Although commerce is quickly slipping through our fingers and moving into the digital, online environment, there still is room for actual brick-and-mortar retail stores to be built around the world. There is just something about the in-store shopping experience that an online one could never replicate. However, the competition between retail stores is fierce, so apart from a business plan and brand image, you’ll also need to know exactly what equipment you need when opening an actual store. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the basic equipment you should invest in for your grand opening:
No business, regardless of its size, can operate without a cash register or POS system and it’s up to you to choose which is best for your individual needs. A cash register will keep track of the transactions occurring in your store, may have a cash drawer, will offer receipts and may even calculate and add taxes. A POS system, on the other hand, will offer a greater variety of features, among which is a barcode scanner, a card scanner, a chip reader, a server and a touchscreen feature.
Depending on how much you are willing to invest in a POS system, you can get one that integrates with inventory management, warehouse or accounting management software. Choosing between a cash register and a POS system can be a tough task, but with the right factors in mind, you’ll quickly realize what fits your business the best. Having said this, ask yourself how large the store’s inventory is, if mobility is something you’re looking for and if you need more than the basic features.
If you’re looking to open a retail store, you’ll also need to invest in the right office equipment that is needed to help run the business. To this end, you won’t be able to carry out the daily processes without a decent computer, a copy machine and a scanner. Add to this mix a budget-friendly printer and you’ll be able to handle all the paperwork involved in the day-to-day running of your store. You may want to add a phone and various miscellaneous office items, such as staplers, pens and duct tape, among others. You might not cover every single office item from the start and that’s okay, you’ll be able to see what the full list is from the very first days of opening the store.
This step is just as important as getting the necessary office equipment and choosing between a cash register and a POS system. Your stockroom needs seem pretty basic, but are one of the most important and need to be covered accordingly. Your list will need to include trash cans, trash bags, brooms, mops, box cutters, labelers, and pricing guns. To this end, you’ll need to maximize the space of your actual stockroom and keep a tight inventory on the supplies. Don’t look at these costs as being miscellaneous, they actually tend to add up to a pretty impressive amount of money.
The buyer’s psychology is extremely complex and a buying decision can be made in as little as 8 seconds, without even being aware of it. This is why you will need to buy the appropriate shelves and racks for your business, after which you will need to position them in such a way that they feel enticing to the customer - the products that sell the most are usually at eye-level. As soon as you’ve established their position in the store, you’ll also need to test what the cold and hot spots are on the shelves. This means that some items will sell less than others, even if they’re all at an eye-level position, which should indicate the spots that are more attractive to the buyer than others.
Speaking about shelves and racks, there probably will not be enough space on them for all of your stuff. If there is no backroom or it’s not big enough, try to search for self storage or warehouse solution nearby. Depending on the amount of space you need, finding a finding a storage unit will be a cheaper solution than paying higher rent for space with an additional back room.
You may have one of the greatest retail stores out there, but it can be all for nothing if people don’t know about it. This is where an effective signage design can come in and turn everything around for your business. Get a large banner and signal people your shop’s just around the corner. Order large block letters that you can install just above the entrance and use a smaller installation of your brand’s name just above the cash register, for extra impact and brand recognition. Don’t leave your business in the dark and give it the attention it needs to flourish.
When all is said and done, regardless of the business model it will implement, every new retail store out there will need a clear list of items needed for operations to be able to run smoothly. Having said this, make sure you take the time and jot down everything you need, so you can start purchasing these items one by one. It’s always best to think ahead and prevent uncomfortable situations for your freshly-opened retail store.
By: Bethany Seton