Thinking about setting up a shop in Fleet?
17th April 2015
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Fleet has been ranked as one of the best places to live in the UK for the past 4 years and there is strong support in the town for local, independent businesses.

People have, however, identified some gaps in the shopping experience in the town which means that people do travel elsewhere to buy things they need. For example two gaps in Fleet's retail offer that have been highlighted are:

  • Children's clothes - which would seem to be a great opportunity considering the number of families living in and around the town.
  • A sports shop - Fleet is renowned for the half marathon in March, the Fleet 10k in October and sprint triathlon in May. There are also plenty of gyms and sporting activities in and around the town this would seem to be another opportunity.

Although many of us may have dreamed of starting our own shop it can seem daunting and many people may be put off as they may not know where to start. Here are 3 places you can go for advice from people who have significant local experience:

  • Got a great idea? Hart for Business has been set up to provide businesses with information and guidance to set up their business, find a premises, with business rates and complying with necessary legislation.
  • Start small - if you want to know the likely demand for your products you don't have to start by committing to a shop and the costs of premises, staff and holding stock. Hart Shopping has merchandising units which can be rented in the centre allowing you to test out your products. For example, The Rocksx Room started with a small unit before moving to the shop they now occupy in the Centre. The Management team have supported many businesses in this way with some businesses starting out with a unit once a month and they would be delighted to speak to anyone who wants to find out more.
  • Speak to other retailers - there are many retailers who have been in Fleet for a number of years who run successful business and would only be too happy to share their experience and give advice. For example, Emma from Experience has a wealth of knowledge from running a business which has been in Fleet for over 20 years. Many retailers who have set up in Fleet over the past year or so would be happy to share their experience of the early days in business.
Setting up your own retail business does require significant amount of hard work and dedication but many retailers will tell you it is one of the most exciting and rewarding things they have done. So if you're thinking of starting your own shop why not get some advice and see if it's for you?


About the Author

Tracey S

Member since: 27th June 2014

I have over 20 year’s marketing experience working for companies including Hewlett Packard, Royal Mail, Hitachi and AQA. I live in Fleet and am the owner of thebestof Fleet helping small and medium companies...

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