Business idea: stationery store
Stationery is a product of stable demand. The capacity of the Russian consumer market in this segment is approximately $ 2.5 billion per year. Despite the fairly high competition, even beginners have every chance to occupy their niche in the Russian market and recoup their investment. The business is presented in different formats, but more than 30% of the corporate segment are small players (specialty stores, supermarket branches, kiosks).
Before you open a stationery store from scratch, it is important to decide on an assortment line. You can buy products directly from manufacturers, intermediaries or importers. The most widespread domestic brands are Komus, Chancellor, Office-Premier, Oblkulttorg, ProBuro, Ekort and Bureaucrat. The import structure includes European brands, but more than 60% belongs to Chinese production.
When defining commodity items, you need to take into account the target audience. In addition to notebooks, pencils and pens for schoolchildren and students, it is desirable to present everything necessary for offices.
The project can be implemented in various formats:
- trade in a free-standing building;
- an "island" in a shopping center or university;
- a stationary kiosk or pavilion; li >
- department stores with a wide range (targeted at both wholesale and retail buyers).
A sample stationery store business plan includes:
- building a development concept;
- renting a place or buying it;
- selection of a registration form and type of taxation, preparation of permits;
- marketing activities.
Building a ready-made business plan for a stationery store with calculations depends on the scale of the project and the state of the selected premises. For example, if you open a department in a shopping center, there will be no repair costs. If you plan to trade in the basement of a multi-storey building, you will need repair costs.
Stationery is one of the types of products that are in stable demand. We see them everywhere around us: at school, in the office space and even at home. Pens, pencils, scotch tape, paper of all sizes, erasers, hole punches, paper clips and all sorts of accessories - these are all products that are usually sold through a stationery store. How preferable is this type of business, and what is needed to promote it, this will be discussed below.
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What is good about the business of selling stationery
Among the benefits of such a traditional business are the following:
- office supplies are in demand among the general population, and not just students, as uninformed people might think;
- they are quite profitable in terms of implementation, have a good markup ;
- despite a certain seasonality, there is a demand for such products throughout the entire calendar year;
- they do not require special storage conditions, and there is no need to be afraid of regular inspections of the sanitary and epidemiological station;
- along the way with the sale of office supplies directly, you can sell haberdashery, as well as provide related services related to the use of office equipment, etc.
Where to place your store - useful recommendations
Despite the listed advantages, there are certain difficulties associated with starting this type of business from scratch. The main problem is that the most promising places for trade are already predominantly occupied. At the same time, you can find a room in which there was a trade point of another profile, which is doing poorly. It is advisable to find a place that will be located in an area of intense passenger traffic, and even better - near secondary and higher educational institutions.
On the other hand, the busiest streets and neighborhoods will require higher rents. In order for customers to quickly find out about the opening of your store, its doors should go to the red line or a busy sidewalk. But the level of competition must be assessed soberly. If in the vicinity there is already a similar point with a "nailed" clientele, then it hardly makes sense to open another stationery store. Unless you can dump at prices or offer additional services in demand.
Business districts with an abundance of office space are another advantageous option for a stationery store. However, if you consider them as your regular customers, then the assortment should be selected accordingly. This will require a specialization that is somewhat different from the one that students are guided by. But regular office paper and staples should be on the shelves too.
How does a stationery store make money
Investments: from 600,000 rubles
Payback: from 1 year
Office supplies are not essential items, but they are in stable demand regardless of the economic situation in the country. In offices and government agencies, the office is purchased centrally by bank transfer. But schoolchildren and students prefer retail stores, where the little things necessary for their studies can be purchased at any time. An effective business model combines various forms of trading, however, in this case, the profitability of the store is not always commensurate with the effort expended.
Stationery includes all supplies used in writing, teaching and paperwork. The main buyers of this category of goods are parents of preschoolers and primary schoolchildren, schoolchildren of middle and senior age, students, office managers of commercial organizations and secretaries of government agencies. A feature of the product is a low commercial margin - on average, about 40% of the purchase price. This necessitates large-scale turnover to ensure the profitability of the outlet, as well as the impossibility of breaking even marketing campaigns and sales.
The commercial success of a store primarily depends on its location. The sales volume is positively influenced by the proximity of kindergartens, educational institutions, school uniform shops, cultural centers, art schools.
The sale of stationery can be realized in various formats:
- corner, island, store in a mall;
- department, section in a book supermarket;
- freestanding store; li >
- online store.
