrom and Tesla as examples of retailers that understand the importance of authentic, real customer experiences that are easy and memorable.

“Retailers should remember that not every product or outcome is tangible,” shes says. “Interactive experiences at Tesla showrooms in malls allow consumers, who would otherwise not be able to afford the car or wouldn’t go out of their way to visit a dealership, to build and interact [with a virtual vehicle]. They provide a boutique experience which draws in consumers based on emotion, feelings of nostalgia, and even sex. It puts something out of reach directly into their hands.”

Rodriguez appreciates how Nordstrom varies store design elements and floor plan layouts for different customers and how important balanced design is to the customer experience. “They aren’t afraid to experiment and try new things to see how it affects their broad range of target markets,” she says. “Nordstrom understands the importance of providing varying experiences for many types of consumers, creating pop-ups that change out quarterly (sometimes more frequently), curb-side service, personal shoppers, and even a bar just beyond the most shopped area to loosen up shoppers’ inhibitions and their wallets.” 

Data Drives Design

To know your customer is to know your retail business. The correlation between a retailer's profitability and the customer experience is closer than ever in retail history. For physical retail stores, this experience is connected to the customer’s surroundings — how they navigate the store’s environment, and the flow of attention they spend on your merchandise and messaging. 

The digital, online retail experience follows a similar principle. The design of a website or mobile application, and the user experience the layout creates, is critical to creating value for a customer and in return, has a positive impact on the retailer’s profitability. 

For Rodriguez, data emphasizes the importance of design in the overall customer experience and is a core part of any successful retail design playbook. “Data is essential to creating a memorable and effective experience,” she says. “For online experiences, there must be a mix of testing and best practices.” 

According to Rodriguez, at Microsoft the data collected from customers interacting with digital screens might include the following:

  • Tracking time spent in experience
  • Hot spots (how the customer interacts with the device’s screen)
  • Click Through Rates (CTRs)
  • Impact to sales (ROI)
  • Analysis of other sales/promos during that time to influence

Rodriguez further explains that once data is collected and analyzed and an update is needed, it should happen quickly. If the tests are successful, the formula should be documented and repeated. Using data to design and plan physical or digital retail layouts with the overall experience in mind creates value for customers.  

“Retailers should not make assumptions about their clientele or only make decisions based on their personal experiences, wants, and needs,” says Rodriguez. She adds a reminder to retailers about the importance of aligning the desired experience of the target customer with retail management and the overall retail strategy. She recommends looking to market research and customer data to make the most impact, remembering that executive leadership, for example, may have a store design strategy that data shows is not aligned with the target customer experience. 

“People want their experience to be individualized. [Customers] have become fickle and often are annoyed by an overabundance of help, even if they need it,” she adds. “Algorithms and data are scary to most consumers, but when they realize how it can help to filter and tailor their experience to exactly what they need and want, even before they know they need or want it, the retailer then becomes priceless.” 

The Multi-Channel Mindset

Connecting the customer experience with a mobile friendly retail strategy is important, as people are increasingly dependent on their mobile devices and interacting with the digital world throughout the day. Retail customers use their mobile devices to stay connected throughout their shopping experience. This might include checking prices and inventory availability, or using their device to find physical store location and hours.  

“As a mobile-first world, we sometimes must forgo the shiny experiences and provide a user with a friendly, value proposition-focused customer journey with fewer clicks to get consumers where they need to be,” says Rodriguez. Part of a sound mobile-first retail design strategy, when considering your ecommerce site or mobile application, is simplicity. Mobile design strategy means impacting the customer experience by making shopping easier. 

“From an online perspective, the customer journey should be straightforward, user friendly, and require as few clicks as possible to get the customer where they want to go,” says Rodriguez. “Many consumers stick with what they know until they see the value. Often, this is due to habit or lack of energy to create a new account, enter information, etc.” 

Rodriguez believes that the more a retailer does to simplify purchasing, the more value they add to the customer experience. She uses Amazon’s strategy for linking new services and products based on the customer’s purchasing habits as an example of the “ease of purchase” experience retailers should strive for. 

“Amazon Go and provide ease of shopping at your fingertips without the hardship of dealing with, well, anyone,” says Rodriguez. “This footprint is a great example of how to bring a digital experience into a brick and mortar reality. While they continue to test, their key to success is measuring, monitoring, and reacting quickly to individual consumer needs.”

Mobile applications provide an opportunity for retailers looking to make purchasing simple and easy, whether the customer chooses the brick-and-mortar or digital shopper journey. “Stores with robust mobile apps can add on everything from triggering [...] a mobile push alert when [the customer’s] within a certain distance from a store location,” says Rodriguez. This alert might notify customers of an in-store event or send a specific deal on seasonal merchandise based on the geo-location of the customer. 

“Retailers willing to push the limits of their applications (and spend development dollars) can also use apps to track [in-store] customers and remind [them] of sales or products currently in their cart, request service on the floor with their mobile device, or forgo any interaction with sales reps by ordering everything on their device via scanning barcodes or shopping available stock to have it ready for them at the register,” she adds.   

Video Is a Game Changer

Using video to enhance the digital experience and create customer interaction is a game changer. “Video is key,” says Rodriguez. “Studies show that video on home or product pages have conversion rates between 80-100 percent.” Rodriguez recommends using video in “short, snackable bites.” In addition to online advertising and store branding opportunities on social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, the reduced cost of digital displays and user friendly digital video tools provides retailers with creative, affordable ways to design their stores to leverage video. A couple examples of leveraging interactive video display include the following:

  • Touchscreens: Customers spend an increasing amount of their day interacting with their mobile devices and retailers can leverage this habitual behavior. “Consumers will try to interact with any type of screen out of habit,” says Rodriguez. “This is an opportunity to quickly educate consumers, update content remotely, compare products, and share ratings, reviews, or tech specs.” Rodriguez claims most retailers and businesses using touchscreen presentations or video displays are not taking full advantage of their power. “Most are basically PowerPoint [presentations], or the screens aren’t cared for, or they are turned off, or broken.” She cautions that “customers are too smart and tech savvy” and using this technology in the wrong way can quickly turn a positive effort into a negative customer experience.
  • Streaming Content: Rodriguez highlights a unique in-store content marketing trend for retailers to engage customers. Combining store design and digital technology, retail stores can use strategically placed screens to connect customers to their overall brand message or targeted marketing campaigns. “[...] the online journey should be done first (or in tandem with) the [digital] campaigns and store footprint,” says Rodriguez. “[Digital] experiences are often seen as separate, but the goal should be to create a seamless experience whether the customer is on their desktop at home, their mobile phone, or physically in the store.” 

