How to open a grocery store from scratch and not go bust

The decision to open a grocery store is a very rational one. Starting a business in the food industry is quite easy and does not require large investments. Its important advantage is the constant demand. Even so, there are numerous risks. Therefore, it is necessary to start any business with a competent development of a strategy.

We decide on the format of the store and the direction of trade

Where and how to trade products?

There are several answers to this question. A common and well-known way for the consumer is the way of buying products in specially equipped commercial premises. These include:
shopping malls

  • The shops;
  • Kiosks;
  • pavilions.

Shops can be located on the lower floors of residential buildings. Non-residential warehouse or industrial premises can also be used to create stores.

In recent years, distance selling through online stores has been gaining momentum (we have already described how to open an online clothing store from scratch ), where the user can select the necessary products from photographs and descriptions in electronic catalogs and advertising booklets.

When the format of the future store is chosen, it is necessary to decide what products will be presented in it. You should take into account the area of ​​the store itself, the resources and vision of the entrepreneur, analyze the needs of future customers, taking into account the location of the store.

Grocery store location

When looking for a place to locate a future store, it is necessary to calculate the patency of the outlet, the so-called customer traffic. This is the number of people passing by the place of trade in a certain period of time. For higher accuracy, the calculation should be carried out several times, at different times of the day and different days of the week. Based on the results, you can predict the attendance of the store.

products in the store
No matter how much money is invested in advertising, interior, goods, however, if the location of the store is chosen incorrectly and the traffic of the target audience is low, the point of sale of products will not last long.

In addition to patency, consider the following points:

  • if the store is located close to transport stops, train stations, educational institutions, bazaars, hypermarkets or metro stations, the competition will be very high;
  • if the assortment of products in neighboring stores is similar to yours, think about how to expand it so that the store becomes more attractive to customers;
  • if it is possible to organize parking for customers near the store, use it. Convenience and saving time for customers can become your competitive advantage;
  • if your store is clean and comfortable, the staff is polite and attentive, the assortment is correctly selected – there is a high probability of good attendance and profitable trade.

Modern technologies do not stand still, and today we are witnessing the widespread introduction of modular structures into our lives. Do not neglect this option. Perhaps the lease of land and the installation of a modular structure will be more profitable than renting a room. In modular constructions, you can choose the most suitable type of structure, taking into account individual requests. The modular design is easy to place closer to your future potential buyers.

What documents are required

What must be done to launch a grocery store?
The store owner must first register as a sole proprietorship or as a limited liability company. It is advisable to issue an “LLC” only in the case when you expect to expand your business and attract investors.

The next step is to obtain permission from the local administration and register the store in the commercial register. Documents will need to be filled out and personally submitted to the administration of the settlement. In a week you will receive a statement of registration. Be sure to also go to the tax office and provide the necessary documents and statements to the pension fund.

the documents

To obtain the right to open your own grocery store, you will need to obtain permits. These include:

  • certificate of registration of you as an individual entrepreneur (or LLC);
  • an agreement on the purchase (or lease) of the premises itself;
  • certificate of entry in the general commercial register;
  • permission from the sanitary and epidemiological station;
  • the decision of the fire service that the room complies with all fire safety standards;
  • sanitary passport of the premises;
  • permission to carry out such sanitary measures as disinsection (insect control) and deratization (destruction of rodents);
  • medical books of employees;
  • an agreement on the removal of food waste, as well as garbage;
  • permission to sell alcohol and tobacco products;
  • certificates of quality of measuring devices of the store, as well as cash registers;
  • proof that you are tax registered;
  • permission to use facade advertising (especially if it contains contact information).

It will also become mandatory to design a corner for customers in your store with the following documentation:
a book of offers and reviews;

  • certificates that products comply with sanitary and epidemiological standards;
  • business license;
  • contacts of the Consumer Protection Department (operating in your locality);
  • legislative information.

It is important that the customer information booth is in an accessible, visible location so that customers can read documents of interest to them or write down their offers.

Choose an assortment

When you have just started developing your store, one might say, from scratch, be prepared that the assortment initially selected can be modified in accordance with the needs of your customers and the format of the point of sale.

If you want to attract, retain, and make customers spend more in your store, you need to analyze who is shopping there and why.
The location and the target audience are of key importance in the formation of the assortment of a food store.

If the store is located “near the house”, then its residents will be the buyers. The assortment here should not be too diverse, consisting of 1000 – 3000 items. However, all the necessary products for each day must be available.

A store located on a busy street, in the city center or on the highway should stock a wider variety of products at average prices. After all, buyers here will be random people with different income levels.

The structure of the product range in the grocery store looks like the following product categories:

  • priority products: vegetables, milk, eggs, sausages, bread, meat);
  • everyday food products (pasta, cereals, spices, tea, coffee, etc.);
  • food products of seasonal demand (alcohol, juices, ice cream, sparkling water. This group includes goods for the purchase of which demand grows on the eve of holidays).

Modern automation systems allow the use of assortment matrices, with which you can correctly analyze the profitability of certain groups of goods, thereby showing vectors for changing the assortment.

Where to look for suppliers?

Browse the database of suppliers of the goods relevant to you in your locality and choose the option that suits you. Distributors will advise on the choice of goods, explain how to draw up an application for the purchase and delivery of products, and deliver the goods within the agreed time.


