Lingerie Store

According to recent statistics, the lingerie industry is an incredibly lucrative one, generating over $13 billion in revenue annually. With more than 100,000 lingerie stores in the United States alone, consumers’ fascination for high-quality undergarments, coupled with the diverse array of styles and designs on offer, has fueled the market’s growth, making it an attractive investment opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

If you’re considering opening a lingerie store, you’re in the right place. In this article, we discuss the 10-step checklist on how to start a lingerie store business, including developing a business plan, researching the industry, selecting and securing a location, developing a marketing strategy, and hiring a team, among others.

With the following insights, you’ll have an understanding of what it takes to create a thriving lingerie business that can generate significant revenue and loyal customers. So, let’s get started!

  • Develop a business plan: Before you do anything else, it's vital to create a comprehensive business plan that outlines the goals and objectives of your lingerie store.
  • Develop a financial model: With your business plan in place, the next step is to develop a financial model that maps out your business's financial projections and identifies the sources of capital you'll need to start and operate the business.
  • Research industry for insights: Understanding your target audience, competition, and market dynamics is essential to strategic decision-making. Researching the lingerie industry can provide you with insights into the latest trends, consumer preferences, and purchasing habits.
  • Get necessary permits and licenses: You'll need to obtain the required permits and licenses to start a lingerie store business. These may vary depending on the state and city in which you plan to operate.
  • Develop a brand identity: Creating a brand identity for your lingerie business that distinguishes it from competitors and resonates with your target audience is critical for building brand recognition, generating customer loyalty, and increasing sales.
  • Secure capital & funding: Starting a lingerie business requires significant capital and funding. You'll need to secure financing from investors, lenders, or personal savings to cover the costs of inventory, rent, utilities, and staffing costs.
  • Determine the types of products you want to offer: An essential element in lingerie retail is to determine your product offerings. Will you offer popular brands or high-end designer lingerie? Will you sell bras, panties, hosiery, or shapewear? Knowing your product offerings will help you cater to your target audience and help refine your marketing strategy.
  • Select & secure a location: Your lingerie store's location can significantly impact the success of your business. You'll need to look for a space that’s easily accessible with high foot traffic, visibility and ensures your target audience is readily available.
  • Develop a marketing strategy: With your business established and products and target audience defined, developing a marketing strategy to reach and engage your target customer is imperative. Consider the various channels to promote your business (social networks, advertising, influencers, etc.), and craft messaging that aligns with your brand’s message.
  • Hire and train the team: Last but certainly not least, is to form a team of highly trained, friendly staff who can provide exceptional customer service and make the buying experience comfortable and welcoming.

In conclusion, opening a lingerie store business can be an exciting and profitable venture with careful planning, research, and execution. By following this ten-step checklist, you can lay the groundwork for a successful lingerie store business that delivers on shopper expectations and taps into the growing demand for high-quality undergarments. Why not start your journey towards creating a thriving lingerie business today!

1. Develop A Business Plan

Before starting any business, whether it is a lingerie store or any other, developing a business plan is a must. A business plan acts as a roadmap for your business and helps you stay focused on your goals and objectives. Your business plan should include the following:

  • Executive Summary: A brief summary of your business idea, target audience, and financial projections.
  • Market Analysis: Research on the lingerie market, competition, and target audience.
  • Service/Product Line: The lingerie products/services you plan on offering.
  • Sales and Marketing Strategy: Strategy you plan on using to promote and sell your lingerie products.
  • Financial Projections: A projection of your start-up costs, operating expenses, and revenue for the first 3-5 years.
  • Management Team: Information on your team members and their roles in the business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Do your research: Spend time researching the lingerie market, competition, and target audience to make informed decisions about your business.
  • Be realistic with your financial projections: Your projections should be based on real data and not wishful thinking. Factor in any unexpected expenses and be prepared to adapt your plan if needed.
  • Consult a professional: If you're unsure about how to develop a business plan, consider hiring a professional business consultant to help you.

