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How to Start a Footwear Retail Store Business in India in 2024?

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how to start footwear business

If you are looking for the right strategy on how to start a footwear retail store business in India, this article is for you. We have laid down all checklists, steps, and guidelines to start and run a profitable footwear store business. 

From the business plan and key legal registration requirements to the location, inventory, equipment, and footwear software needed for a footwear retail business, this post covers everything you will need to start, manage, and scale your footwear business. 

Steps and Checklists for Start a Footwear Retail Store Business in India

Start a Footwear Retail Store Business

Did you know that India’s shoe market is booming? 

The recent budget 2024 has laid the ground for a booming footwear sector ahead in India. Positivity has been delivered in the mood, –Anupam Bansal, Liberty Shoes (Source)

The Indian footwear retail market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.85% between the forecasted period of 2024-2028. This presents a golden opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs like you to step into the market and tap into its immense potential. This growth is fueled by factors such as increasing disposable income, rising standards of the middle class, and evolving fashion trends. 

However, even amidst such positivity, there are challenges that a new footwear store retailer is bound to face while venturing into the first store. From managing billing counters to inventory, from sales to taxes, and CRM to online stores, there is a lot to manage. 

Therefore, a comprehensive checklist or guidelines can be instrumental in addressing the above-mentioned challenges in the footwear retail business. It can serve as a roadmap, guiding footwear retailers through the various aspects of setting up and growing their businesses. 

To help footwear retailers establish and scale their business, we have developed a detailed checklist that covers the following key areas:

#1 Conduct detailed market research for your footwear retail business

To initiate any business successfully, the first step is thorough market research. This involves understanding the local demand for footwear, identifying potential customers, and gauging competition. 

  • Start by surveying your local area to assess existing footwear stores and their offerings
  • Utilize online market research reports to grasp industry trends and growth prospects
  • Choose the ownership structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited).
  • Identify potential collaborations with brands and the products you can offer.
  • Analyze the preferences and purchasing behavior of your target market. 
  • Establish the dimensions, size, and magnitude of your footwear store.
  • Determine fund requirements and explore financing alternatives

#2 Analyze cost and investment requirements for footwear retail 

  • Find expenses for property leasing or renting, furniture, interior design, and equipment procurement
  • Costs for stocking footwear inventory
  • Costs related to obtaining government approvals and licenses
  • Investments in technology like CCTV, billing counters, and footwear software.
  • Marketing costs for ads, signboards, digital marketing, etc. 
  • Documenting all costs related to inventory, warehouse rent, and marketing is essential.
  • Outline sources of cash such as debtors and creditors, and specify the tenure of credit periods.
  • Working capital considerations and operational costs

#3 Legal registrations required for the retail shoe store

GST Registration

Business Insurance

  • Ensures legal compliance and operational security
  • Prevents legal consequences and regulatory fines

Business registration certificates: 

  • Professional tax certificate (PT) 
  • Shops, and Establishment Act registration

Key documents that you will require for opening your footwear store are listed below: 

  • PAN Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • Rent agreement/Lease
  • Utility bills of the place of business (electricity/tax bill) not older than two months as proof of address.
  • Bank account statements of business owners
  • Photograph of the Applicant

#4 Funding checklist for retail shoe stores

To establish a footwear shop in India, you can either invest your savings or secure funding through investments from angel investors or venture capitalists, small business loans from banks, or personal savings. 

If you are looking to seek funding from external sources then create a well-structured business plan outlining everything from location to revenue forecast for a minimum of 5 years. 

Small Business Loans

  • Prepare a detailed business plan
  • Emphasize growth potential and market demand

Angel Investors

  • Make a compelling pitch highlighting unique selling points
  • Emphasize scalability and profitability

Venture Capitalists

  • Seek venture capitalists who invest in retail businesses 
  • Create elevator pitch 
  • Showcase market opportunity and return on investments

#5  Choose the right location for footwear stores

Picking the right spot for your shoe store is important: 

Location Considerations

  • Choose an easily accessible and safe area
  • Consider foot traffic and visibility
  • Factor in rent, utilities, and overall expenses

Foot Traffic and Visibility

  • Opt for locations with high foot traffic
  • Balance visibility with rental costs

Layout Planning

  • Plan counters, and designate areas for racks, customer seating, etc. 
  • Consider layout for customer comfort and shopping experience

#6 Checklist for stocking the right inventory in footwear stores

After getting the money and picking a spot for your store, it’s time to fill up your store with trending footwear inventory. You have to keep stocks for both warehouse and in-store display. 

  • To find the shoe stocks, look online or offline distributors. 
  • Check out different websites and reviews to make sure they have what your target audience in your location wants. Once you have some options, talk to them and see if their shoes are good quality and if they fit what you want. 
  • Ask for sample footwear types and check them for comfort, style, sturdiness, and price. 
  • Check if they have the right licenses and certifications. 
  • Also, make sure they can supply the required quantity or not whenever required
  • Negotiate for prices, payment terms, and supply liabilities 
  • Find out the returns policy, transit policy, insurance, etc. 

Below is the detailed list of stocks footwear retailers should keep: 

Checklist for inventory in footwear stores

Footwear Brands

Footwear retailers must focus on top footwear brands for stocking inventory in their stores. For instance, in India, consumers prioritize value, quality, comfort, and durability, often seeking a mix of local and international brands such as Bata, Liberty, Campus, Paragon, Action, Hush Puppies, Aqualite, Ecosoft, Piere Cardin, and Gordie. Survey the trends, demographic requirements, offerings, pricing, and market strategies of these brands to stock the right mix of everything. You can also contact these brands for exclusive dealerships and offers. 

