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7 Handy Tips for Moving Your Retail Store

Moving your retail store to a new location can be a stressful process.

You need to transport inventory, furniture, and equipment to the new place. Then set it up. All this needs to be done in a way that minimizes the impact on your cash flow.

If you've never done a move like this before, it's common that you'll encounter unexpected challenges along the way. Disgruntled employees, lost or broken inventory and unexpected setup costs are just a few of these potential challenges.

Portrait of attractive clothing store owner standing in her shop entrance. Small shop owner looking at camera and smiling.

To help reduce the impact that the move has on your business and make the moving process as pain free as possible, we've put together this list of seven tips for relocating your retail store.

1. Hold A Moving Sale

Whether you sell clothes, baby strollers, or heavy machinery, inventory represents a large chunk of your move. The larger your inventory, the more you'll have to pay to move it. This occurs because most movers charge by weight (or space in a truck).

A moving sale is a good idea to help you reduce inventory as you get ready to change locations. You will save money on the move, and can even act as an advertisement to let people know about your new location.

2. Protect The Inventory You Are Moving

Any retail store owner knows that inventory is nothing else than capital stored in product.

For retail shop owners moving their stores to a new location, this means one thing: protecting their inventory just like they would protect their money.

What this looks like depends on the product you sell, but in general it means re-boxing all items, and transporting them in ways that consider protect them from breaking and moisture.

3. Tell Your Employees About the Move Early On

Employees are a pivotal part of any retail store. If they feel alienated or frustrated during the moving process, your business can result in a greater dip in productivity or an increase in employee turnover. Both are costly.

To avoid this, it’s important to communicate plans to move early on and keep them in the loop regarding policies and procedures for the move. The more informed and prepared your employees are will help the move to go smoother.

In an earlier post, we discussed the five ways to help employees get ready for an office relocation. These principles also apply to retail stores:

  • Create a communication plan to let them know early on
  • Discuss commute logistics to make sure people can get to work comfortably
  • Tell them what the new area has to offer
  • Clarify responsibilities and expectations
  • Let them know how much space they’ll have 

4. Try to Avoid Moving Furniture or Equipment On Your Own

Moving heavy furniture such as shelves and display cases can be tricky, and while you may be tempted to try to do this on your own (or with the help of your employees) this may not be the smartest thing to do.

Lifting heavy furniture is dangerous, and you really don't want to put you, your employees, or your business in harms way by trying to do stuff on your own. If things are really heavy or delicate, hiring professional movers is essential to move your location in a safe and time-efficient manner.

5. Get the New Location Ready Before the Move

If possible, overlap the leases on your old and new locations for a short amount of time to allow you to prepare your new shop while you are still running your old one.

Doing this will allow you to get your new store ready before the move. This includes making sure you have a steady internet connect, your payments systems are installed, and your shelves, counters and display cases are ready to go.

Then when you are ready to move out of your old space, you can immediately add your inventory and other small details to the new shop. This minimizes downtime and lowers the impact that the move will have on sales.

6. Schedule Your Move Appropriately

Another way to minimize the impact that your move will have on your sales is to schedule for a time of the year in which sales are naturally lower. This will minimize downtime, and decrease the number of sales you may lose for closing shop for a couple of days as you complete the move.

7. Get Professional help

While moving retail stores can be tricky, getting professional help is a great way to help make the process go smoother. To start the new chapter of your business in an efficient and stress-free way, call the qualified, professional movers at Action Movers.