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2. Develop A Financial Model

When starting a lingerie store business, one of the most crucial steps is developing a financial model. A financial model is a detailed plan that outlines how your business will operate, the expected startup costs, and revenue projections over a certain period. This plan will help you understand how much money you need to start the business and how long it will take to break even. Here are the steps to help you create a strong financial model:

  • Research the industry: Research the lingerie industry and identify the current market trends, customer behavior, and pricing models. Look at the financial models of similar businesses to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Calculate startup costs: Determine the costs involved in starting your lingerie store. These may include renting out a store, purchasing inventory, paying for marketing, paying legal fees to register your business, and hiring employees. Make sure to include every expense, no matter how small or significant.
  • Project revenue: Based on your research, determine your lingerie store's revenue projections. Consider factors like the size of your store, the number of customers you expect, and pricing models.
  • Create a cash flow statement: A cash flow statement tracks the inflow and outflow of cash in your business. It helps you understand when to expect revenue and when to spend money on expenses.
  • Scenario analysis: Run different scenarios for your lingerie store's financial model. For instance, compare what happens if your costs are ten percent higher than expected. This step can help you prepare for different outcomes and help you develop a strategy for success.

Financial model tips & tricks:

  • Use realistic and conservative revenue projections.
  • Update your financial model regularly as your business evolves.
  • Get help from an accountant or financial expert to double-check your model.

By developing a strong financial model, you can help ensure that your lingerie store business is financially stable and successful in the long run. Remember to conduct regular audits and update your model as necessary, taking into account how your business evolves over time. Now that you've developed a detailed financial plan, you're ready to move on to the next steps of starting your lingerie store business.

3. Research Industry For Insights

Before launching your lingerie store business, it is crucial to conduct thorough research about the industry. Understanding the market trends, target customers, and competition can help you make informed decisions and increase your chances of success. Here are the steps to research the industry for insights:

  • Identify your target customers: Who are your potential customers and what are their demographics? Are they men or women, teenagers or adults, single or married, etc.? Determine the needs, preferences, and buying habits of your target customers.
  • Study the market trends: What are the current and future trends in the lingerie industry? Are there any emerging niches or innovations in fabric, design, or technology? Stay abreast of the latest news, reports, and publications in the industry through trade associations, market research firms, or blogs.
  • Analyze the competition: Who are your direct and indirect competitors in the lingerie market? What are their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities? Study their marketing strategies, products, prices, and promotions to differentiate yourself and position yourself strategically.
  • Assess the regulatory environment: What are the legal, ethical, and social issues related to the lingerie industry? Are there any regulations or guidelines that you need to comply with, such as safety standards, quality certifications, or environmental policies? Stay informed about the relevant laws and regulations and consult with legal experts if necessary.
  • Make a SWOT analysis: Based on your findings, make a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of your lingerie store business. Identify your unique selling proposition, potential challenges, and growth opportunities. Use this analysis as a basis for your business plan, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Tips & Tricks

  • Attend industry trade shows, conferences, or seminars to network with experts, learn about the latest trends, and gather insights.
  • Join online forums, groups, or communities related to lingerie to engage with customers, share knowledge, and get feedback.
  • Use social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook to showcase your products, build a brand, and reach new audiences.

4. Get Necessary Permits And Licenses

Starting a lingerie store business in any location requires obtaining the necessary permits and licenses from various regulatory bodies. The permits and licenses that may be required vary depending on the locality where you intend to start your business, and you must ensure you obtain all the relevant documents before starting to operate your store. The following are some of the typical permits and licenses you may require:

  • Business license: This license is issued by your state or local government, authorizing you to conduct business legally in the area where your store will be located.
  • Sales tax permit: You may need to obtain a sales tax permit, VAT or GST registration depending on your business location.
  • Building and occupancy permits: If you plan on making any changes to the property you are renting or leasing, you will need to also apply for any building and occupancy permits required by the local building and zoning department.
  • Other permits: You may need other permits and licenses like a sign permit, food establishment permit, health permit, and more depending on your state and city.

