How to Start an Urban Clothing Store

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Urban clothing is all the rage amongst the young and hip. From hip-hop stars to rebellious teens, Urban clothing is consistently in demand. Starting an urban clothing store could put you on the path to community popularity as well as financial success.

Find a supplier. You can start by looking for independent labels in your area. Small, independent labels will not only be less expensive for you to carry (thereby increasing your profit margin), they also allow you the opportunity to be the founder of the next big thing. Even if you have no independent designers or suppliers in your area, you may be able to find some online. When buying in bulk, be sure to negotiate additional discounts for your purchase.

Find a location for your urban clothing store. You can look for a location to lease in a mall in order to take advantage of established customers, or you can try to find a freestanding location. Determine how much room you need by writing down what you plan to carry. Most urban clothing stores not only carry pants and shirt, but accessories including hats, belts and shoes as well. Make sure you add extra room to store stock. Be sure to check the zoning and code information to ensure your compliance with business zoning standards and code requirements.

Subscribe to magazines that feature urban clothing ads and photo spreads. This will help you to stay on the cutting edge and keep your store stocked with the styles everyone will be looking for.

Take out a loan for start up costs. Not only will you need your origination costs for opening the store, but you should plan on three years worth of operating expenses (including payroll and advertising costs), since that is how long it takes most businesses to make a profit.

Create an advertising plan. You will want to have some sort of advertising plan in place to attract customers. Sales, coupons, TV and radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads are all options. You may also want to consider direct advertising (postcards and letters) directly to your target market.

Tips & Warnings

  • Subscribe to hip-hop magazines to get ideas for your stock.
  • Hire sales people who know about urban clothing.
  • Make sure you have a business plan in place to help you budget and achieve expansion goals.

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