While opening a new clothes shop might be many people’s aspiration, new business takes a long time to build and begin producing profits. So, in many cases buying an existing business is a smarter move. Of course you’ll pay for the existing business goodwill, but you can also look forward to collecting income from day one and focus your time and energy on building up what’s already there.
The clothing industry is very competitive, but if you have the skills, the passion and the personality, you can do well. That’s because the future of the market looks very promising. According to the Clothing Retailing Update Market Report 2012, the UK’s clothing retail market increased 3.3% in 2011 and contributed £43.1 billion to the economy. Sales are estimated to increase by 20% to £51.8bn between 2012 and 2016 as the economy recovers. It’s a risky sector, but it can be highly rewarding.
If you’re going to buy a clothing shop, it has to fit your desires and be a good business opportunity. Our database includes clothing shops for sale throughout the UK, including fashion boutiques, men and women’s clothing stores, clothing manufacturing and retailing businesses. As you begin your search, keep in mind the following points:
If you want to be successful in one of the most competitive markets in the UK, you need to be unique; specialise rather than competing with big firms. Look for a clothing store with a product selection that fills a specific niche. As you know, successful stores have a great reputation and a strong base of loyal clients, and this is created by being unique and providing an amazing customer experience.
Clothing retail is about selling an image. Your shop needs to be as attractive as your clothes. It would be ideal to buy a great looking fashion store, but if the one that suits you doesn’t get heads turning, you will have the opportunity to put your creative skills to work. Decorate your boutique with your targeted customers in mind to make them feel comfortable and good about themselves. There are many resources for shop design ideas; Mary Portas has inspired many boutique owners with her unique knowledge of retail trends and consumer insights.
High street locations are ideal for clothing stores – if you can afford the rent – but some of the coolest fashion stores have proven that novel locations can work as well. Again, be unique when buying your fashion boutique (but keep in mind the location has to be easily accessible and visible from the street). A fashion boutique located near other clothing shops can help attract new customers, since people like to browse different places before buying.
Once you have found a clothing store you are interested in, there are some important things to investigate before making an offer. You will need to assess the business’s assets, employment records and run legal and financial checks. You can do some checks yourself or ask an advisor to help.
Besides market research and valuing the business, there are a few more stages to buying a clothing business, including getting tax advice, preliminary offers, negotiating terms, legal sale agreement and completing due diligence. Make sure each step of the negotiation is well documented in order to include all conditions and agreements in the contract.
As a business owner in the clothing and fashion sector, you can turn to a range of bodies for information and support. These include:
The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry: an unique association with a wealth of expertise in its membership, with access to specialised knowledge in many sectors, including the fashion industry.
The British Retail Consortium: the lead trade association representing a whole range of retailers, from the large multiples and department stores to small independents.
The British Fashion Council: they provide resources for designers, and organise events to reward design talents and businesses successes within the fashion and clothing sector.
Browse through hundreds of clothing shops for sale and start your new venture with Premier Businesses for Sale.