Sensor Technology

Specialized sensors provide data and interactive customer experiences using video and internet of things (IoT) technology. Sensors benefit retailer and customer, as the data gathered from their use provides insight into customer flow and purchasing behavior. Rodriguez highlights Disney’s use of wristbands to provide visitors with a personalized experience. The device can unlock the hotel room door and change imagery on digital screens to match the visitor’s experience of choice. “This isn’t a tangible thing, but provides a sense of belonging, delight, and memories that will build and keep fans coming back for more for generations to come,” she says. The following are examples of different types of sensor technology that are relevant to retail store design:

  • Heat Maps : A heat map is a visual representation of data. In retail, this data displays how customers interact with merchandise and navigate the retail environment in physical stores using video surveillance to map movement. Heat map technology provides data for online retailers as well, plotting data, and visualizing how a customer navigates and interacts with a website using their mouse for example. 
  • Phidgets : Phidgets are sensors, often used in robotics, that manage different environmental elements. There are many uses for phidget technology, according to Rodriguez. “These are basically sensors that come in a wide array of options such as distance, heat/cold sensing, and seismic,” she says. “There are fun ways these can create interactive experiences, triggering an event when the product is handled and even changing content on the screens when a person approaches the display.”
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Sensors: According to Rodriguez, RFID technology is becoming more popular as retailers experiment with more uses for the sensors including inventory management. “With [RFID] gates installed, supply chain management becomes easier. A retailer can use the tags to sense when a product has moved from the back room to the floor, activate an experience on a screen once a product is picked up or moved, and can take the place of the old barcode system,” she says.  

Top Store Layout Design Strategies that Impact the Customer Experience

Moving merchandise from the end of the supply chain to the customer is a retailer's primary function. Successful retailers do so by creating value and delivering a differentiated customer experience. How customers experience your merchandise is determined by how your store is designed to guide them to interact with it. A retail management strategy that successfully leverages store design to drive customer flow and create unique experiences is a big part of your overall retail brand. It is a proven method for producing the kind of value that keeps retailers competitive and profitable.

Allison Walze

Allison Walzer , Sr. Retail Channel Marketing Manager at Microsoft, believes store design is a direct reflection of your brand and a vital part of staying competitive with e-commerce trends.

“One of the main challenges for stores is how they will stand out from competitors and a busy [retail] marketplace,” says Walzer. “How do they create the convenience and experience to drive customers to come into the store?”

“Store design really has to stand out from the pack right now,” she says. “It’s crucial for brick-and-mortar stores to create experiences that encourage people to visit stores.”

Visual Merchandising Strategy

Visual merchandising is a core retail strategy. It is the “language of the store,” writes Ebster — the way retailers communicate with the customer through visual imagery and the presentation of merchandise. Part art and part science, visual merchandising involves everything that helps create a unique customer experience. The well-lit entryway, the strategically placed furniture, fixtures, and promotional displays combine with the store layout to influence customer behavior and make the customer’s journey efficient, unique, and memorable. 

“[We] are noticing a turn to lifestyle- and experience-driven retail experiences,” says Walzer. “Stores are integrating materials from home or outdoors to create a comfortable, beautiful shopping space that leads to longer dwell time in stores.” She describes a visual merchandising strategy that luxury brand retailers use to promote health and beauty by placing living plants inside their stores. 

Visual merchandising brings together the overall environment of the retail store. It is a strategic element in retail management that distinguishes a retailer from the competition. The type of merchandise offered is a crucial consideration in the how the retailer influences uses visual merchandising elements to target customers. As Malcolm Gladwell writes in his feature article, “The Science of Shopping,” “the clothes have to match the environment.” 

Walzer recommends that retailers deciding how to plan for visual merchandising elements that work for their concept consider their customer flow in a way that guides the customer through “the path to purchase.” 

“Aesop is killing it right now,” says Walzer, when asked about retailers that highlight the importance of store design. “Their stores are beautiful and each one is different and contextual while still keeping in step with their brand. They concentrate on materials and even acoustics to create a personal environment. Each shop is individual and takes the environment and city into account when building a new store. It’s the right approach to make a memorable shopping experience and delights customers with its idiosyncratic design-led principles.”

The visual merchandising techniques that a retailer chooses can alter the customer’s perception of the retailer’s value. Ebster recommends looking at visual merchandising from the customer’s perspective. For more retail merchandising tips and best practices from experts and researchers, check out “ The Art and Science of Retail Merchandising .” 

Zone Merchandising Strategy 

Customers also respond to where products are placed. A zone merchandising strategy combines visual merchandising with your store layout design to highlight high-margin merchandise or merchandise you want featured. Creating zones using walls, merchandise displays, and signage develops semi-separate areas. Merchandise displays are set up as speed bumps to keep the customer in the zone and slow them from leaving the area. 

“Stores need to be thoughtful in their layout, and have clear zones so navigation is easy. Not everyone likes to ask sales assistants for directions,” says Walzer. She recommends creating “instagrammable” moments in-store. “Make it fun and easy for people to share their stories on social media,” she says. This includes using hashtags in messaging, or on merchandise displays, creating “set-designing” zones, and favoring natural light with “unique designs that make for cool backdrops or host events.”

Lighting Strategy

Proper lighting is more than just making sure the customer can see and interact with the merchandise. When done well, light can help structure and influence the customer’s mood while shopping. 

Store planners and designers use lighting solutions to highlight or downplay specific areas of the store to draw in customers and create an environment that works in sync with the retail brand and the merchandise offered. Lighting specialists provide expertise in the appropriate types of lighting for specific store layouts, based on natural light exposure, and can recommend solutions that suit budgets and environmentally conscious business models.

Signage Strategy

Signs serve multiple purposes for retailers. They are the graphic representation of the retailer's brand and merchandise. Signs provide product information for specific merchandise, help customers navigate the store layout efficiently, and create the desired price perception. Retailers should keep signs fresh and updated based on the merchandise offered, the season, or specific promotions. Keep in-store signs and messaging consistent with the brand voice and use standard fonts and colors that are easy to identify and read with your lighting. 

“From a strictly visual perspective, it’s key to have clear readable signage from the outside that leads customers in the store. From there, plan the customer journey from [a] high level,” says Walzer. She recommends using signage that encourages overall shopping (for example, placing old and iconic imagery - specifically for tech stores - towards the front of the store). When the customer arrives at specific merchandise, or the “buy level,” use signage that builds the buy messaging. 

