How to start a sweet shop: The ultimate step-by-step guide to starting a candy store
Who doesn’t love a sweet or two?
Supermarkets are often seen as the enemy to the traditional high street store. But this need not be the case. Many independent shops are opening and surviving. By concentrating on strong and personal customer service, often these small businesses are thriving.
The sweet shop appeals to all generations. A well thought out, colourful, engaging shop will have children excitedly reaching for the goodies- adults likewise. Every generation has a nostalgia for the sweets of their childhood.
If you are opening a sweet shop, then the following step-by-step guide can help you open the doors to your first sweet shop.
Step #1 Choose your location wisely.
With some high street stores suffering in the last few years, there may be negotiating room on rents in some hot shopping spots. A prime town centre location could well be an option.
Or perhaps a bustling seaside resort? Or close to a school? Locating the store near to a school will give big spikes in trade but is also very dependent on the school holidays.
Do your research and perhaps speak to other tradespeople in the area. They will give you an insight into passing trade.
Also, keep your eye on the competition. Setting up right next to a giant, well-established confectionery store will set you back before you’ve even opened your doors.
Step #2 Find out about any relevant regulations.
Having found your ideal location it might be a good time to deal with the legalities associated with opening a confectionery store. Contact your local authority who will be more than happy to offer advice regarding business rates and other regulations.
Consider putting together some policies on the following regulations:
Fire Risk Assessments (and extinguishers)
Signage - Hand washing etc
Training & Employment Law
Step #3 Kit out your store. Be unique.
Spend Some Money. Find Your Niche. When you’re ready to commit, there should be a financial plan in place. You may have the backing of your savings or a bank.
A well fitted out shop, bright new signage and shelves full of stock will all contribute to a successful launch day.
Start to think about how your sweet shop is giving its customers something they want and need. What are you going to do differently?
Step #4 Become A Marketing Expert
Or hire one. You may have the best, most innovative ideas but they’re no use to you unless the world finds out. You may not have the time to commit to marketing. Allow some budget for this, or learn quickly and promote yourself.
Step #5 Selling stock.
What’s Going To Sell? How Are You Going To Sell It?
There is a big market for traditional sweets sold in the traditional way. People will often ask for ‘a quarter’ of their favourite sweets. It’s true that you need to sell by metric weights, but a bit of inventive signage can convert these weights in a fun way. The pleasure is in watching sweets weighed out from a jar. Finding a way to combine this with contemporary trends in sweets will be the secret to attracting all ages.
Step #6 Think about the returning customer.
Your unique brand will pull the customers back for more. Friendly and personal customer service in a welcoming environment will beat the supermarkets every time. Your town may be redeveloping with rustic, cosy independent retailers. Fit in with this. Customer experience is every bit as important as price.
Why not introduce a 10% off your next order offer for first time customers?
Step #7 Provide unique experiences.
Try and think of reasons to invite customers in, maybe have sweet shop experience days, children's’ story tellers or theme days. Make your customers feel part of the brand. Another option is to create a mobile shop and take it to parties or other gatherings.
Step #8 Consider dietary requirements.
Many customers will have dietary requirements. Be sure to stock sugar-free sweets, gluten-free sweets, as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
Step #9 Top up on popular products.
Don’t disappoint returning customers! You’ll soon get a feel for what sells and getting fresh supplies will be key.
Here at Appletons, we have over 70 years of experience in the sweet trade. With our comprehensive range and prompt deliveries you need never be left with empty jars on empty shelves.
Step #10 Choose a reputable wholesaler.
Whatever style of sweets, or other confectionery you decide to stock, we have it all here at Appletons. We choose the most popular stock for confectionery stores across the UK. With our well selected sweets range and excellent value, you can make sure you make a good profit in your confectionery store.
Contact us to get advice on stocking your new venture.