Housewares encompass all of the miscellaneous items you use in your home. Curtains and towels, pots and pans, and even wall hangings all fall in the category of housewares. Large retail stores have entire sections devoted to these items. Small, specialty boutiques offer housewares that are not available in the big-box stores. You can open a housewares boutique once you know the business, have made a few contacts and understand your target consumers.
Learn about housewares by working in a retail environment. Many large retailers provide excellent training to junior associates. This is a good environment for learning the specifics of products sold by different vendors.
Meet with representatives from as many housewares vendors as possible. Obtain pamphlets and price lists from each representative. Keep this information on file.
Look for a piece of property. A boutique is a small, specialty store. So, look for a spot at a local mall, or, a similarly sized shop that is properly zoned and in an area that naturally attracts your target consumers. Lease or purchase a property with plenty of storage space.
Check the competition. Go to large retailers and other small housewares boutiques in the area. Watch the customers in each spot to learn what sells and what does not. Local vendor representatives can also provide valuable information in this area. Place your primary orders.
Display the housewares received in your first shipments around your shop. Remember to keep a few of each piece of inventory in stock in your back room. This insures availability that keeps customers coming back.
Contact the media for an advertising blitz before opening day. Newspapers, radio and local television all sell advertising space. But, to reach customers more in tune with the housewares you sell you must post informal ads at local hardware stores and set up a booth at the local housewares expo when you are trying to get out the word about your grand opening.
Housewares is a competitive business. Design and maintain a fair and simplistic return policy and treat every customer like he is your first. This type of attitude, along with an intensive employee training program, gives your housewares boutique its best chance for survival and success.
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Entrepreneur; How to Start a Retail Business; Entrepreneur Media, Inc.; November 2007 [http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/startupkits/article75912.html]
Danny is a full time freelance writer/artist/voice talent. He has written over 1000 articles on subjects ranging from child development to drug addiction to home improvements. You can learn more about Danny’s past and current projects via email at revcozmo at aol dot com.