When you own a store, it is exciting to make lots of sales and profits. A significant increase in revenue is a sign that it’s time to take the next step: expanding. This step, however, can seem daunting. Where to start? In this article, we will explore 10 ways to expand a retail store:

  1. Be present on multiple channels
  2. Analyze all the aspects of your store
  3. Renovate and upgrade the store
  4. Diversify your offer
  5. Develop marketing strategies
  6. Explore new business models and new markets
  7. Seize opportunities for financing, purchasing or merging
  8. Use technology
  9. Build partnerships with other companies
  10. Open up a new store

1. Be Present on Multiple Channels

The first step to expand your store is to make sure you capture the market in which you evolve. This can be done by varying your sales channels. The best way to expand is to open an online store. Another very useful channel for expanding your customer base is online third-party retailers and marketplaces.

Online Presence

With customers shopping more and more online, it has become very important to have an online presence. It’s difficult to succeed without having an e-commerce website or without establishing a consistent presence on social media. Click here to discover all the benefits of an online store for a retailer.

A secure and user-friendly website is a necessary investment to increase sales and awareness of your store. With a website, you can hope to sell to different socio-demographic groups who live in other regions and even other countries! The “Order online, pick up in store” option also helps attract customers who like to shop online, but who prefer to pick up their purchase in store rather than have it delivered to their home. Social media also helps to make you known to your target audience.

With a good point of sale software, like Alice POS, it’s very easy to synchronize your online sales with those you make in store. Click here to request a demo!

Third-Party Retailers and Online Marketplaces

Many businesses choose to sell through online marketplaces, like Amazon, Etsy or eBay. These allow retailers to reach new customers that they would not be able to reach otherwise. Although these online marketplaces are direct competitors, they can become allies if used wisely.

2. Analyze All the Aspects of Your Store

It is important to analyze the performance of your store (example: sales, clicks on your website or social media, number of visitors on your website). This analysis allows you to assess your store and see what you are doing well and must continue as such and what elements need to be improved.

Market and competition analysis allows you to identify trends and opportunities that will help you increase your popularity and your sales if they are well exploited. The analysis also allows you to identify threats that could harm the success of your store and to find solutions.

By staying aware of your performance, market trends and the actions of your competitors, you ensure that you remain flexible and have the ability to adapt to the changing market and the actions of competitors that could impact you.

3. Renovate and Upgrade the Store

If you evaluate the performance of your store and come to the conclusion that it is now too small for the demand you receive, renovations or upgrades are necessary. These renovations consist of improvements to the layout of the store, to the displays and to the general atmosphere of the store. Optimizing your retail space is very important to ensure that circulation is seamless in the store and that products are well placed to attract the customers’ eye.

It is sometimes necessary to extend the store. Struggling to meet demand with current resources or having so many customers that they are often stuck on top of each other are signs that it is the right time to invest in an expansion.

If after a thorough evaluation you feel the need to expand your store, for instance by purchasing a larger location, and you have the means to do so, do not hesitate to go ahead!

4. Diversify Your Offer

Adding new products in your offer will allow you to attract more customers. For example, if you sell video games, also consider selling accessories that go with the video games.

You can offer new services that align with your store. For example, a bicycle store can offer repair or rental services in addition to the sale of bikes and equipment that every cyclist needs.

Make sure your entire product line and services align with your brand and with customer preferences. There is no point in diversifying your offering if no one is interested in the new products. When you introduce new products into your offering, monitor their performance and compare it with the products you already offer. With a point of sale software, it’s very easy to have this relevant information. This is useful to make informed decisions about the future of your store and your offer.

5. Develop Marketing Strategies

The development of marketing strategies is a necessary condition for the success of a store and its growth.

The first step is to establish a plan to promote the store. Depending on what you deem relevant to your business, feel free to use both online and offline channels to promote your store.

Events and novelties are good starting points for attracting people. New products or services, discounts, or the opening of a new store or pop-up shop are all things you can use to draw people’s attention to you.

If you have a loyalty program, be sure to promote it and explain it well. Rewards, discounts, and member-exclusive offers are very helpful in retaining current customers. To learn more about the benefits of loyalty programs and the mistakes to avoid, click here.