It is essential to check with your local city council to learn all the permits you will need to operate your business. You can also consult with an attorney or a knowledgeable accountant who can help you secure the correct permits, licenses, and insurance needed to run your business legally and also save you from any legal trouble in the future.

Top Three Tips for Obtaining Permits and Licenses

  • Research and obtain all the permits and licenses that may apply to your business before starting operations.
  • Consult with an attorney to ensure you're correctly applying and filling all forms before submitting.
  • Ensure renewing all of your permits and licenses regularly to ensure you're in good standing with all regulatory bodies.

5. Develop A Brand Identity

Developing a brand identity is crucial for any business, including a lingerie store. It helps to create a distinctive image of your business in the minds of your customers. Here are some steps to guide you.

  • Define your brand: Start by defining your brand. Your brand should reflect your vision, mission, and values. Think about what sets you apart from your competition.
  • Create a brand message: Your brand message is what you want to communicate to your customers. This should be reflected in your logo, tagline, and other marketing materials.
  • Design a logo: Your logo should be simple, memorable, and reflective of your brand message.
  • Create a website: Your website should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. It should also reflect your brand message.
  • Collateral materials: Design business cards, brochures, and other marketing materials that are consistent with your brand message.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Make sure your brand message is consistent across all platforms.
  • Use a professional designer to create your logo and other marketing materials.
  • Get feedback from customers and adjust your brand message accordingly.

Developing your brand identity may take some time, but it is well worth the effort. Your brand will help you to stand out in a crowded market and build a loyal customer base.

6. Secure Capital & Funding

A lingerie store business requires a significant amount of capital investment for inventory, store setup, and marketing. Securing sufficient funds is crucial for a successful launch and sustainable growth of the business.

Here are the steps to secure capital and funding for your lingerie store:

  • Calculate start-up costs: Determine the amount of money required for store layout, inventory, equipment, insurance, and marketing. Create a detailed financial plan to estimate the initial costs.
  • Explore Funding Options: Consider options such as bank loans, personal loans, credit cards, crowdfunding, and investors. Compare the options to determine the best fit for your business.
  • Prepare a business plan: This should include a detailed analysis of your target market and competition, marketing strategies, financial projections, and management structure. A well-prepared business plan can help attract investors and secure loans.
  • Approach investors: You can approach investors by networking, attending industry events and conferences, and utilizing resources such as AngelList or LinkedIn. Be prepared to present a convincing pitch with a strong business plan and financial projections.
  • Consider crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be a good option for smaller investments and can also help build brand awareness and customer engagement.
  • Apply for a loan: Apply for a small business loan through a bank or lending institution with a strong business plan and financial projections. Consider using the SBA (Small Business Administration) which helps small businesses secure loans.

Tips & Tricks

  • Research various funding options thoroughly before deciding which one to pursue. Compare interest rates, repayment terms, and payment schedules to find the best fit.
  • Build a strong network of contacts in the industry to help connect with potential investors or partners.
  • Approach investors or banks with a clear understanding of your business and an excellent pitch ready to convince them.

Securing capital and funding is a critical step for the successful launch and growth of your lingerie store business. By following the steps outlined above and using our tips and tricks, you can be well on your way to securing the resources you need.

7. Determine The Types Of Products You Want To Offer

One of the key decisions you need to make when starting a lingerie store is the types of products you want to offer. This decision sets the foundation for your business, so it’s essential to get it right. When making this decision, you should consider the demographics of your target audience, trends in the market, and your personal preferences.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some products you may consider offering:

  • Bras: This is the primary product for any lingerie store, and you should offer a wide variety of sizes and styles to accommodate the needs of all women.
  • Panties: These are an essential addition to any lingerie store and can be sold separately or in sets with bras.
  • Shapewear: This is a popular product that helps women to enhance their curves and create a sleek silhouette.
  • Sleepwear: This includes pajamas, nightgowns, and robes and is an excellent addition to your product line, especially if you cater to an older demographic.
  • Hosiery: This includes stockings, pantyhose, and socks and is a popular product among women of all ages.
  • Lingerie sets: These are coordinated sets that include a bra and panties in matching styles and colors.

