How to Open a Kids Clothing Boutique
Open a Kids Clothing Boutique and tap into your inner child
For many, the decision to open a kids clothing boutique stems from the immense joy they get from helping families buy affordable and fashionable clothes for their children. For others, they recognize the potentially lucrative nature of the children’s clothing industry, where an eager customer base of parents make nearly constant repeat purchases to keep up with their child’s explosive growth.
For a few, the decision is driven by both.
Opening a children’s clothing boutique is a solid investment that can provide the right entrepreneur decades of joy and steady growth. However, the decision to start a kids’ clothing company is not an easy one. There are challenges and more than a few steps you’ll need to go through before you can become the kids clothing guru in your community.
Before you leap into the world of giraffes and dinosaurs, here are a few points to consider along your journey to opening a kids clothing boutique.
The kids clothing industry is big – really big
It’s hard to overestimate the size of the children’s clothing business. Market watch estimates the total market for kidswear is more than $203 billion worldwide.1 That places the children’s clothing industry near the top of the global clothing business.
Put another way, kids’ clothes make up one of the biggest sectors of the industry. Jumping into the business makes good sense, too. After all, as Marketwatch notes, it’s a growth industry.
The children’s clothing business is growing quickly
According to researchers at Marketwatch, the kids’ clothing industry is growing rapidly. In fact, this sector is anticipated to eclipse $275 billion by 2025 — just a few years from now.
The industry is on target for an annual growth rate of 3.9%, driven in part by a significant uptick in new parents in emerging markets. Additionally, parents are increasingly investing in their children’s wardrobes to follow fashion-forward trends. This combination creates the potential for high revenues in a growth industry.
Kids clothing has a limited useful lifespan — for the first owner
It’s no secret kids grow fast. As any parent will attest, it feels like you’re buying new shoes every other week. The same is true of clothes, as well. But here’s the thing that makes the cycle of kids clothes crazy: clothes for children are made of the same materials, to the same standards, and often in the same facilities as their adult counterparts.
You wouldn’t buy a pair of Nikes and wear them for two weeks, right? But that’s precisely the position parents are in because their kids are growing. This reality leaves them with a growing mountain of only partially used clothing. That’s where a subset of the children’s clothing industry comes in: the resale market.
Kids resale clothing boutiques are a solution parents
are turning to more and more
The fashion resale market is expanding rapidly as cost-conscious and environmentally aware millennials shop for clothing. This is driving a growth spurt in the resale clothing industry, which Fortune Magazine notes is expanding at 21 times the rate of the rest of the fashion industry.1
Kids’ clothes are no exception, according to Gregory Karp in the Chicago Tribune. Karp recently published a story tracking industry trends in kids’ resale clothing and pointed out there are a lot of reasons to consider resale when making a kids’ clothing purchase.
“Play clothes are good because you don’t much care what they look like,” Karp writes. “And second-hand dress clothes will likely have been worn just a few times.”
Parents have to clothe their kids, and increasingly the retail fashion industry is embracing resale clothing. So, what does this mean for someone who is considering opening a children’s clothing boutique?
Opening a kids resale clothing business is a wise investment
When you’re considering opening a children’s clothing store, the first question you’ll need to answer is whether you want to deal in new clothing or resale clothing. Before answering this question, you should consider the following factors:
- New clothing has higher costs and smaller margins than children’s resale clothing
- New kids clothes can be more difficult to source than used clothing
- Finding suppliers for new kids’ clothing can be more challenging than sourcing quality used clothing
- The entire fashion industry is shifting from new clothing to resale clothing
- Resale clothing is more environmentally friendly and sustainable than new clothing
As the fashion industry changes, opening a children’s resale clothing business will allow you to ride that massive growth wave as you expand your customer base and do a job you love.
Getting started in the kids resale clothing business is also a lot more straightforward than opening a new clothing store. In fact, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Getting started with your new kids resale clothing business
There are several initial steps you need to take before you jump to open a kids resale clothing business. Getting your ducks in a row will save you a lot of headache — and money — down the line.
You’ll need to create a marketing plan for your brand, find and secure a location, apply for a business permit, and source initial inventory — and that’s before you start buildout or announce your grand opening. Each of these steps, and many more, are necessary before you start selling clothing.
Creating a children’s resale clothing brand and marketing plan
Kids’ clothes are fun and bright, and when parents come shopping, you want the kind of fun, exciting atmosphere that will engage their kids. That experience starts with your brand and marketing.
You need a name for your store that captures what it is you do, the products you sell, and your mission. When it comes to the name, the sky’s the limit. You could include your name in your store, or you could come up with something unique. You’ll also need a logo for your kids’ resale clothing store that catches the eye of parents and children alike.
Once you have a name and a logo, it’s time to get to work on a website, social media, and in local media, as well. Customers won’t be able to find you if they don’t know to look for you.
Location, location, location!
While you’re creating your new brand and marketing, you also can be looking for the perfect location. The right spot can make or break new businesses, and kids’ resale clothing is no exception.
First, think about your community and think about where parents and children go to shop. Also, consider what you think you can reasonably afford to spend on a lease. Are there locations available in the area you want at a price that meets your budget?
You don’t have to make this decision alone, either. Find a qualified local real estate professional who specializes in commercial leases, and they can point you in the right direction. With a signed lease in hand, you can begin working through the process of applying for business and occupational licenses.
Sourcing children’s resale clothing inventory
There are many sources for inventory in a children’s resale clothing store. Just reach out to a few parents via social media and you’ll be surprised how quickly you find initial inventory.
Other sources for used children’s clothing include sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. And never underestimate the value to be found at a good garage sale, so watch the local classifieds.
Build out, equipment, and more
As you’re gathering inventory, you’ll also need to be working on building out your retail establishment. You’ll want fixtures — that’s retail-speak for clothing racks, shelving and display cases — and you’ll have to be sure to incorporate your brand image.
Also, remember your customers: parents with kids. Your store will need to be kid-friendly and visually stimulating. Bright colors, vibrant displays, and fun visuals are all great ways to engage your audience.
Once you’ve built your store, secured your licenses, set up your inventory tracking system, got a cash register, and are ready to get to selling, it’s time for the grand opening. That means you’ll have to do some advertising on social media, the web, and in local newspapers. You also may want to reach out to the local chamber of commerce and other business organizations. They can provide you with encouragement, suggestions, and publicity.
With everything in place, you can cut the ribbon and get selling. It’s a rewarding path, but it may be challenging. That’s why a growing number of entrepreneurs are choosing to purchase a children’s resale clothing franchise instead of going it alone.
Kid to Kid children’s resale clothing business makes a lot of sense
Kid to Kid franchise is a fast-growing, nationally recognized children’s resale clothing franchise. With a low cost of ownership and the potential for high returns, Kid to Kid delivers a visible brand, high-visibility marketing, and world-class business support.
Joining Kid to Kid franchise puts you on the path to ownership of a potentially lucrative children’s clothing business with virtually unlimited growth potential. To find out more, or to become the next Kid to Kid owner, request more information.
1. Kids Wear Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2019 – 2025
2. The Resale Market Is Taking Over Fast Fashion, Report Says
3. Don’t let children’s clothing costs outgrow your budget