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How to Start a Supermarket Chain

How to Start a Supermarket Chain


The grocery industry is in a state of ongoing change. As technologies and consumer preferences have changed, big box stores, specialty food chains and online retailers have taken a sizable bite out of a traditionally stable market niche.

 To start a new supermarket chain, you must give consumers a reason to shop at your store so that they don't frequent some of the many other choices.
Know the Industry
Supermarket chains that thrived during the twentieth century offered the convenience of a dazzling selection of goods under a single roof. They differed from the general stores of previous eras in the variety they kept on hand, and by allowing consumers to choose their own items. As the industry has evolved, consumers now have a range of shopping choices, including online ordering, so that consumers do not need to go to the store at all.
Create a Brand
Give serious thought as to where your new supermarket chain will fit into this landscape. What will you offer customers that other stores do not? Your special appeal may be to offer a unique type of product or perhaps a unique shopping experience, such as a hybrid neighborhood store that also offers cutting-edge technologies.
Once you've narrowed your brand identity, look for ways to infuse this brand into every aspect of your supermarket chain. If your value proposition is based on providing a personable shopping trip in a landscape of automated tellers, create specialized staff training and make sure you always have enough personnel on the floor.
How to Start a Supermarket Chain
How to Start a Supermarket Chain
Understand the Permitting Requirements
All retail businesses, including supermarket companies, require a whole host of licenses and permits. Make sure to get the following in order for your company before you begin building anything:
● Obtain a federal tax ID number, or employer identification number.
● Register your business with your state.
● If your business is located within city limits, purchase a local business license.
● Obtain a resale license or certificate in order to purchase products to resell without paying sales tax on those purchases.
● Register your business name according to your state's laws.
● Find out if your area requires you to obtain a certificate of occupancy, and if so, undergo the required inspections to get one.
● Look into permitting for alcohol and tobacco sales, alarm systems, building construction, health, signage and zoning, among other factors.
● Consult with a business lawyer to make sure you've covered all your bases before proceeding with the company.
Build a Store
A supermarket chain starts with a single store. Your first store will be your prototype, and you will have the opportunity to work out any kinks, test ideas and to learn specifics about customer behavior. When designing your first store, create physical and employee systems that you can easily replicate.
Plan for Expansion
Elements of your layout should stay consistent from one store to the next, such as wide aisles or a bountiful produce display that's visible as soon as customers walk in the door. Choose refrigeration equipment that fits your budget, meets local health code standards and shows off your product in ways that fit your brand. For example, if you're looking to project a homey image, look for or create colors that have old-fashioned design features.
How to Start a Supermarket Chain
How to Start a Supermarket Chain
Make it a Chain
Once you've refined your systems and your brand, and once your budget allows, start looking for opportunities to expand. If you're looking to create a more personable customer experience, choose locations that are consistent with the brand you've started to build, such as central neighborhood locations with foot traffic. Unless you have a massive budget, you're unlikely to create the types of supermarket chains that dominated the landscape during the second half of the twentieth century.
Make targeted investments in locations, and don't open too many at once. You may find that elements of your ideas that worked well at your first location don't translate well at a new location.
Source:  Chron

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