Display Strategy 

The word “display” comes from the French word “deployer”, which means “to unfold.” Far from being exclusive to clothing, however, promotional displays help “unfold” the merchandise you offer to the customer. Along with your store layout design, displays set the stage for your customer’s overall experience when navigating the store. In general, displays come in all shapes and sizes, and refer to the movable units in the store that feature merchandise such as tables, racks, or gondolas. 

Careful selection of the type and placement of displays is crucial to the overall retail strategy of using space management and store design to influence customer flow and in-store behavior. Also, treat displays as flexible, cost-effective investments and ask your product manufacturers and suppliers about providing low-cost options specific to their products and brands.

Fixture Strategy

If displays are the flexible, freestanding, and modular units used to present merchandise, then fixtures refer to the more permanent units in the store. Counters, wall mounted shelving units, support columns, and bench seating are examples of fixtures. The purpose of fixtures is to coordinate your store layout and influence customer flow and interactions. In other words, they are designed to impact the customer flow and bring attention to merchandise in a consistent, familiar environment. 

In general, fixtures are less versatile than displays and in-store design layouts, but when planned carefully, they become a defining part of a retail space. Walzer recommends minimal, clean, and uncluttered fixtures, and modular signage areas to promote offers. Fixtures need to drive a premium look and feel. Materials that are “authentic and have some warmth to them” work best (real wood versus laminate, stone or marble versus coated plastic, glass versus acrylic).    

“Fixtures should be made from premium authentic materials that are durable and uplevel the experience,” says Walzer. “If the table is shoddy and falling apart, why would you want to buy what is merchandised on it?” 

Window Strategy

Windows welcome customers from the outside and draw them into the store where layout design and the various elements of visual merchandising go to work. The window display requires careful attention to lighting, size of display units, type of merchandise featured, props (like mannequins), and signage. Because the customer has yet to enter the store, a window display must combine all of the visual merchandising elements to successfully pique the customer’s interest and promote the retailer’s brand and personality. 

Communal Design Strategy 

Concentrate on how to create community and engagement with store design. “What makes a consumer want to come and repeatedly spend time in a retail store in the digital age will be based on the feeling you get when you are shopping,” says Walzer. “Create a rapport with the customer, pull in elements from the community as part of the design inspiration. If there is a local artist or ceramist or musician, use those pieces in the stores.” Walzer mentions the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport showcasing Sub Pop artists and Pearl Jam artwork as an example. “[They] are currently doing a great job. It’s creating pride for residents and a sense of joy for travelers, who are also customers that purchase Sub Pop gear at the store.”  

Other Space Management Considerations

As discussed, the visual presentation of merchandise and the influence of store layout design is vital to retail strategy. There are also functional considerations involved in the overall store layout that impacts the customer experience. One example is to keep design functional with the overall space. 

“It’s not so much about the space as how the space is designed,” says Walzer. “If it’s a crowded or awkward space, build in open walkways, keep merchandising elegant. If it’s a large space, don’t let it look too cavernous. Create walkways to guide the purchase journey with easy wayfinding.” 

The following is a list of additional space management factors to consider:

  • Legal Requirements: Review the standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to understand the legal requirements for retailers in the United States. For example, the ADA requires a minimum of three feet of aisle width for customer accessibility. Consult with qualified professionals if you’re planning changes to your store layout design that may impact customer accessibility. 
  • Seating: Provide customers with comfortable seating to enhance the overall customer experience and slow customers down. Clothing stores with dressing rooms are the primary example of this strategy in use. According to Ebster, an extended store visit increases the likelihood that customers make a purchase.
  • Checkout: The checkout area of a retail store is critical to more than cash handling and payment processing. This space accommodates all customers and a variety of interactions, and is typically the last area to make an impression on customers. Depending on the store layout, the checkout area provides additional visual merchandising opportunities. Retailers use this space to encourage impulse purchases of complementary merchandise while customers wait to pay.
  • Back-of-the-House Operations: The retail store layout should factor for store operations and activity like shipping and receiving, inventory storage and retrieval, and the employee’s overall workspace and break area. Storage options are essential to the overall store layout design because it impacts how much merchandise you will feature on the sales floor where customers navigate. Ebster recommends keeping the customer in a flow state and focused on shopping. Therefore, maintaining back-of-the-house operations concealed from customers is a visual merchandising strategy.

Retail Store Layout Design and Planning Resources

Store layout planning and design is a profession all its own. The design knowledge and planning skills required to develop an entirely new retail store, modify an existing floor plan, or even remodel a specific area of your store is a daunting task for retailers focused on attracting customers and earning revenue. The good news is that an entire network of design professionals, store planners, project managers, architects, contractors, and more operate and serve in the largest private sector employment category of the U.S. economy. The following resources are available to retailers looking to explore store layout design and planning: 

  • National Retail Federation (NRF) : The NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association. Operating in the U.S. and in 45 countries, their mission is “to advance the interests of the retail industry through advocacy, communications, and education.”
  • Retail Design Blog: Architects, designers, visual merchandisers, retailers, brand managers, and fans submit pictures and projects about retail design. It includes store and exhibit design, fashion merchandising, visual merchandising content, and more.
  • Store Design and Visual Merchandising: The website design:retail covers retail trends, products, and projects, and publishes an aggregate list of products and services. 
  • Retail Design Institute: The Retail Design Institute is the largest and oldest not-for-profit store planning and design organization. Founded in 1961, members include architects, graphic designers, lighting designers, interior designers, store planners, visual merchandisers, resource designers, brand strategists, educators, trade partners, trade media, and students of design. The website publishes a list of design resources .
  • American Society of Interior Designers (ASID): ASID is a multi-disciplinary professional organization for interior designers, students, and retail manufacturers and suppliers that satisfy the organization's acceptance standards for accreditation. Members receive access to services by industry experts in legal assistance, human resources, liability and disability insurance, and more.
  • NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer: NCIDQ Certification tests for industry design standards, and for public health, safety, and welfare. More than 30,000 people are NCIDQ certified, an international standard for interior design professionals by The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).
  • VMSD (Visual Marketing and Store Design) : The VMSD magazine and website provides retail professionals with “innovative retail design ideas, visual presentations, new products, merchandising strategies, and industry news and events.” VMSD hosts the annual International Retail Design Conference (IRDC)   
  • Pinterest : Explore store design concepts and ideas through photography and project images posted by a variety of sources. 

