Independent sweet shops carry themselves on brand – many have a rustic feel that people enjoy.
The personality of the proprietor is important, particularly if people bring their children.
Higher qualifications, such as Edexcel’s BTEC Higher National Diploma in Retail Management (Level 5), cover a wide range of topics including consumer behaviour, retail marketing and supply chain management.
Some higher education institutions also offer foundation courses in retail and retail management – check with Skillsmart Retail, the sector skills council, for more information.
Establishing a strong brand, along with a unique selling point, is the way to go.
Jamie Lawrence explains how this can be done, and provides information on start-up costs and compliance regulations.Budget between £7,000 and £15,000, although this figure will depend on whether you predominantly stock popular ‘penny sweets’ and similar items or more expensive, trendy products.The franchise model is well-known in the sweet shop market.Marketing skills are also important (less so if you rely mostly on footfall) – people need a reason to visit your independent sweet shop when they can pick sweets up when they go to the supermarket.Creating a good reason is important, and making this reason clear to potential customers is more important.The high profile, however, is a big advantage and can help secure business for other services you provide, such as sweets for parties.If you choose to locate your business in a town centre, research walking routes to make sure your shop has footfall during busy periods e.g. There are no dedicated courses available for sweet sellers, but there are an abundance of general retail training which can help you set up your business, present a professional image and deal effectively and personably with customers.Rent, along with retrofitting and marketing, could set you back between £10,000 and £30,000.Although sweets are often seen as inexpensive items, stock can be surprisingly expensive, especially when you make your first order.As with other retail businesses, rent and retrofitting will be your biggest initial costs.The more prominent the location the higher your rent, although obviously you’ll gain the advantage of greater footfall.