Junior Clothing – Why Not Create Your Own Business?
With the fashion industry worth £66 billion in the UK, building a business in this sector holds the potential for significant growth and returns on investment. Focussing on juniors’ clothing offers some advantages over specialising in other areas; for example, children’s clothes are always in demand, as children regularly grow out of their existing clothes and need bigger items. As a retail sector that adds £5.7 billion to the UK economy (Statista), childrenswear offers good growth and revenue prospects.
However, with many businessowners fearing for the death of the physical store amid dwindling high street sales, consumers are increasingly turning to the online retail market to source and purchase their goods. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is estimated that in the retail sector, for every four pounds that are spent in-store, one pound is spent online – double the amount spent in 2013. While the UK’s growing e-commerce industry is cause for concern in stores that do not have an online presence, it does represent an exciting business opportunity for those looking to trade online.
But with an openminded attitude and plenty of drive, entrepreneurs and prospective franchisees looking to start a children's franchise will have all the tools to succeed in the thriving fashion industry.
Starting Your Own Juniors’ Clothing Business
While the right business model can be hugely successful, the importance of the preparation stages should not be underestimated, and business people should take time to consider and research the right path for them. Here are some things to consider when setting up your own juniors’ clothing business:
1. Find your niche: in order to succeed, you should distinguish your business from existing well-known brands. You should give consumers a reason to shop with you rather than at their favourite, trusted store. This is a chance to get creative, to identify a gap in the market and build it into your unique selling point. For example, are your pieces representative of a particular fashion style, are they designed to be worn in a specific setting, like sportswear or occasionwear, or are they made with core brand values in mind, such as sustainability or child welfare? As with most start-ups, it is more efficient to start simple, focusing on one core area and expanding when that has been mastered.
2. Establish your business model: this is one of the key elements of your set-up journey – decide how your items will be designed, manufactured, stocked, priced, stored and shipped.
3. Sort your location: while online capabilities give your business longevity, it might be best to start your journey by selling key pieces at a marketplace stall or renting a small commercial space. Remember to consider your target market when deciding where to base your business.
4. Secure funding: UK grants, bank loans or equity capital can help you manage the costs associated with setting up your own business.
5. Test your products: if you want to get the most out of your business, you will need to find out how your offering could be improved. A marketplace stall could help you work out which products are selling the quickest, or whether customers are looking for an item which you do not yet sell.
6. Take out insurance: once initial funding has been secured, insurance is vital to ensure that your company is able to survive any unexpected issues further down the road.
7. Prepare your marketing strategy: Once your virtual or physical store is filled with your products, you will need to find customers. A full-scale marketing campaign with television adverts and billboard posters will probably be out of reach for new businessowners, but active social media channels and local advertisements can also do wonders for emerging businesses. High-quality photographs and accurate text help to build trust with customers. A grand store opening with introductory discounts and freebies can be extremely beneficial too. Once customers have discovered the brand, make sure that they are kept abreast of news, sales and brand developments with a regular newsletters or email updates.
Juniors’ Clothing Online
There are numerous options for people who use the internet to shop for children’s clothes. Shoppers can visit the online component of physical stores or stores that operate only online, and browse the children’s range in stores catering to both children and adults, or find stores dedicated entirely to childrenswear.
One well-known option is Next. As one of the most popular clothing stores for adults as well as children, Next was launched in 1982 and has expanded to develop three channels: Next Retail, comprising around 530 physical stores across the UK and Ireland; Next International Retail, a network of around 200 overseas stores, most of which are franchised; and Next Online, the brand’s website, which has fostered over 4.9 million active customers. Next has already established numerous business partnerships across the world, and those interested in joining the fashion franchise should get email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fashion Clothing Websites for Juniors
One of the benefits of internet shopping is its versatility, with juniors’ clothing options for every age group, budget and taste.
Those in search of high fashion should visit Childrensalon.com, the world’s largest online store for designer childrenswear. Founded in 1952, its website stocks 270 different brands including Burberry, Dior and Gucci. The aim is to provide beautiful and quality pieces to suit babies and children up to the age of 16. Although this store isn’t currently looking for franchising partners, it is accepting affiliate applications from luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, with the opportunity to earn commission on any sales.
Alternatives at Point Franchise
Point Franchise doesn’t currently offer any juniors’ clothing franchises, but investors looking to get involved in the fashion industry could take a look at Noa Noa.
As an international fashion franchise, this store sells clothing aimed at the ‘modern bohemian woman’. Noa Noa products are manufactured from natural elements such as wool, cotton and silk, and the company promotes its ‘slow craft’ to compete with the many fast fashion outlets that are making their impact on the environment and human welfare. These high-quality items are available in 60 stores and 400 department stores across 20 countries. Noa Noa franchisees will need to invest £50,000–£100,000, and can renew a five-year contract if desired.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©
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