Retail Store Layout Software

One application you can use to create diagrams of store layouts is Google Drawing, a free software application available in the Chrome Web Store . For store planners, retail consultants, design professionals, or the aspiring DIY retailer, there is a market for drawing and floor planning software to help you create professional retail store layouts. 

The following list of solutions offers diagramming tools that let you customize existing store layout templates and explore different design ideas. Drawing software provides libraries of design elements for architecture, furniture, fixtures, and floor plan specific symbols. Like most SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions today, some of the solutions listed below offer customer support and tutorials, cloud hosting features, and software integration with your existing store management software and standard operating systems. 

  • Microsoft Visio
  • EDrawSoft Floor Plan Maker
  • ConceptDraw PRO 
  • FloorPlanner
  • Lucidchart Floor Plan Software

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StartupBiz Global

Starting a Clothing Boutique Business Plan (PDF)

Clothing Boutique Business

A clothing boutique or simply a boutique is a shop that sells fashionable clothes, jewellery plus other related accessories and services. The clothing boutiques space is highly segmented or fragmented. There are two major types of clothing boutiques. One solely carries clothing items from a particular designer or brand. Then the other carries clothing items from various designers or brands. The latter is the most common in many parts of the world. Starting a clothing boutique business is very profitable. The clothing industry is made up of a very wide array of clothing items that cater for the different age groups. There’s also a broad spectrum of styles and designs when it comes to clothing. Taking either males or females separately you’ll realise that niching in the clothing industry is so diverse. Some big clothing outlets even focus solely on just baby clothes as an example. This all is to make you see that any mention of the clothing market being flooded is inaccurate. For example, there are few clothing boutiques that solely focus on or incorporate tailor-making of clothes. That can be a smart way to niche because that can make your clothing boutique exclusive. You can always carve out a niche for yourself if you take the right approaches. This article will outline how to start the clothing boutique business, and the clothing boutique business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Market Research

You must first of all identify your target market. Once you’ve done that thoroughly study it to find out its size, income levels, buying habits and clothing dynamics. Obtaining information on these areas will help you in noting characteristics you’ll capitalise on to make a resounding market entry. Market entry requires putting together a number of strategies to lure customers. Such strategies will most likely come from insights you’ll gather during your market research.

The other key study area is your prospective competition once you setup your business. Analyse their business approaches, marketing strategies, their value propositions, general market appeal and also their weaknesses. Take time to identify which clothing items they offer so that you have an idea of what or what not to sell. There are always endless possibilities with regards to how to package your brand and product portfolio in a unique way. All this is borne out of a well-executed market research exercise.

Make sure you have a comprehensive clothing boutique business plan

The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The clothing boutique business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain your business well. Your clothing store business plan should have financial statements which show that your clothing boutique business is viable and profitable.

Clothing Boutique Business Model

The applicable business model depends on the nature of your clothing boutique. Let us suppose it is a clothing boutique that carries clothing items from a sole brand or designer. There might be a working arrangement where you get a cut from every sale made. It could also be that you get the stock at discounted prices and have the leeway to set your own selling prices. If it is a generalized clothing boutique such arrangements might apply. However, the common scenario is that you source your stock and put your mark-ups. Obviously your mark-ups must comprehensively factor in all the related costs. The clothing boutique business is mostly niche-driven. Thus pricing is not usually an issue especially if you exclusively offer what clients are looking for. All the same you still have to price reasonably such that you do not push prospects away.

Location And Premises for a Clothing Boutique

Universal considerations such as a place that has high volumes of vehicle and human traffic apply here. In your choice of a spot, ensure that you factor in the size of the pool from which potential customers will come from. Be absolutely sure about the income levels of people in that pool. Clothing boutiques are best situated at shopping centres, in residential areas, malls, central business districts or strategic standalone locations. A clothing boutique must be clearly visible to anyone moving up and down in the vicinity.

Preferably its design must be open-plan with window displays of products in-store. The interior must usually have white walls and floors to accentuate the visibility of clothing items displayed in store. Another important thing to ensure is the availability of adequate and spacious parking space. The interior must also be sufficiently spacious to avoid congestion in-store. The cost of purchasing or leasing the premises should be included in the clothing store business plan.

Permits/Licenses, Insurance & Business Bank Account

Company or business registration and shop license.

The applicable laws regarding permits or licenses differ depending on the location of your clothing boutique business. Universally you must first of all register the business entity. Then you will have to apply for a clothing boutique shop license. This is the case in most places but there can be variations. It is advisable to engage your respective local authorities to seek clarity.

Insurance And Business Bank Account

These two aspects are for your own good. Insurance shields you against incidents that might dig into your pockets. Examples can be damage caused by fire or theft. Being insured will help you regain your footing with less financial pressure on you. Opening a business bank account helps separate your clothing boutique’s finances from your personal finances. That way you will have limited personal liability protection.

Competitive Analysis

A clothing boutique is niche-driven yes, but that does not mean competition will not matter. In fact, niche markets can have cutthroat competition. That is why you need to check out who your competition is. Be it direct or indirect competitors; check them out both. No clothing boutique or clothing outlets in general ever carries the whole spectrum. You will always find areas of need they are not catering to. Differentiators in the clothing boutique business can be cheaper prices and a broader range. When purchasing clothes, people are always looking to bargain. Draw prospects to your clothing boutique by capitalizing on your competitors’ shortcomings.

Products for a Clothing Store Business

The range of clothing items is quite broad and diverse. This means the types of clothing items you can sell will depend on how and which niche you intend to cater for. Niching is best done by studying about players already in their industry i.e. the products that they have on offer, their pricing regimes and their marketing approaches. This will ultimately inform your decision on what to sell in your boutique. The broad categories of clothing items that can be sold are kids’ wear, men’s wear, women’s wear, footwear and associated accessories.

Products can be sourced locally or imported or tailor-made. All the categories mentioned can also branch off into many other specific areas of focus e.g. swim wear. You must also stay on top of emerging trends in the clothing industry so that you stay up-to-date. The costs of purchasing the clothing boutique products should be included in your clothing boutique business plan.