#7 Key software applications required for footwear retail business

Key software for footwear retail business

When choosing software applications for managing a footwear store, it’s crucial to consider various factors to ensure the seamless operation and sustainable growth of the business. 

Here’s a comprehensive checklist to guide the selection of footwear software applications tailored for a shoe store:

  1. Real-time Data Synchronization: Ensure the footwear store software enables real-time data synchronization across all stores
  2. Multi-store Support: The software should be able to handle multiple stores through a centralized system.
  3. Integrated Functionality: Look for integrated software that has POS, inventory management, e-commerce, CRM, accounting, billing, and other essential functionalities in a unified platform.
  4. Reporting and Analytics: Evaluate the software’s capability to generate comprehensive retail reports and analytics related to financials, sales, inventory, customer behavior, and other relevant metrics.
  5. CRM features: Ensure the software provides CRM features for customer contact management (phone number, address, email, Whatsapp, etc), customer segmentation, coupon generation, loyalty program management, membership management, etc. 
  6. Stock Management: Ensure the system can generate low inventory alerts, automate stock replenishment, and send notifications or product reorders. 
  7. Warehouse management: The footwear store software must be able to manage warehouse activities and tracking of inventory as it moves in or out of the warehouse. It should update the stock data in real-time as any inventory leaves the warehouse. It should also have features for barcode/label generation. 
  8. Omnichannel E-commerce: The footwear POS system must have features to open an online footwear store so that footwear businesses can also sell their products online.  

Consider top all-in-one footwear software solutions like VasyERP to efficiently manage all operations of your footwear business. 

#8 Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for footwear store business

Establishing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is crucial for the smooth and efficient operation of a footwear store. 

Here are the essential components of SOPs tailored for a footwear store business:

Inventory Management

Create detailed guidelines for retail inventory management including stocking, replenishing, and monitoring footwear inventory to prevent stockouts or overstock situations, including procedures for receiving new stock and conducting regular inventory audits.

Customer Service

Protocols for collecting customer info, delivering exceptional customer service, handling footwear inquiries, providing in-store assistance, staff training for customer reception and grievance handling, etc. 

Safety and Hygiene

Adherence to protocols for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment, including floor safety measures, fire safety procedures, and cleanliness standards. 

Cash Handling Procedures

Guidelines for accurate cash handling, cashier responsibilities, and processes for handling returns and exchanges.

Technology SOPs: Clear guidelines for managing barcode readers, footwear software, POS, security cameras, Kiosks, etc. 

Marketing and Promotions

Strategies for planning and executing footwear marketing campaigns, in-store promotions, seasonal events, etc. 

Warehouse and Logistics SOPs: Set process protocols for how your inventory at a warehouse will be delivered to the store location, how inventory will be stored in the warehouse and other processes for warehouse safety.  

By implementing and adhering to these SOPs, a footwear store can ensure consistent operational standards and zero-waste resource management.

#9 Hiring talented and suitable staff

As your shoe store grows, hire help to handle daily tasks. Below is the checklist to hire and retain suitable staff for your footwear store. 

  • Look for staff who know about shoes and can serve customers well. 
  • You can also offer training to improve their skills. 
  • Start by figuring out what roles you need, like sales, admin, marketing, and operations. 
  • Once you know, look for people with good communication, motivation, convincing skills, problem-solving, and knowledge about shoes. 
  • Since you’re just starting, consider experienced hires who understand the job. But also, check if their personality fits the role. 
  • Every business is different, so give your staff ongoing training and support to improve their knowledge, customer service, and sales skills. This will help boost sales.

#10 Equipment checklist for footwear store

  • Open and close signboards
  • Discount boards, and marketing banners
  • Counter furniture
  • Billing machines 
  • Security cameras for surveillance
  • Barcode Scanners
  • Computers, card machines
  • Shopping bags
  • Commercial Display Cases
  • Cases for exclusive footwear brands
  • Trash cans 
  • Seating furniture for customers/employees
  • Shoe racks/shelves
  • Fitting stools or chairs: Provide customers with a comfortable place to try on shoes.
  • Mirror
  • Accessories like shoe polish, brushes
  • Shoe measuring tools
  • Cleaning supplies like brooms, mops, and cleaning solutions.
  • Price tags and labeling equipment
  • Cash drawers and safes
  • Receipt printers
  • Store signage

#11 Ensure Marketing on the Right Platforms

Social Media: Create processes for utilizing popular social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook) to showcase the latest footwear products in your store, and run targeted ads to reach potential customers in the local area.

Print Ads: Collaborate with newspapers to place print ads or create attractive visuals of your footwear collection, and place such prints outside your store.

Banners: Strategically place eye-catching banners with the right message/captions at high-traffic locations in the vicinity of the store.

Promotions: Offer limited-time promotions such as ‘buy one, get one free’ on select footwear, exclusive loyalty programs, memberships, etc. to incentivize and encourage repeat visits.

Gift Vouchers: Introduce customizable gift vouchers that can be redeemed in-store. Offer a bonus gift or discount coupons to attract new customers.

Conclusion

Starting a footwear shop in India presents opportunities for growth and profitability. With our guidelines and checklists, you can ensure starting a footwear business with the right steps.  

It is crucial to invest in modern technology such as cloud-based footwear software

By adhering to this checklist and staying agile in response to market trends, you can set up a flourishing footwear business. 

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