Stationery shops remain an essential place. Every month, every year, schoolchildren and businesses need quality materials to work.

Are you passionate about this sector? Would you like to set up a stationery store, but you don't know where to start? Do not go further. This article was designed to answer your questions. But, first, we will review each of the significant steps to open a stationery store in the following lines.

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1. Opening a stationery store: a difficult market

Regarding the stationery market, we will not lie to you; a multitude of factors batters the sector:

  • First, The change in authentic ecological conscience is More than ever. The public tends to avoid waste, whether consumables (paper, ink, etc.) or supplies (backpack, books, etc.).
  • Then, dematerialization, which is increasingly important. More and more administrations are offering online services, replacing a paper service.
  • Finally, the stationery sector is increasingly competitive, especially in a challenging economic context. Small independent businesses have to contend with franchise companies. And these, in turn, face competition from supermarkets, which now have private labels.

That said, if the context is at first not favourable to opening a small stationery store, you still have a card to play. By choosing the right location and concept, you will create the stationery of your dreams.

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2. Opening a franchised stationery store: probably less risky

Given the economic situation in the stationery market, you may want to position yourself in the niche of franchised stationery.

Becoming a franchisee has a cost (entry fee and annual fee) and is accompanied by an inevitable loss of freedom (particularly in the product catalogue). However, it also has many benefits that help reduce your plan's risk to open a stationery store.

In fact, by being a franchisee, you benefit in particular:

  • the brand recognition of the network you join
  • a concept that has proven itself, and therefore a priori more easily profitable
  • tariffs negotiated by the network's purchasing center with suppliers
  • support, and help with the marketing part

There are a few big names in stationery in France looking for franchise entrepreneurs, such as Agora Presse or Maison de la Presse.

You can also join other, more specialized networks, such as Bureau Vallée or Office Dépôt. These large networks are often linked with administrations or professional companies, which assures them of a clientele.

If you prefer the charm of traditional small stationery despite the difficulties of independent businesses, you will need to find a concept that sets you apart.

Many customers appreciate this type of establishment for its "human" side. The stationery is indeed a place where you can leaf through, discuss with the seller, ask for advice on a book. It is not something you can find in a supermarket.

You can thus try to play on this characteristic specific to local businesses.

On the other hand, small paper mills are diversifying more and more to face the competition. In addition to the sale of office supplies, some also offer additional services such as photocopying, the sale of books and newspapers.

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3. Where to Open your stationery?

The choice of your commercial premises will be essential in putting together your stationery business plan.

A location in the city center has become practically essential to create or take over stationery intended to satisfy local customers.

However, you can also target shopping areas, especially if there is no competition there: the presence of adjacent shops will help improve your attractiveness and visibility.

Finally, you can choose to settle near a school or a university which can constitute points in which the demand naturally strong.

Besides the location, you will need a room with enough space to store your stock. Also, remember that it will be more prominent during critical periods, such as returning to school.

4. What legal form to open your own stationery?

Choosing the legal status of your business is the next step in setting up your stationery.

And, This is not a trivial choice because a lot of elements will flow from it. It is the case with the manager's liability vis-à-vis the debts of the company, for example. So, in the case of a sole proprietorship, you will be responsible for the business's debts on your wealth. In the event of bankruptcy, with this status, your assets may be seized.

The choice of your statute will also influence the method of taxation and the social regime of the manager.

5. Design a logo

It's essential to design an attractive logo sign to tell your customers about your business. The functional logo design can not only help you furnish an engaging shopfront but also let clients remember your stationery.

6. Buy Store Fixtures

Equip your store with functional store fixtures is also essential to every retailer. There are various shelving and racks that need to fit inside stationery, only make a perfect layout design can you arrange your shop furniture in the best way.

Ant Display is a leading commercial display furniture manufacturer with large boards of shelving racks for sale. Whether you need metal gondola shelving units or wall display racks, or rotating display stands, we have th best option. Furthermore, we offer customized store fixtures that can perfectly fit your unique shape spaces.  

7. The material and human needs

Material is also critical for retail shops, especially for stationery store, you will need all the display furniture including: display racks, display shelves, retails stands, display tiers and glasss showcases to furnish the store. Different fixtures contain a different display function. use the right stands can largely improve your store efficiency. 

  • to set up the store fixtures: retail display shelves or racks, glass display counter, cash register, etc.
  • to acquire a professional photocopier if you plan to offer this service
  • to present your products in the best way
  • to organized the store
  • to equip you with computer equipment for the administrative part
  • to display logo and product name.

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8. Opening a stationery store: the marketing plan

The development of your stationery is progressing. Now you have to create what you call your marketing plan.

Creating stationery is good, but you still have to make it known if you don't want your room to remain hopelessly empty.

Let's repeat it: the right location for your business is essential. The ideal is to be in the city center, usually busy street and close to other shops.

But these places are often more expensive. And at the same time, that may not be enough to keep your business busy. So at the time of the inauguration, remember to communicate with the local media: the small newspapers in your city will appreciate speaking about your store, especially if its concept goes off the beaten track.

Finally, word of mouth will play a lot. If your business is more extensive, you can consider opening a website or developing visuals (flyers, posters, etc.) to promote you.

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9. Write down your stationery business plan.

Once you've completed all of these steps, your next goal will be to complete your stationery business plan.

Therefore, the business plan is an exhaustive document comprising a provisional financial budget and a written part. It must integrate all the elements necessary to launch your stationery. And for a good reason: it should serve you to verify that nothing was left to chance and that the company will be profitable to convince your bank or future investors.

10. Home Straight: Finding Funding To Open Your Stationery

Once you have written your stationery business plan, you can start looking for funding.

Most often, entrepreneurs have recourse to three sources of financing:

  • Equity: these are the funds invested by the company's partners (you, your relatives, private investors). The equity will only correspond to what you have allocated to your project if you are a single partner.
  • Bank loan: banks remain an essential interlocutor for finding financing, even if obtaining a loan for business creation is not always easy.
  • Public aid: the public authorities (the government and the regions or departments) have created subsidiaries. Remember to educate yourself and ask them to help you in the creation of your stationery.

And There you go! You now know how to open a stationery store. Do not hesitate to ask us your questions, as well as to other professionals in the sector. And above all, remember to give us the address of your business when it opens!