Clothing Store Business Products

Inventory Management

Inventory management in the clothing boutique business requires proper planning. In most cases inventory gets imported so you must be highly organized. You need to know exactly when and what to order so that you never have to turn customers away. The ‘what’ there entails a lot e.g. what type of apparel, what brand, for which sex, for which age group, and so on. Your orders must not be random; they must be empirically informed by data. A clothing boutique business is profitable and scalable. Yes, most clothing boutique businesses are single-establishment. However, that does not mean you cannot scale. There are countless accounts of clothing boutique businesses that grew into multiple outlets.

Staff And Management

Staff requirements for a clothing boutique business may not be much but are always informed by your intended scale of operation. The most basic employees required would be customer attendants and cashiers/till operators. You must have enough shop attendants to work on keeping things in order. Remember that people tend to pick things up when checking them out and they usually put them back anyhow. It’s important to make it a point to hire people that have a drive and passion for clothing and customer service. The reason why you need such personnel is because of an observation I’ve made on several occasions. When prospective customers walk in they need to be engaged in a cosy and friendly way. If that doesn’t happen the incidence of people walking out in no time becomes prevalent. So having cheerful, sociable and passionate customer attendants is imperative. Obviously the salary costs of all your employees should be catered for in your clothing store business plan.

Just like most shop-based businesses, financial management and inventory management need close attention. In order to steadily grow the clothing boutique business it’s highly recommended that you diligently track all your financial transactions. A clothing boutique must be stocked in such a way that when any customer walks in they are most likely going to find what they want. No wonder inventory management is very important. Keep abreast with how your inventory is flowing i.e. knowing items that are fast-moving (implying they are in demand) and knowing as and when restocking is due. Apparently you’ll need to have solid working relationships with your suppliers. Also remember that digital marketing through the internet and social media is a powerhouse when it comes to clothing retail – leverage on it! Your clothing boutique business plan should have a proper marketing strategy to use for your clothing store business.

Marketing Plan

Niche-driven –thorough market research is needed.

The operative aspect here is that a clothing boutique business is niche-driven. A niche market is a relatively small and specialist, yet profitable market. As such your marketing plan must be informed by in-depth market research. You have to know all there is to know about your target market. The clothing boutique business can cater to all age groups. However, you need to know each age group and its specific needs in detail. Look into the buying habits, the general lifestyles, and also the societal trends of the day. You have to establish as well how best these prospects can be engaged i.e. how to reach out to them.

Make Your Clothing Boutique Shop A Spectacle

This means your clothing boutique’s design and layout must be extraordinary. One of the ways to do this is by using a space or outlet with an open plan. It should preferably be made up mostly of full length windows, especially at the front. This is for purposes of setting up an alluring window display. Adorn it with props such as dressed mannequins, decorative lights, and neon lights. The goal is to make the exterior and the interior of the clothing boutique as spectacular as possible. There are a sizeable number of prospects who will enter into a clothing boutique simply because they are drawn to its design.

Establish A Solid Online Presence

The clothing boutique is characterised by many visual aspects. Most of the purchase decisions are fed by customers liking what they see. Take of advantage of that and infuse it into your online platforms. Get a website developed with stunning visuals of high definition images and videos. Appreciate the dynamics of colour psychology so that you can emphatically appeal to prospects. That also applies to your social media accounts. Always post regular, engaging, and relevant content that is alluring. Invest in hiring people to pose as models in the clothing items you will be selling. That also calls for you to hire professional photographers. Buttress all this by conducting online contests to drive word of mouth.

Special Sales-Oriented Events Or Initiatives

This can at the very least be about offering specials such as discounts. You can periodically do clearance sales. You can come up with promotions where there will be prizes up for grabs. Think of allowing relaxed payment terms e.g. lay-byes, zero deposits, and the like. This can extend to starting a customer loyalty program. These are examples of events or initiatives that can drive sales. There is no shortage of many other ideas you can come up with by building on these examples.

Growth and development

Clothing boutique businesses should not be static. You will find new products and new clients. The key is not to take on any product or service that you are not fully prepared for. There are plenty of incentives to earn the loyalty of your customer. For example, store cards and bonus points will encourage consumers to come to your clothing store business. On the other end of the spectrum are the small shops in small towns where the use of cash is preferred to anything fancy like credit cards. Be sure to develop partnerships with particular clothing lines who may want to sell their products in your clothing store. The profit share schemes that they propose could significantly improve the clothing boutique bottom line. Your clothing store business plan financials should show the projected growth of the business as the years progress.

Pre-Written Clothing Boutique Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements

For an in-depth analysis of the clothing boutique business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive clothing boutique business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the clothing store business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.

The StartupBiz Global clothing store business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your clothing boutique business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the clothing store business.

Uses of the Clothing Store Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

The clothing boutique business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your clothing boutique business
  • As a clothing boutique business proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the clothing business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation

Contents of the Clothing Boutique Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

The clothing store business plan include, but not limited to:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
  • Industry Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some people in the clothing boutique business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your clothing store business

The clothing store business plan package consists of 4 files

  • Clothing Boutique Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 72 Pages)
  • Clothing Boutique Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 72 Pages)
  • Clothing Boutique Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 44 pages)
  • Clothing Boutique Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)

The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the percentage markup, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 

Click below to download the Contents Page of the Clothing Boutique Business Plan (PDF)

clothing boutique business plan pdf

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I was extremely lucky to come across StartupBiz Global. Their business plan exceeded my expectations, and most importantly I was able to secure a loan from my bank. Thank you guys, now my dreams are coming true!

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I purchased a business plan from you, and I’m glad to inform you that I was able to get my loan, and I’m starting my poultry farming business on the 1 st of July. This was made possible because of your business plan. Thank you very much, you made my dream come true.

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StartupBiz Global provided a very professional and comprehensive business plan which I used for my business. The business plan was easy to edit, and I was able to get the funding which I wanted. I highly recommend their business plans.

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Get the Clothing Boutique Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

Click Buy Now  below to purchase using Paypal, Credit Card, or Debit Card. After you have purchased, you will immediately see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. You will also immediately get an email with the business plan download link. The Pre-written business plan package (PDF, Word, and Excel) costs $30 only!

clothing store business plan

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once then click here: Business Plans Store.

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on [email protected] and we will assist you.

We wish you the best in your clothing boutique business! Check out our collection of business plans  , and more business ideas .

