Guide

Start a retail business

Introduction

Retail businesses are a cornerstone of the Northern Ireland economy. The retail sector has the largest number of businesses and the largest employment base of any business sector in Northern Ireland.

There are many different forms of retail business, but some core principles are common to most. Retailing at its most basic is buying goods in bulk from suppliers, wholesalers and distributors then selling to customers in smaller amounts, with an added margin. Retailers typically sit at the end of the supply chain - they are the crucial link between the manufacturers and the customer.

Starting a retail business carries with it unique opportunities and challenges. Financial support may be difficult to come by compared with other sectors, but the upside to creating a successful retail business can be great. The retail sector in Northern Ireland has taken a hit during the economic downturn, but high shop vacancy rates and growing consumer confidence offer great opportunities for starting in retail.

This guide will give you an overview of starting a retail business, where to find practical support to help you begin and best practice tips for starting your retail business.