Every fashion entrepreneur needs a store for their fashion items. Now, this store can either be physical or virtual but it is a store nonetheless. For those who decide to go with a physical store or a mix of both, you must know what to look out for and factors to consider in picking a location for this store.
This week, we spoke with Legal Practitioner, Desmond Chima Ihekaire, on factors to consider in picking a fashion store location, the price range for renting a fashion store in different areas, and the advantages of setting up a store in the right location.
Mr Desmond Chima Ihekaire is a Legal Practitioner who practices Litigation Law as well as Estate and Property Management. He hails from Imo State, Nigeria.
What is a Location?
According to him, “A location is a place where something happens or a place something is situated.” So for you as a fashion designer, your fashion store location is the place where that store is situated.
Factors to Consider in Picking the Right Location for you Fashion Store
Choosing a location to situate your fashion store in is a very big deal and one that should not be taken lightly especially if you plan to stay there for a long time.
There are many things to consider when choosing a location for your business, especially fashion stores. These factors have to be thoroughly considered before you settle down at a given location.
Before you finally decide on a location for your fashion store, here are 7 factors to consider;
Accessibility is one very important factor in picking a location for your fashion store. You have to critically look at the location and ask yourself, “How accessible is this location for my target market?” As a fashion entrepreneur, you do not want a situation where your clients turn back because of how hard it is to get to your store.
If you rely on high profile customers, you will have to ensure your location is accessible by cars. You must also have your employees in mind here. A good location is critical to recruiting the right workers.
Also, you would have to consider whether your fashion store relies on frequent deliveries. If so, it is important to consider the local transportation system in place. Good roads network are vital to business growth.
Take it or leave it, the location of your fashion store can increase your odds of being affected by crime. You want to know if the location you are considering setting up your fashion store is notorious for crime or not.
It is fundamental you know the chances of crime in the area you are considering sitting your fashion store.
The rate of crime in that area can adversely affect your expenses on insurance coverage if you decide to enlist one.
Your proximity to other stores dealing in your line of business could be crucial to your breaking even.
You have to consider whether your competitors can provide a benefit or cause a hindrance to your proposed store. Therefore, it is good to know which competitors are in your intended location and their tendencies to affecting your store negatively or positively.
4. Business Rates
In business, money capital is often King. Inflow and outflow of cash are pivotal to business success. Fashion stores cannot be left out here. You have to know if your business can foot the bills for that location comfortably and still settle other bills like the payment of salaries, the purchase of fashion tools, and so on.
Before deciding on a location, it is necessary that you determine the viability ability of your store to survive and pay its bills.
Most importantly is researching to know the average person business rates which include rent, utility bill and taxes in your chosen area. It will go a long way in determining your average expenditure per year.
5. Sourcing for Inventory
Depending on the type of fashion store you operate – a clothing store, shoe store, bag store, cosmetics store, or jewellery store – there will be certain vendors whose services you will be needing. With this in mind, try as much as possible to situate your store in a place that is not too far away from the vendors.
If you are considering locating your store in an area where you do not know many vendors, you might have to find out who the suppliers of materials for your store will be. The best way to do this is to visit a trade show. Get in touch with wholesalers engaging in exhibitions and find a reliable dealer who deals in materials necessary for your fashion store.
Apart from knowing the dealer, it is also important to know the dealer’s trade practice, invoice clearance conditions, guarantees, return policies, and so on.
6. Define your Niche
The importance of defining your niche before setting up a fashion business cannot be overstressed. The niche you have chosen for your self also plays a huge role in the type of location to pick for your fashion store.
Is your store a high-end store or an affordable one? Do you cater to male, female, or both? Are you focused on the young or old? It is important to think over these things before you pick a location.
If you hope to run a high-end luxury store and your fashion store is located in Ajegunle, it is unlikely that your target market, who live in Victoria Island, will patronise you.
Fashion stores located in a poor environment attract poor patronage, period.
Your target audience must be convinced and be at home with your location before giving it a place in their hearts.
7. Growth Potential
When picking a location for your fashion store, you need to ensure it is one that is both spacious and presentable enough for the kind of growth you hope to see in your business soon. This is because moving from one business premises to another as your business grows is not a small task.
Growth is inevitable. It is the dream of every business owner. So, your growth potential must be given preeminence in your choice of location. It is very advisable to set a fashion store in a location where a long stay is assured.
Not only does it task you, the business owner, but it also tasks both your business and clients as well. Having to redirect customers to a new business location is not often always easy and sometimes can lead to loss of customers. Because of this, you have to make a wise decision on whether your chosen location can support business expansion or not.
Before Picking a Location for your Fashion Startup
In choosing a location for your startup fashion business, you need to consider your;
They decide to a very large extent where your store should be situated. Depending on where they are, you have to situate your business in that direction. Sometimes, this might require that you get some soft loans from relatives and friends.
This works hand-in-hand with your target market. The story your brand tells is crucial in determining a location for it. Depending on the story it is telling, you can decide if the location is suitable or not.
But whatever you do, try to ensure that the location is not too small and allows some space for growth.
Good and Affordable Areas for Locating your Fashion Store
One factor that determines if an area is good or not is the amount of traffic that passes through that area. Streets with heavy human traffic are ideal for businesses of any kind.
Other factors to consider are how strategic the location of the place is and the size of the space you wish to rent.
If you are a fashion entrepreneur in Lagos who is not yet fully established, depending on your target market and taste, here are some affordable locations you can choose to situate your fashion store in;
1. Surulere with rent ranging from N450,000 to millions of naira.
2. Festac with rent also ranging from N450,00 to millions.
3. Yaba with rent starting from N400,000.
4. The good parts of Ikeja with rent starting from N500,000.
5. Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki axis with rent starting from N1,000,000.
Other places to consider are Ago palace way, Isolo, and Oshodi.
For those in Ibadan, Oyo state, areas like Challenge, Iwo road axis, and Dugbe are good choices as well.
Advantages of Setting up Shop in the Right Location
1. Quick and Fast Returns
Setting a fashion store at the right place brings quick and fast returns on investment. When you locate your fashion store in a place where your target audience will see you, and if you have a catchy brand story, chances that you will attract high patronage are great.
For example, if a fashion store that caters to the youth is set up in a university area, the tendency that students would patronise it is very high.
Remember we said one of the factors to consider in setting up a fashion store is the crime rate in that area? When you set up your fashion store in the right place, issues of vandalism will be ruled out since there is a good security network in place.
3. Affordable Running Costs
When your fashion store is located in an area that is close to the resources you need, the cost of running the business will be low.
4. High-Profit Margin
When you set up your fashion store in the right location, you are better assured of having high-profit margins. This is because you will not have a lack of customers and you are not paying rent that your business cannot handle.
5. Customer Satisfaction
Who doesn’t want satisfied customers? When your business location is easily accessible and does not change frequently, you will have satisfied and happy customers.
In closing, Mr Desmond said, “Fashion designing is a lucrative calling, especially in this age and time. So, my word to designers is to seek out what is best for them according to their local circumstances and financial strength.” He also added that “Each should strive towards improving himself/herself. Be creative and be the best you can be. Read wide to acquire new knowledge daily. And, above all, look up to God who grants an increase to those who seek him. God alone can!”