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  • Department Store Business Plan

Get close-to-reality department store financial projections

PlanMagic Retail provides you with a full package to complete your business plan, and project your financials. The Advanced Edition (AE) offers 3 investor pitches, an executive dashboard, state-of-the-art analyses and scenarios as well as an interesting Web marketing guide and more. The retail business plan package includes:

  • A well written department store retail business plan template (MS Word)
  • Fully automated close-to-reality retail financial projection application (MS Excel)
  • A PowerPoint presentation template for your department store business plan
  • An award-winning PowerPoint investor pitch deck beautifully prepared (AE only)
  • An online complete retail business (plan) guide that covers all related subjects
  • Several small but handy business tools

Special features

  • Easy to use - Use of simple and understandable terms, clearly outlined.
  • Print wizard - Business financial printouts are preformatted in Letter, Legal or A4 paper size.
  • Sales tax - Financials handle US sales tax, VAT, GST or similar calculations.
  • Multiple currency - The financials can use any currency, and you can use the exchange rate multiplier (AE only) to quickly update all the values.
  • Business plan templates - Specific department store business plan templates.
  • Sales estimation - Versatile sales estimation for most product & services.

department store business plan


No, this is not a "How to write a department store business plan" or "How to successfully start a department store" blog. PlanMagic Retail is the real thing that none of those storytellers can actually offer you. We can, so do read on and learn about the program you need to actually do it. And do it right! And you can get it all here, right now and finally really get your department store business started!

department store business plan


The preferred format department store business plan template for investors, SBA, banks and angel investors in MS Word format.

You don't have to create your own contents from scratch or delete most of it as may be the case with a sample business plan. The program includes a complete template and the department store business plan template. You can always purchase additional retail business plan templates. The department store business plan template is fully geared towards the department store retail business. Easily add project plans, phasing diagrams, floor plans, specific plans and insert any data from the financial application.

  • antique shop
  • appliance repair
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  • barber shop
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  • bread store
  • bridal store
  • brow service
  • building material
  • camera shop
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  • car bodyshop
  • clothing store
  • computer store
  • convenience store
  • cosmetics shop
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  • croissanterie
  • delicatessen
  • department store
  • discount store
  • dry cleaners
  • fashion store
  • flower shop
  • fragrance shop
  • furniture store
  • garden center
  • grocery store
  • hair care products
  • hardware store
  • jewelry shop
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  • online retail store
  • online shop
  • online store
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  • retail store
  • skin care shop
  • supermarket
  • vehicle rental
  • video rental


Trend setting retail financial application written in MS Excel that has no competition when it comes to close-to-reality fully automated projections. You will not find a better solution as specific, as detailed, and as automated. Enter some main assumptions and start entering your financial data into the clearly marked cells. Use it for a department store business plan but also for ongoing monitoring of your department store business .

Key advantages

  • Offers PlanMagic's Smart Entry System (SES)™ to minimize and significantly speed up data entry.
  • Validation checks for data consistency.
  • Development can start up to 5 years prior to operations.
  • Fiscal year and forecasts can start in any month.
  • Forecasts include monthly (3 years), quarterly (3 years), and annual (5 years).
  • Up to 5 years (10 years in AE) can be forecast in one financial workbook.
  • Views are collapsible for clear summaries.
  • Costs can be split between fixed and variable cost for contribution, break-even and similar analyses.
  • Projected balance sheets that are always balanced.
  • More than 40 charts illustrate trends in expenses, sales, revenues, cash flow and more.
  • Conferencing or external consultants - easily export selected worksheets to values-only workbooks.

With the Advanced Edition - AE - you can plan up to 10 years and enjoy more detailed financial analysis and reports that surpass even the most expensive accounting programs.

10 year business plan


A complete online startup business guide that covers subjects such as organizational structure, financing (owners' equity, foreign capital), marketing (market analysis, business goals, marketing strategies, advertising), operations (business identity, business location), business financials (projections, historic analysis, ratios) and more. The Advanced Edition also includes an online Web marketing guide.


Easy to complete presentation template (> 50 slides) in PPT (MS PowerPoint) format. You can copy text from the document templates, link to tables in the document template, or link to worksheet data in the financial application. The template contains the same chapters and subchapters as the department store business plan template.

department store business plan


The Advanced Edition includes professional investor pitch decks with 25+ slides in PPT(X) (MS PowerPoint) format. Everything you must include in the investor pitch for your department store business plan has been beautifully prepared.

The Portrait layout deck

department store business plan

The Widescreen layout deck

department store business plan

The Lean Pitch deck

The Advanced Edition also includes a lean investor pitch with slides in PPT(X) (MS PowerPoint) format. Great to make that first important impression count.

  •   PlanMagic Retail
  •   PlanMagic Retail AE (Advanced Edition)
  •   PlanMagic Retail AE + Marketing AE
  •   Get department store business plan and business proposals writing services

Minimum requirements MS Windows 7/8/10/11 32/64-bit and MS Office 2013/2016/2019+/365

  This superb tool allows me to generate 5/10-year proforma financial statements and perform the necessary sensitivity analysis that my clients expect.  

Department Store Business Plan Experts


MS Office, MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation, PlanMagic is a registered trademark of PlanMagic Corporation. All copyrights acknowledged.

  All in all, from the first model I have purchased, your business plans are by far the best I have seen in terms of structure, contents, and relevance to what I am looking for in a business plan.  

Business Plan Templates

Discount Store Business Plan

Dollar stores and discount retail corporations can target key demographics and establish projects within the residential market by using this free, printable business plan.

department store business plan pdf

Sample text from Discount Store Business Plan:

1.0 Executive Summary

COMPANY NAME is an existing grocery/convenience store and fueling station that is strategically located on scenic [ADDRESS] in [CITY], [STATE]. [ADDRESS]is the primary thoroughfare in [CITY], running north and south between two mountain ranges. The highway runs north to the [CITY] area before running into [STATE]. To the south, the highway runs to the [CITY]/[CITY]/[CITY] area.

The Valley itself, which is 6-miles long by 12-miles wide, is populated by about 1,600 year round residents. Because of its lakes, rivers, and natural beauty, the highway was designated a scenic route by the United States government in 2000. For these reasons, the Valley hosts many seasonal tourists wishing to behold the scenic landscapes and make use of the outdoor activities available in the area. It also hosts many travelers migrating to and from the metropolitan areas mentioned above.

The general population of year round residents in [CITY] include small business owners, irrigation-based farmers, and livestock ranchers. Typical household incomes in this area are near $55,800 with two-thirds of the population being 45 years old and younger. The store is centrally located among the only three communities in the northern part of [COUNTY] County, those communities being [NAMES]. The store boasts the only fueling station along a 52-mile span of the highway, with the nearest fuel competitors being located 20 miles to the east, 17 miles to the north, and 35 miles to the south.

