How to Open a Clothing Store – Competitive Analysis

Follow these guidelines as you craft the competitive analysis of your clothing store business plan, a section which lists direct competitors to your store and describes how you will achieve an advantage over them.

How to Choose Competitors

First of all, competitors may or may not be limited to clothing stores in your vicinity. Direct competitors, to be more exact, are the other options your customer target market has rather than purchasing from your store. This could include purchasing from a website, ordering from a catalog, department stores, mass retailers, even the Salvation Army, as well as specific clothing stores that sell competitive products

Secondly, there must be competitors in your plan (although not too many – three or four should be enough). Even if your products will be so niche that your potential customers cannot buy them currently (ie leather jackets for infants) they are currently buying something to fill the same general need and will still have the choice between that and your store after you open. Readers of a business plan want to see that the writer understands that there is always a competitor or substitute for any product or service. They will either find a writer who thinks they have no competitors to be naive or believe the market to be too small to serve profitably.

How to Research Competitors

Online research through reviews of the competitor's store or service and their website itself are a first step. Then go further to show your seriousness by visiting the competitor's stores and making a purchase yourself, if you haven't already. Note the customer experience as well as the quality of the clothing they sell. Taking a step further to talk to their customers, formally or informally, about their likes and dislikes about the store can further strengthen your competitive analysis section.

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What to Write About Competitors and Your Own Store

When you put pen to paper, start with the basics of the situation of the competitor (location, size, revenues if you know them or can estimate them, years in operation). Describe why their store is valued and the key methods they use to drive customers to visit and buy, whether they are prices, promotion, service, or product quality. Then comment on the advantages over this competitor that you will seek, leading your customer target market to increasingly choose your store instead. Any advantages you mention here should be detailed somewhere else in the plan. If at all possible, show the barriers to imitation that are in place or that you can set in place. For example, why won't the competitor simply be able to start to offer the same variety, lower prices, or add the product line you will sell? Within a few paragraphs you should be able to make a concise case for your understanding of the opponent and how your store will fight it.

Source by PR Kennedy

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