The type of trade depends on the assortment matrix of the store, the average bill and operating costs for maintaining the outlet. Accommodation in a shopping center allows you to expand the range of highly profitable goods: key rings, souvenirs, accessories for mobile phones. In a free-standing store, the emphasis should be on maximizing the coverage of the entire assortment required by the main category of customers. Focusing on schoolchildren and their parents, the nomenclature is supplemented with backpacks, satchels, methodological literature; on students - Whatman paper of various sizes, drawing instruments, memory cards; preschoolers will need a wide selection of items for drawing and creativity.
Any of the selected formats should preferably be duplicated by an online store with the possibility of self-pickup and courier delivery. This will expand the audience of customers at the expense of people who prefer virtual shopping; women on maternity leave with more than one child; organizations ordering the delivery of paper to the office.
Minimum start-up capital
About 30% of the corporate segment on the market is occupied by small companies, and no more than 45 of them have a turnover of over two million dollars a year. Thus, even if there is rather high competition and the existence of large players in the market, newcomers have every chance to take their place in the market (even if initially small, but with the prospect of further development and expansion).
The assortment of most stationery stores includes products of both foreign and domestic production. The quality of imported goods is often higher than Russian ones, but the situation is gradually changing. Manufacturers (primarily of paper and paper products) switch to modern equipment, develop new designs, use high-quality raw materials.
In the structure of imported stationery, the share of products from the countries of Southeast Asia is increasing, the design of which is often not inferior to European office supplies, and prices are often lower. Additional advantages include a wide assortment and frequent model line changes.
For this reason, in some product groups, the share of Asian products can reach 50%. However, from the point of view of Russian consumers, a product of Asian origin should be “cheap”, even if it is not inferior in quality to European or domestic products. For this reason, many large and medium-sized wholesale companies that sell office supplies often order products in Asian countries under their own brands.
The profitability of opening a stationery store
The annual capacity of the Russian office goods market is up to $ 2.5 billion. This segment is considered the most promising, along with the office for schoolchildren. The growth of the stationery industry, which is up to 45% per year, is mainly due to an increase in the supply of office supplies.
The following participating companies are represented in the stationery market: manufacturers, distributors or importers of certain brands, wholesalers or companies reselling brand products, companies specializing in serving corporate customers, retail stores and large chain stores. The market leaders in terms of working capital are Komus, Regent, Ekort, Office-Premier, ProBuro, Pharm, Bureaucrat, Chancellor.
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So, your stationery store can be focused on a wide target audience (parents of preschoolers and schoolchildren, schoolchildren themselves, students and other customers) or have a narrower specialization (goods for creativity, for school, for the office etc.). As mentioned above, office supplies account for over 60% of total office supplies sales.
Profits in this segment are much higher than in school, which attracts the attention of aspiring entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that when working with office products, the format of an online store with a delivery service to the office is more suitable. We are considering the option of opening an ordinary stationery store, where products for schoolchildren, preschool children, students and the widest audience will prevail. The bulk of purchases falls on the first two groups of buyers.
To open a stationery store from scratch, you need to take into account the amount of starting capital available. The scale of the business varies significantly, from a small retail outlet to a specialized self-service store.
Market analysis and target audience
Competitors and competitive advantages
Approximate opening and operating times
Factors indicating the relevance of a business project for a stationery store:
- Consistently high demand for office supplies. It is not affected by economic and financial crises.
- A wide range of potential clients. People of different age and social categories need office supplies. Neither educational institutions, nor offices, nor other institutions can do without an office. Market prospects are also due to the increase in the birth rate observed in the last decade. It has led to an increase in the need for school supplies.
- The products sold very slowly become obsolete, both morally and physically. For its storage, for example, refrigeration units and other special devices are not needed.
- In order to open and run a business, you do not need to have special skills and abilities. This type of activity is suitable even for an inexperienced entrepreneur.
Market analysis and target audience
The Russian stationery market has a pronounced seasonality. In the period from May to July, when children are on vacation and adults are on vacation, the demand for stationery falls. By August-November, it reaches its maximum.
About half of the capacity of the Russian stationery market is occupied by eight large distributors. The leading positions in sales were secured by the segment of paper and stationery and writing utensils. The capacity of the domestic consumer market in this segment is about $ 2.5 billion per year.
Main categories of office supply store customers:
- preschoolers (children under 7 years old), for whom their parents and other relatives make purchases;
- primary and middle school students (children from 7 to 12 years old ) who come to shop with their parents;
- high school students (teenagers from 13 to 18 years old) who shop on their own;
- students (from 18 to 30 years old);
- teachers and educators (from 23 to 55 years old);
- other categories: office workers, government employees, etc. (from 22 to 60 years old).
The entrepreneur has the right to choose the specialization of the store and focus its work on a specific category of customers.