The store has been owned and operated by OWNER'S NAME since July 2005. His wife, [INSERT NAME], has been the general manager since they purchased the land, building and existing business. OWNER'S NAME operates the business as a sole proprietorship. OWNER'S NAME and INSERT NAME make a perfect business partnership. INSERT NAME has twelve years prior experience as a supermarket head cashier, as well as eighteen years of experience in sales, bookkeeping and accounting. OWNER'S NAME had thirty years as a trucker in the fuel and food industry.

The store offers on a year round basis a variety of staples, packaged foods, drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), snack items, tobacco products, lottery, and select non-grocery items such as hunting and fishing items, as well as regular, mid-grade, premium, and diesel fuel.

COMPANY NAME competitive edge is its location, its focus on excellent customer service, its commitment to the needs of the community, and the experience and knowledge of the owners. It is currently operating profitably and the business is well capitalized, but it lacks liquidity as nearly the entire equity of the business is in real estate and inventory. Its most serious threats are a prolonged economic downturn that continues to hinder area tourism and continued [STATE] fuel tax increases that may hinder the profitability of fuel sales.

1.1 Objectives

1. To reinvent COMPANY NAME by expanding the building by 1,100 square feet and including a deli, ice cream shop and fresh produce counter by January 1, 2011.

2. To physically upgrade the store, including conversion of its cooler system to energy efficient walk-ins and replacing the existing roof by January 1, 2011.

3. Grow 2011 sales by 33.3% over 2009 sales through the aggressive marketing of the product expansions.

4. Maintain the gross profit margin on total sales at or above the 2009 gross profit margin level of 33.6% ($284,694/$846,464) through strategic and intelligent product buying and pricing.

1.2 Mission

The mission of COMPANY NAME is to provide everyone residing, working, and visiting [CITY] with a thoroughly pleasant year round shopping experience by offering the best customer service, the most attractive and convenient shopping place, the best product variety, competitive prices, programs not offered by local competitors, and the strongest possible community involvement.

1.3 Keys to Success

1. Expanding our building and food offerings so local shoppers become increasingly loyal and visitors have additional reasons to stop.

2. Remain open year round to promote the increased loyalty of local shoppers.

3. Promote customer shopping convenience by continuing such programs as WIC and Food Stamps, as well as seeking out additional similar programs.

4. Advance local tourism and community involvement by continuing to be an active and participating member of the Northern [COUNTY] Chamber of Commerce and by volunteering and fund raising for worthwhile local organizations and charities.

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DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and Savetz Publishing makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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This template is easy to download and print. Each free business plan template is available in Microsoft Word (DOC) format, and many of the Business Plan Forms are available in Excel (XLS) format as well. Just choose a business plan template and download it. Open it in Word or Excel (or another program that can display the DOC or XLS format), edit it, and print your personalized business plan.

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Retail Discount Store Business Plan

Start your own retail discount store business plan

Dollar Store

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">, opportunity.

We’re the solution. The dollar store. 

We expect sales to increase steadily as consumers find that they can purchase a variety of quality items at bargain prices. We intend to tap into the retail market with pricing that will encourage quantity buying, and our pricing will attract consumers on fixed budgets.

Our target market is the lower income portion of the Bend and Redmond community. This includes working class individuals, the elderly, and students, many of whom are price conscious and looking to find a value for their dollar.


Consumers demand quality customer service, fair pricing, and a convenient location.

Competition is very tough with customer service and location key components. The selection of merchandise a store provides is also very important.

The Dollar Store provides a variety of interesting merchandise options at bargain prices. Dedicated to customer service the Dollar Store will give its patrons the kind of service that is respectful and prompt. Employees of the Dollar Store will also be treated in a professional manner with a rewarding work environment and fair compensation. The Dollar Store wants each customer to feel as though he/she has gotten Fifth Avenue treatment at a bargain price.


The Dollar Store will be able to successfully open and maintain operations through year one. The large capital investments of the owners will provide the public with a unique and innovative store that will cater to the needs of those on fixed incomes such as low income families, the elderly, and the large student population in the Bend area. The successful operation of the Dollar Store will provide a customer base that will allow it to be self-sufficient.

Financial Highlights by Year

Financing needed.

We will be getting $120,000 broken down as follows: 

Ted Brinkman $60,000

Jim Spencer $40,000

Other $20,000

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department store business plan pdf

UK Small Business Startups and Funding

  • Business Type
  • Business Plan for Department Store

Department Store Small Business Idea and Business Plan

Starting your own small business in the UK isn’t easy but having a properly developed business plan will help you achieve success.

To start a Department Store business in the UK, take the time and explain the idea via a business plan.

Understanding all of the aspects of the business idea will be the key to getting the Department Store business running like a well-oiled machine. The business plan you develop will help you organize the elements needed into a strategy that you can actually use to startup, by paving a clear road map as to what you need to follow for the lifespan of your business.

Starting a Department Store business isn’t easy, but when done right, it can lead to a lot of success.

To help you get started, you can use the free business plan builder tool to develop your own Department Store business plan.

The business plan template is very easy to use, is interactive and will quickly and easily help you create your business plan just by answering the needed questions about your small business idea.

Create your own Department Store business plan for free using the Business Plan Builder

The free business plan template builder is divided into a few easy to follow steps.

The free business plan builder template is provided by to help you develop your own business plan. For step by step guidance, see the 5 steps below.

Once completed, the result will be a clean, professional plan that will help you start your own Department Store small business in the UK.

When you have completed your Department Store business plan, the next step will be to find available funding that will help, or to speak with a funding adviser who will assist you each step of the way to securing the needed funds to make your Department Store business startup.

If you are looking to limit your startup costs when starting up a Department Store small business in the UK, this free business plan builder tool will be it.

Starting a Department Store business is only one of the ways others have used this free business plan tool. There are hundreds of different ideas you can start, and if you need guidance, do reach out to a UKStartups expert to get the needed assistance and guidance.

Step 1. Your business information

To develop a proper Department Store business plan with the free business plan builder template, it is important to answer each of the questions about your business to the best of your abilities.

What is your business? What are the products/services you provide? Who are your customers? What are your goals…etc?

Having a clear explanation will help you create a in-depth business plan that you can actually use to start the Department Store business and to apply for needed funding to cover your startup costs.

Step 2. Projecting your revenues/income

The Department Store industry can have great results. Planning and projecting the financial figures to approximate what you will make each year is crucial to building a strong business plan.