6. Explore New Business Models and New Markets

To expand your retail store, leveraging new business models is an option.

The first business model you could implement is a subscription. Customers pay an amount on a recurring basis to have access to your services or certain products. The advantage of this model is that it provides a predictable revenue stream and fosters customer loyalty.

Franchising is another business model to explore. You can expand your store by selling the right to replicate your store under your business name. However, managing a franchise is not like managing an individual store. Click here if you are looking for advice on ensuring top-notch multi-store management.

When you are well established in your niche, you can explore new markets to expand your retail store. For example, if you run a store that sells new video games, you could start selling used video games. If you sell women’s clothing, you could branch out into selling men’s clothing or collect used clothing to resell. Circular economy is increasingly becoming an option of choice to avoid overconsumption and to save on resources.

7. Seize Opportunities for Financing, Purchasing or Merging 

If you want to expand your retail business, by opening a new store for example, it may be necessary to secure a loan. You can get money from a bank or investors. However, a financial institution or investor will ask you a lot of questions to make sure they don’t lose their money and that you have what it takes to grow.

It is also wise to inform yourself of the purchase or merger possibilities. Look for opportunities to buy a business in your industry. Buyouts and mergers bring access to new markets, new customers and new resources that will allow you to grow even faster as a business.

8. Use Technology

In retail, technology makes it possible to automate many processes. Thanks to inventory management, accounting and point of sale software, retailers save time, energy and money. 

A point of sale software greatly helps store managers handle inventory, orders, suppliers, customers, etc. This type of software even does some tedious tasks completely autonomously. For example, it generates real-time reports and alerts you when the inventory level reaches a certain level and when it’s time to reorder from suppliers. All that time and money you save with such software can be invested in growing your retail business.

Other technologies, such as touch screens, can be used to increase sales. Touchscreens enhance the store and improve the customer experience by allowing customers to experiment and interact. An outstanding customer experience makes the customer want to come back to your store.

9. Build Partnerships With Other Companies

Partnerships with other companies are a golden opportunity to attract new customers and create new offers that will appeal to people. You can collaborate with another company to do cross-promotions or other joint projects

Collaborations between two companies are also events that can be utilized in your marketing strategies. Partnerships with complementary companies allow you to expand your customer base and increase your notoriety. This kind of partnership creates a buzz around the brands involved!

10. Open Up a New Store

Finally, the last way to expand your retail store is to open new physical branches. These may be in the same city or region, or even further away, perhaps in another country! Opening a new store is an opportunity to reach a whole new market and increase brand awareness, especially if you use the opening as an event to attract people’s attention.

However, opening a second store requires a lot of work and money. Click here for steps to open a second store.

New stores should not be carbon copies of your first store. What worked in one community does not necessarily work in another. For this reason, each of your stores must take on local colors to attract customers. For example, a beer company opening a new store in another region can adapt by selling craft beers from that region. These changes in the product range help attract customers who want to encourage the local economy.

Pop-Up Shops

It’s not just new stores that allow you to expand your retail business. Kiosks or pop-up shops are also very useful for increasing your sales and making yourself known without having to make a long-term commitment.

Pop-up shops are short-term retail spaces set up to create a unique, limited-time shopping experience. They are increasingly popular because they allow companies to test a specific market, interact with their customers, strengthen their notoriety and create a buzz. Indeed, pop-up shops, if used well, create a feeling of eagerness and thus trigger purchases.

You must first establish the goal of building a pop-up shop. This purpose will determine how long the store will exist and where you will establish it. The goals are numerous and varied: testing a market, launching a new product or even promoting a series of products, a collection, a theme or seasonal products. Pop-up stores are often set up in unconventional or unexpected places to spark people’s interest.

Successful pop-up shops offer memorable shopping experiences and create a sense of urgency and exclusivity. They are more flexible than stores, because they require less financial investment and they are temporary.

Finally, there are numerous ways to expand your retail store. There is not just the opening of a new store! Being present on multiple channels (social media, website, mobile app) is an essential condition for success. Technology, opportunities for takeovers, partnerships and physical expansions are also elements not to be forgotten. Regardless, it is essential to evaluate your business before embarking on a new endeavor. New ideas can take a retailer to new heights, but without resources and planning, no one gets anywhere!

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