3 things to consider when opening a retail outlet in Chicago

Chicago is very well known for its fabulous shopping district, and the Magnificent Mile is one of the most iconic shopping areas in the world. From luxury designer brands to anchor department stores like Bloomingdales and Macy’s, there is no shortage of amazing retail outlets. That said, there are premises available all over Chicago in less affluent areas, so opening one needn’t be prohibitively expensive. Here are 3 things to consider when opening a retail outlet in Chicago.

Chicago in the evening image 322299Premises

You need to be realistic in terms of where your premises will be located. Rent and rates can be high depending on location and so, in the first instance, you may want to choose smaller premises. If things go well, there’s nothing to stop you from expanding into bigger premises at a later date. Make sure you are located in an area with a decent level of footfall – many of your customers will be passers-by.

You should also ensure that your products match the area demographic. For example, there is no point selling high-end jewelry in an area where high prices may be out of reach for a huge percentage of the local community or promoting baby items in an area targeted at students or the elderly. Location can play a huge part in your success.


Number crunching is key. Spend as much time as necessary calculating how much money you will need to get your business off the ground. Include costs for staffing, stock, rent, utilities, advertising, etc. You may find that you need additional funds to get started. Many companies specialize in arranging business loans in Chicago.

It’s a good idea to make contact and find out how much you may be able to borrow and how much you will be paying each month. It will give you a realistic view of how feasible your business venture is. Premiums will vary depending on the borrowing levels as well as interest rates, but a professional in this field will help find the right product for you.


To run a successful retail business of any kind, buying the right stock is key and having solid and loyal relationships with suppliers can make all the difference. Find suppliers you can rely on and who provide good turnaround times.

Purchasing smaller quantities in the first instance may be a good idea. This will allow you to establish the products that work for your business and those which are not so popular. Granted, your unit prices may be slightly higher but that is a far better situation to be in than having hundreds of units of stock that won’t sell.

Make sure you carry out regular stock checks to ensure that you don’t run out of inventory and regularly analyze what you are selling and when. You will have best sellers and may also have products that do better at certain times of the year. Buy right, buy once is an important thing to remember.


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