Tips & Tricks

  • Consider conducting market research to determine which products are popular in your area and among your target audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to offer unique products that differentiate your store from others in the market.
  • Be mindful of your inventory costs and only offer products that you can afford to stock.

Once you have determined the types of products you want to offer, you should consider the brands you will carry. You want to offer quality products that are both functional and stylish. Research brands that are popular in the market and offer a variety of styles and sizes. Additionally, you may want to consider carrying specialty brands that cater to unique needs, such as mastectomy bras.

When selecting products, it’s also important to consider the price ranges you will offer. Decide whether you want to cater to a high-end market or offer more affordable options. This decision will impact your overall business strategy, so it’s important to give it careful consideration.

In conclusion, choosing the types of products you want to offer is a critical decision when starting a lingerie store. Consider the demographics of your target audience, the market trends, and your personal preferences. Once you have made this decision, select quality and popular brands that offer a variety of styles and sizes. Lastly, consider the price ranges you can offer and the overall business strategy.

8. Select & Secure A Location

A lingerie store business requires a well-located, easily accessible, and secure location. Whether you are planning to rent or buy a space, it is important to consider the following factors when selecting and securing a location.

Tips & Trics:

  • Consider the traffic and population density of the area. A location close to residential areas, shopping centers, and other popular destinations is ideal.
  • Choose a space that has ample parking space for customers.
  • Ensure that the space is secure with reliable security features such as an alarm system and surveillance cameras.

Once you have identified a potential location, it is important to do a thorough inspection to ensure it fits your business needs. Starting with the external structure of the building, check for any damages or repairs that need to be done. Inside, check for sufficient floor space, ceiling height, lighting, and ventilation. You will also need to consider the following:

  • The rent or cost of purchasing the space
  • The terms of the lease or agreement and whether they are favorable to you
  • The zoning laws and regulations in the area

After you have settled on your preferred location, it is time to secure it. This involves signing a lease agreement or purchasing the property if you have the funds. It is important to negotiate the terms of the agreement to ensure they are favorable to you. This may include the length of the lease, rent, repairs and maintenance, and security deposits.

Once you have secured the location, it is important to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses required to operate your lingerie store business. This may include a business permit, tax identification number, and any other permits required by your state or local government.

Tips & Trics:

  • Make sure that your lease agreement meets your business needs. For instance, you may want to negotiate a shorter lease term to allow for flexibility in case your business needs change.
  • Speak to other business owners in the area to get an idea of the business climate and any challenges they may have faced
  • Ensure that your store is accessible to people with disabilities to avoid legal issues

Overall, selecting and securing the right location requires thorough research, planning, and negotiation skills. It is important to take the time to identify a location that meets your business needs and helps you grow your lingerie store business.

9. Develop A Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy is a crucial component of any successful business, and lingerie stores are no exception. Here are the key steps to developing a marketing strategy for your lingerie store:

  • Step 1: Identify your target audience – Before you can develop a marketing strategy, you need to know who your target audience is. Identify the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer.
  • Step 2: Determine your unique selling proposition – What sets your lingerie store apart from others in the market? Identify and highlight your unique selling proposition (USP) in your marketing materials.
  • Step 3: Establish your brand identity – Develop a brand identity that reflects your USP and resonates with your target audience. This includes your logo, color scheme, and messaging.
  • Step 4: Design your marketing materials – Develop marketing materials that reflect your brand identity and highlight your USP. This includes your website, social media accounts, email campaigns, and any printed materials.
  • Step 5: Leverage social media – Social media is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience. Determine which platforms your target audience is most active on, and create a social media strategy that includes regular posting and engagement with your audience.
  • Step 6: Develop a content marketing strategy – Develop a content marketing strategy that includes blog posts, videos, and other types of content that provide value to your target audience while also highlighting your brand and products.
  • Step 7: Host events – Host events such as trunk shows, bra fittings, and other events that bring customers into your store and provide them with a unique shopping experience.
  • Step 8: Develop a referral program – Encourage your satisfied customers to refer their friends and family to your lingerie store by offering rewards or discounts for referrals.
  • Step 9: Collaborate with influencers – Identify influencers in the lingerie industry who align with your brand, and collaborate with them to reach a wider audience.
  • Step 10: Measure and analyze your results – Use data analytics to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, and adjust your approach as needed based on the results.

