I've always had the romantic vision of opening a shop in a little town. DH and I are looking into our career futures and, having recently moved to a town we love already, I'm trying to work out if there is a viable retail opportunity here. I have retail experience and I'm thinking something that can also have an e-shop side would be the go.
So if you live in a small town, what shops do you buy at frequently (or go to a closeby small town to shop there rather than "the city")?
Our town has more shops than you would expect for the population (1500ish) as there are a few local industries where tradies need lunch and there are many "no shops" towns nearby.
There is already an IGA, hardware/feed store, bakery/cafe, butcher, 3 hair salons, a beautician, laundromat, garage, panel shop, pizza/chippy, 1 restaurant, newsagent/gifts, vintage/gifts emporium, op shop, chemist, post office, optometrists, medical centre, small real estate and a bank.
So there is lots here already - which I think is a good sign - but quite a few empty shops still.
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10-06-2016 09:49 #1
Small town folk - what shops do you frequent?
10-06-2016 09:54 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2015
Is it touristy? Old people? Families? Kids? What kind of industries are around? Are there many other towns around?
10-06-2016 10:10 #3
Small town folk - what shops do you frequent?
Our little town had a general store with a little second hand store off the side of it. They both shut so our options for groceries are to leave town or get what we can from the little independent servo. We have two Cafes here though and a pub so obviously warm food is sought after. Everyone here would love a fresh bakery or butcher, but it's just not feasible here.
ETA my town is a fair bit smaller than yours (The SES population estimate is 100 adults but with census this year we will see I guess). So we only have the two cafes, servo, the pub and a little struggling RSL. A laundromat (which is literally just a coin operated washing machine inside an old shop that doesn't have the doors locked), school, post office, police station and health centre. Oh and an MSO which is basically where meals on wheels and other random community services come out of. Our nearest town is 2 hours away. So I was just more answering about what people here really want available to them. In a larger town, I really can't say.
Last edited by Ahalfdozen; 10-06-2016 at 10:15.
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10-06-2016 10:23 #4
From the list you provided, it seems there are no clothing/ shoe shops? Depending on how far away the city is,there could be a demand for just a basic range of clothing and shoes for all ages so that someone can grab a pair of school shoes/ a shirt/ something basic they need instead of going in to the city?
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10-06-2016 10:52 #5
I don't live in a small town currently, though I have in the past.
Do they have a shop that sells baby/children's products? This could be a good one, as you'll be able to incorporate a website for extra sales.
Is there a dedicated bottle shop or just a booze section in the IGA? A drive-thru bottle shop could be a success?
Another possibility - a shoe shop? Everybody needs shoes
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10-06-2016 11:01 #6
I realised I left the pub and milk bar (which also sells a bit of $2 shop type stuff off the list).
We also have lots of services (school, CFA, part time police, kindy, daycare, community centre, scouts).
It's mostly farming and sand mining around. Lots of old people but a new estate has gone in attracting younger families who commute to Melbourne's outer suburbs for work. It's 25 minutes drive to the outermost growth corridor suburbs which have everything including bulky goods.
We're just off the highway to tourist areas and have some local events but not an attraction on our own. The business would really need to be about supplying something locals need/use regularly.
10-06-2016 11:50 #7Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2015
An IT shop. Old people need lots of help sometimes with IT and you can easily sell products on ebay as well. Plus in this day and age IT is essential.
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10-06-2016 12:04 #8
How about a little cafe doing home-style treats for travellers and locals? Scones with jam and cream, finger buns, coffee and tea.
You could try and use ingredients grown locally, and get to know local producers so that you can sell it on the side - fruit and vegies, free range eggs, local meats, cheeses, breads and preserves.
There is a big push towards paddock to plate - especially in small rural towns. People like to know where their food is coming from.
I imagine it would go especially well in a town if there were tourist attractions nearby....
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10-06-2016 12:14 #9
I think Blossom74 has nailed. Personally I reckon retail outlets for clothing are on the way out, people purchase most things online for cheaper. You can see in any shopping mall, the sad looking clothes shops. If you capitalize on the local, organic, paddock to plate movement, you'll have 'em in droves. Tourists and locals, I reckon.
10-06-2016 12:38 #10
Thanks for the opinions!
I agree that a tech store that could fix/sell things would be great. I just don't think I am the person to do it. I don't like/do tech - especially phones etc!
Because there is major shopping not too far away, I wouldn't be too hopeful about clothing/shoes doing well. I'd probably be dipping into the profits too much for my own wardrobe - lol!
I was thinking cafe with something attached. Eg. florist, deli (meats, cheeses, etc), health/vitamins, craft supplies or plant nursery. The bakery is a cafe as well but it's very bleurgh and just does typical bakery stuff - pies, cakes etc. I would like somewhere that does quiches, foccacias, gluten free options etc. I just think it would need a second income ****** and couldn't rely 100% on the dining income (just as the bakery relies on selling bread).
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