The retail industry has been around since 9000-6000 BC. As years passed, retail companies have evolved from barter systems (where cows and camels were used as a form of currency) to the era of online stores and e-receipts. As the industry becomes more complex, business owners often need the help of retail business loans to keep up with the competition and with rapid changes in the marketplace.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total monthly retail sales in May 2019 went up to $519 billion in the United States. If you’re looking to start your own retail company, the following are different types of retail businesses you can choose from:
1. Specialty Stores
A specialty store is the type of retail business that sells one type of product, like books, shoes, sporting goods, mobile phones, and more. Examples of specialty stores are Nike, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and more. This type of retail business is generally smaller than other types of retail stores, yet it has higher operating costs because of the limited volume. For this reason, the prices for specialized goods are more expensive compared to other retailers who sell a larger variety of goods.
2. Online Stores
An online store is the easiest and cheapest retail store to begin. But there are some online stores that have their own physical store as well. Online retail stores sell a plethora of goods, such as can be found on Shopify or Amazon. Even though you operate online, you still need to take orders, pack and ships items, manage billing, and deal with customer inquiries and complaints.
3. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores and supermarkets often offer different types of food and non-food products such as meat, produce, processed goods, cleaning products, and much more. The size of this type of retail business ranges from small convenience stores all the way up to large supermarkets. Some of the examples are Ralph’s and Trader Joe’s. There are currently more than 40,000 grocery stores in the United States and a majority of these is convenience store outlets.
4. Warehouse Stores
Warehouse stores, also known as ‘big box’ stores, display and sell products in bulk. They carry a wide variety of goods, such as clothing, sports equipment, packaged food, produce, meat, toys, electronics, and more. Most of these stores require yearly memberships and offer large price discounts and promos to members. Examples of warehouse stores are Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club.
5. Department Store
Department stores are segmented into different divisions that sell men’s, women’s, or kid’s clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, appliances, accessories, kitchenware, toys, and even furniture. This type of retail business can either be discount or high-end. Some examples of popular department stores are Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Kohl’s.
Kick-Start Your Retail Business with the Help of Retail Business Loans
Before you start your own retail business, make sure to pick the right type of products to sell. You also need to research your local market, customer demand, barriers to market, as well as nearby competition. Retail business loans can help you do that and more. SMB Compass offers different types of loan programs for small businesses all across the U.S.
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