It is most profitable to look for suppliers who provide products for sale (there are not so many of them, but you need to look for them. This is beneficial, especially at first, when you have not yet decided on the assortment and the goods are only “trying”)

Also, no one canceled the opportunity to negotiate the supply of products directly from farms, gardeners (this will save money, but not time, because it is more difficult to find such direct manufacturers than to work with resellers).

For the first time, agree on cooperation with several suppliers, specify the volume of the minimum allowable purchases, the possibility of returning goods that are not in demand. Also check the availability of certificates confirming the quality of products. Having learned about the opening of a new store, suppliers will contact you with a proposal for cooperation.

Selection of equipment for the store

Prepare for the opening of the store by selecting the necessary equipment for trade and food storage in advance.
You will need:

  • Refrigerators and freezers;
  • Cash registers;
  • Shelves and showcases.

It is necessary to select equipment carefully, because its functioning will definitely affect the successful operation of the store. The item of expenditure on equipment will be slightly less than half of all the costs of opening a store.

You can save here on the purchase of racks and showcases. If they are in good condition and fit the interior of the store, it is quite possible to purchase previously used ones.

When choosing refrigerators and freezers, remember that they get very hot in summer. Accordingly, there will be a need to install air conditioners. Installing them before the store opens is less financially and energy intensive.
Cash registers must be purchased only new.

We select personnel

The success of the entire store will depend on the quality of the daily activities of the staff. The selection of polite, competent and conscientious employees will create a positive atmosphere in which sales will be much better.

In each shift, it makes sense to send 2 cashiers (one at the checkout, one in the hall with goods), 1 loader-security guard, 1 cleaner + ideally 1 Senior specialist or shift manager (who will resolve issues that arise during the day as suppliers, customers, and staff). Of course, this specialist, at first, will be the Businessman himself.

It is necessary to approach the recruitment issues slowly and reasonably. And if the entrepreneur does not have experience in this area, it would be reasonable to invite a person who understands the issue of personnel selection to the position of director.
The number of employees depends on the work schedule and the size of the store. It is also important to take care of the security of the store, the cleaning lady and, if necessary, the movers.

How to properly advertise a grocery store

You can draw the attention of potential buyers with the help of advertising on the windows of the store, a bright sign, a pavement sign.
A couple of days before the opening, you can start handing out flyers and information leaflets to people passing by.

marketing ploy

On the opening day, the store should be beautifully decorated with balloons, make a photo zone. Musical accompaniment will also not be superfluous. It is advisable to hold drawings with the distribution of gifts, presentation of certificates and discount coupons.

During the operation of the store, you can use social networks for advertising, announcing products, new items, prices, interesting offers. This is very convenient for customers.
And remember: attentive and friendly staff is the hallmark of the store.

If you want to attract, retain, and make customers spend more in your store, you need to analyze who is shopping there and why.
(this can be done in several ways – either to monitor visitors and the area where the store is located, or to identify WHO buys more and more often through promotions and other marketing techniques that must be thought out so that money is not wasted).

Namely: to divide visitors into categories – pensioners, parents with children, teenagers-youth. and think over for each category of action. implement it and observe for some time – how it “enters” and what is the profit.Write to my account

There is a good marketing technique that works: I call it “write it on my account or before payday” – what’s the trick – regular customers can be given some products on credit, and then they will “bring in the money” (well, that’s how it used to be practiced) , for example, for the most necessary products – bread, milk, eggs, etc. (you can designate any set of products), as well as the amount of the loan “up to salary”, for example, up to 500 rubles.

Price list for opening a grocery store

Make a financial plan to get a clear picture of the amount of expenses. Based on it, you can see where you should increase investments, and where you need to save.

Opening costs:

  • Rent is usually more than 50 thousand rubles per month. per month (especially if the location is good, such as a stop, road, etc.). per 100 sq.m. be prepared to pay about 90-100 thousand rubles per month
  • The equipment is very expensive, even used. per 100 sq.m. it will take at least 500K
    furniture, cash desks, computers, etc. (including an equipped place for rest and lunch for staff) – approximately 150 thousand ₽ will result.
  • Employee salaries are a separate expense item, as well as TAXES that will have to be paid MONTHLY for working employees (salesmen 20K each, cleaner 8-10K, loader-security guard – 15-20K + taxes for employees).

Costs are approximate for opening a store of 100 sq.m.

With a well-thought-out work strategy and successful trading, the payback period will be from six months to 2 years.

Possible Grocery Store Income

As for the estimated income … it’s difficult here, because grocery stores take turns, the markup on products is set and cannot be more than 10-15-maximum 30% for certain types of goods.

Income will depend on a number of factors listed above in the article. It is easy to calculate the approximate profit for the month, knowing the amount of revenue for 1 business day. Based on the figures obtained, you can calculate the profitability. On average, according to statistics for a retail store, profitability is 1.5 years.

However, do not give up if at first the income does not go into plus. This is quite natural. Your goal in the first few months should be to equalize between expenses and income, reaching the so-called “break-even point”. And if you do not make serious mistakes, very soon your business will begin to generate income.

Business problems and risks

The main thing you will face when starting a business will be lack of time. You will need to control:

  • Purchasing and receiving goods;
  • shortages traditional for grocery stores (due to errors in acceptance, during the inventory of goods, theft);
  • product expiration dates;
  • staff work;
  • activities of competitors;
  • communication with inspection bodies, payment of fines and much more.

Try to properly organize your time and delegate some types of work to employees.

Maintain a high level of product quality, provide customers with the best service, connect advertising, promotions and discounts – then your business will develop and generate a stable income.