Location, Location, Location

With scrapbooking now a $3 billion a year industry, everyone wants a piece of the pie, including big-box stores and chain retailers. These big guns have the buying power and the pocket book to get huge discounts on the same products you may be thinking of carrying. Keep this in mind when you decide if and where to open a scrapbooking store. Perhaps you’ll decide to not to carry some of the major product lines that these retailers do. At any rate, resolve to politely beat them on customer service and added value.

You may want to position your store near these chain competitors, under the theory that dedicated shoppers will make the rounds of each and geography will play in your favor. Or you may decide that a destination spot off the beaten path is a better choice in your particular region. This is one of the areas in which it is especially important to know your market. Location can make a break a scrapbook store’s success.

Perhaps storefront rental costs will make the decision for you. If you want to open a boutique-style scrapbook store in the classiest shopping center in town, but your champagne dreams come with a beer budget, you won’t get very far.
When you think about your competition, consider: What will be your “niche”? How will you set your store apart? Do you want to try to “match” the tactics of chains such as Michael’s and JoAnn’s and offer a 40-percent off coupon, or is that too rich for your blood? Is your store going to be a find-all-the-basics type of retail outlet, or are you going to go more “boutique-y” and design a shop catering to the more-experienced artisan scrapbooker?