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How much $$$ to open boutique?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I figure I'm gonna need to get clothes obviously , pre pay a year or two's lease, renovations like hardwood flooring ect. Anyone open a boutique before? A general idea of what I need to save would be nice. $20 000, $50 000? For the record I wanna carry Ben Sherman, American Apparel and a denim line I'm not sure about yet.
post #2 of 53
Where are you?
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Sudbury Ontario Any information you guys might have be it from personal experence or general knowledge i may overlook please post here. This is my dream and I hope to have a shop open within 2 years. So I have a lot of time to do research. I also thought this might be a fun topic for the forum.
post #4 of 53
I am also interested in this topic.
post #5 of 53
It's great to get involved in your passion.

I am a business student and currently work in a clothing store.

I would guess, an initial investment would be around 150-200K CDN to open a small boutique. There are many initial costs: banking, finding a lawyer, renovations, display racks, initial inventory, hiring staff, retail POS systems, and marketing. Once off the ground, you need to keep in mind your operational costs and have the ability to run at a loss for six months to a year.

If you don't have any experience in management, consider checking your local college or university for a certificate in business management. Courses range from three weeks for a certificate, two years for a diploma or a complete bachelors in commerce.
post #6 of 53
I agree with Edward, doesn't the price depend on where you are, because Iw ould imagine rent would vary a lot
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMcDenim
I figure I'm gonna need to get clothes obviously , pre pay a year or two's lease, renovations like hardwood flooring ect. Anyone open a boutique before? A general idea of what I need to save would be nice. $20 000, $50 000? For the record I wanna carry Ben Sherman, American Apparel and a denim line I'm not sure about yet.

Umm, I'm not sure how cheap rent is in Ontario, but I would hazard a guess and assume that you aren't going to be able to lease a retail store that is much larger than a closet for $2k/month. Even in a small market it will be difficult to get much more than 1000-1500 sq/ft of retail space for $2k/USD a month.

For 2 years of rent I would budget ~$100k USD. For inventory, depending on how much stock you're going to carry you're probably going to be looking at about $30-50k, renovations computer equipment legal and corporate fees, and other stuff will probably run $10-30k depending on how much renovation and equipment you will be looking to use. If you aren't going to use a POS system, then it may be somewhat less. I would estimate you should be looking at about $250k USD if you want to do it right, given your parameters of prepaying 2 years of rent, which I think isn't the best idea. You're being very optimistic if you're planning on being in business in two years, at least IMO.
post #8 of 53
I don't know how things are in Canada, in Australia, a decent shop fit out is very expensive.
post #9 of 53
I've never run or owned a shop, but I do know a fair number of retailers. I've seen shops start at around $150K for everything, with inital stock starting at ~50K and 100K for everything else, with a lot of innovation and elbow grease, no additional employees, and by a guy with extensive experience and ties to the community, which means a lot (pre-existing customer list, easier to get accounts, for starters). Most shops I know had startup costs of 200K+, as Drizzt accounts for. Not a cheap proposition, and a bit of bad planning + a bit of bad luck can sink the ship very, very quickly. I've heard it's great if it works out though!
post #10 of 53
I don't know anything about opening up a boutique, but I think you'll be best served if you get a job at one for a while to see how things are run. $200k is a lot of dough to risk if you're going in for the first time. Passion is great, but business is brutal.
post #11 of 53
I think those numbers are very accurate for a shop opening in any fairly major market city in NA. However, I think he said he wants to open a shop in Sudbury. Sudbury has a population of about 150 000 people and is Northern Ontario, so I think the numbers you guys are quoting are high. A 150-200k store would never survive in Sudbury.
post #12 of 53
I think a lot of you guys are over estimating how much it would cost for stock.
post #13 of 53
Does AA sell outside of thier own stores? I've never seen it anyplace other than AA. Just doing some quick math, you'd need at least 20k for startup inventory. Unless you only want to stock 1 or 2 quantities of each size. Rent is really gonna vary and make life easy or kill you quickly. My friend has a store on Melrose/LaBrea (a very high profile area) and pays about $1500/month for 1000sqft approx. A couple miles down the street, the new Duncan Quinn store is 800sqft and rent is closer to $8000 as that area is about $10/sqft. And this is a 2 minute drive distance apart. Your inventory $ is pretty static but the rent can be a make it/break it factor. Ideally you'd want to be in an area with stores of the same ilk. It's better to be in a destination zone, than be a destination store.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
Rent is really gonna vary and make life easy or kill you quickly.... Your inventory $ is pretty static but the rent can be a make it/break it factor. Ideally you'd want to be in an area with stores of the same ilk.

But rent is aslo reflective of how desireable the area is (i.e. how much of a market you have). Low rent is all well and good, but it won't make a you if there's no traffic coming in. Conversely, killer rent can indeed kill you, but rent will only be that high because there lots of customers coming in to witness your grisly death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
It's better to be in a destination zone, than be a destination store.

couldn't have said it better myself.

My advice is to find an up-and-coming area that is still kinda grungy. If you can expect to operate at a loss for a year, then look for locations that will be good a year from now.

There is a saying in real estate:"follow the rainbow". Gay communities are often harbingers of revival. They come into down-and-out areas and invest disposable income in building it up. That's what has happened to Boston's South End, and its happened in all kinds of once-derelict NY neighborhoods. Gay communities are also the friend of your particular business venture because, if you look at their buying habits, there tends to be many early-adopters of consumerist trends among gay communities.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo

There is a saying in real estate:"follow the rainbow". Gay communities are often harbingers of revival. They come into down-and-out areas and invest disposable income in building it up. That's what has happened to Boston's South End, and its happened in all kinds of once-derelict NY neighborhoods. Gay communities are also the friend of your particular business venture because, if you look at their buying habits, there tends to be many early-adopters of consumerist trends among gay communities.

2nd the advice. No children (normally) = more disposable income = more luxury goods purchased.

Jon.
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