What do you think your business will make from each of its products/services? Simply list your products/services, enter the appropriate financial figures (costs and expenses).

If you don’t have the figures, in many cases it is recommended to do a a bit more research on other Department Store businesses locally and within your own region to get an idea of potential revenue. You can do your best to estimate the figures and growth potential.

If you need assistance in projecting, you can always contact UK Startups funding experts for the help.

Step 3. Your business market

As a Department Store business, having a clear explanation of the market and industry that you are in will help you plan for the figure and will ensure you can take the business to the next level.

Explain your location of business, share specifics about your customers, showcase your competition and explain the advantages you have over your competition.

Step 4. The future plan

Starting your own Department Store business and getting it off the ground is important to you.

No matter if you’re planning on applying for government funding for your Department Store business or not, it is important to plan out the future and provide an explanation of how you will grow the business. This means explaining your marketing plan, your sales strategy and clearly outlining a growth plan for the next few years.

Be sure to break this down step by step to show how you intend on making sure your Department Store business can grow each year.

Keep in mind that often business plans are focused on key people. Be sure to discuss yourself, your role and any other key figures in the business as well.

Step 5. The financials

In the end, it all comes down to the financials. If you are seeking funding, or not – the business plan you develop needs to have clearly defined financials or projections. The business plan builder tool makes it easy to develop your financial charts by simply entering your expected revenues per month and year. If you don’t have the figures as it’s a new business be sure to project the figures based on your expectations. If you need help with this, ask the UK Startups experts .

A clear breakdown of your funding needs is also recommended in case you are seeking funding and this free business plan template will help you with exactly that. When developing your Department Store business plan using this free template, the above 5 steps are recommended in order to succeed. While there are other key points that will assist you in starting your business, finding funding...etc, the free template will help put you on the right path

Be sure to request a professional to review your business plan , to answer any questions you may have and to help you with the funding search once you’ve done the initial free template. You can request this directly via and through the Small Business Startup Platform as a member.

If starting a Department Store business is just one of your ideas, perhaps considering other options, here are some popular small business’s others have chosen to startup

  • Japanese Restaurant
  • Preparatory School
  • Car Factory
  • Auto Insurance Agency


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  • Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document

Department Store Business Plan Including Market Size, Product and Service Segmentation Grocery items, Pharmacy products, Kitchen accessories, etc. , Market Trends, Major Challenges, Financial Highlights, SWOT Analysis, Target Segmentation Households, Rural residents, etc., Major Players with Attributes Comparison, Go to Marketing Strategy and Growth Forecast 2021 to 2026 PDF Word Document Report.

Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document Slide01

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What you will get?

  • Company Overview
  • Start-up Summary
  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Industry Restraints
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Porter’s Five Forces
  • Go-to-Market Strategy
  • Financial Modeling and Valuation (With Excel)
  • Exit Strategy

The Department Store Business Plan is a comprehensive document that outlines strategies and considerations for establishing a successful grocery store. It emphasizes providing affordable and high quality products to customers in a convenient and efficient manner. The Retail industry plan includes an executive summary, market trends analysis, key success factors, mission and vision statements, start up expenses, and growth projections. It also incorporates market assessment through SWOT and Porters five forces analyses, customer analysis, and market sizing. The marketing strategy encompasses offline and online approaches to attract and retain customers. The financial summary provides an overview of projected revenue, expenses, and profitability. Additionally, the Discount store plan emphasizes the significance of location, product variety, and customer service in ensuring the stores success. By accessing this Grocery Store Business Plan document, entrepreneurs gain valuable insights and guidance to navigate the competitive grocery industry and increase their chances of long term success.

SlideTeam is a leading full-service market research, consulting, and design agency that develops and templatizes industry processes, best practices, frameworks, and models across all industries and verticals to help customers present their strategies effectively and convincingly. It compiles data and statistics from thousands of sources on various topics to help customers make intelligent decisions.

With a team comprising research analysts, industry experts, and designers spread over 6 countries, SlideTeam deploys an all-inclusive research methodology aimed at reducing deviance to provide the most accurate estimates and forecasts possible.

Diving deeper into industry trends, the company creates breakdowns across market segments and geographies which further leverages their customers to identify new and existing opportunities in their niches.

Our Research Approach serves these client's objectives -

  • How to become more competitive and grow in a given market?
  • How to best develop and commercialize in the new markets?

The industry reports prepared also helps end-users in analyzing their competitive position in a dynamic market environment. Decision makers and leaders in the industry depend on research reports from SlideTeam. The clients include end users, start-ups, consulting companies, technology suppliers, investment firms, etc. Some of the Assumptions considered during the preparation of the reports are -

  • The report is prepared in compliance with the disclosed laws and guidelines of the specific industry. The successful opening of the firm/company/start-up will create full-time employment for residents and contribute positively to the economy on a national level.
  • The firm's projections on financial growth over the next five (2023 -2027) years.
  • A business is subject to several risks; therefore, financial computations are based on assumptions and conditions prevailing in the industry and business practices followed in the normal course of the business, such as tax, inflation rates, operating, and other expenses.
  • The business growth will be different if the platform/firm/company starts deviating from its underlying cost and growth trend.

Specifically, we help our clients...

  • Develop market attractiveness models based on opportunity size, growth, and fit.
  • Recognize, size, and assess market opportunities.
  • Determine not only the addressable market but also the viable and winnable opportunities using TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis.
  • Document pain points, obstacles, and constraints.
  • Listen to the customer's voice to identify value drivers that can move the needle for our client.
  • Provide a detailed blueprint for a go-to-market strategy.

Why you need this business plan?

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Total Pages in the Report- 62

department store business plan pdf

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Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document with all 62 slides:

Use our Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document to effectively help you save your valuable time. They are readymade to fit into any presentation structure.

Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document Department Store Business Plan A4 Pdf Word Document

department store business plan pdf


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    1.0 Executive Summary The purpose of this business plan is to raise $3,000,000 for the development of a department store while showcasing the expected financials and operations over the next three years.

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  23. Department Store Business Plan A4 Pdf Word Document

    Department Store Business Plan Pdf Word Document; Department Store Business Plan Including Market Size, Product and Service Segmentation Grocery items, Pharmacy products, Kitchen accessories, etc. , Market Trends, Major Challenges, Financial Highlights, SWOT Analysis, Target Segmentation Households, Rural residents, etc., Major Players with ...

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