Marketing Tips & Tricks

  • Tip 1: Consider offering a loyalty program to incentivize customers to return to your store.
  • Tip 2: Don't be afraid to experiment with different marketing channels to find what works best for your store.
  • Tip 3: Incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy by featuring customer photos and reviews on your website and social media accounts.

10. Hire And Train The Team

Once you have finalized the location, created a business plan, and obtained the required licenses and permits, the next step is to hire and train the team that will help you run your lingerie store business. This is a crucial step as your team will be the face of your business and will play a vital role in the success of your store.

1. Determine Your Hiring Needs: Before starting the hiring process, determine the number of employees you need, their roles and responsibilities, and the qualifications required for each position.

  • You'll need a store manager who can handle the day-to-day operations of the store, including sales, inventory management, and overseeing the staff.
  • Other positions that you may need to hire for include sales associates, visual merchandisers, and administrative staff.

2. Develop A Job Description: Create a detailed job description for each position and include the responsibilities, qualifications, and required experience for the job.

3. Advertise The Job Openings: Advertise the job openings on online job portals, social media platforms, and in-store posters to reach a larger pool of candidates. You can also offer referral bonuses to your current employees to encourage them to refer qualified candidates.

4. Conduct Interviews: Conduct interviews of the shortlisted candidates and assess their skills, experience, and fit for the job. Provide them with a tour of the store so that they can better understand the work environment.

5. Conduct Background Checks: Conduct background checks and verify the candidate's work experience, references, and credentials to ensure that they meet the qualifications required for the job.

6. Train The Employees: Once you have hired the team, provide them with comprehensive training, including product knowledge, sales techniques, customer service, and store policies and procedures. Plan regular training sessions to keep the employees updated on the latest trends and products in the lingerie industry.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Hire employees who have a passion for lingerie and can provide excellent customer service to your customers. This will help you build a loyal customer base.
  • Provide your employees with incentives such as bonuses, paid time off, and employee discounts to keep them motivated and engaged in their work.
  • Create a positive work environment by promoting teamwork, communication, and mutual respect among your employees.

7. Set Performance Goals: Set performance goals for each employee, track their progress, and provide feedback on how they can improve their performance. This will not only help you improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees but also motivate them to achieve their goals.

8. Monitor Employee Satisfaction: Monitor employee satisfaction by conducting regular surveys and feedback sessions. Address their concerns and grievances promptly to retain your valuable employees.

9. Set Up An Onboarding Process: Set up an onboarding process for new hires to ensure that they get acclimatized to your business and culture. Assign a mentor to help them with their job responsibilities and answer their questions.

10. Foster A Motivating Work Culture: Finally, foster a motivating work culture by recognizing and rewarding the achievements and milestones of your employees. This will create a positive and supportive work environment that will help you attract and retain top talent.

By hiring and training the right team, you can create a successful and profitable lingerie store business. Follow these steps to ensure that you hire the best talent and create a positive work environment for your employees.

Starting a lingerie store business can be a profitable venture, and with over $13 billion in revenue annually, it’s not hard to see why. By following this ten-step checklist, you can create a strong foundation for your lingerie business and make it stand out in a market with over 100,000 lingerie stores just in the United States.

Key steps to consider include creating a business plan, obtaining permits and licenses, securing funding, developing a marketing strategy, and forming a highly skilled team that will deliver an unparalleled customer experience. By doing so, you can tap into the rapidly growing demand for high-quality undergarments, generate significant revenue and loyal customers, and take advantage of the vast opportunities in the lingerie industry.

With careful planning and execution, you can create a thriving lingerie store that caters to a diverse array of consumers and showcases your brand identity. So take the first