How to start a store in Lynchburg

The Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Renee with Gladiola Girls. I’ve had a retail storefront in some form or fashion since 1999, and today I’m going to talk to you about things to consider before opening your storefront.

When considering where you put your storefront, as they always say, location, location, location. Retail brings retail. So you want to surround yourself with other businesses that have similar store hours, ease of access, pedestrian traffic, and other things to consider to keep your traffic flow fresh and always moving. Next, you want to take some consideration into any growth or construction that can be coming down the pipe, whether it’s being done by the local government, or by other entities around you that are expanding. Construction can really hinder your foot traffic and visibility. So negotiating your lease has the biggest impact on the viability of your business. Be creative when negotiating your lease. Test the waters. In one location, I negotiated to a 6 month lease with two 2-year options afterwards to test the waters and see if it was a viable location and time and space for me and that I could find employees to man the store, and a base of people that would continuously come back before I committed to a long-term lease, and it was a good decision. Always keep in mind that you don’t want to spend more than 6% for your lease in your budget for your overhead. 6% isn’t a lot, and leases can tend to run really high. Also, consider the expense of the build out of the location. The amount of money that you put into that will take years to recoup from paying yourself. So think long and hard about how much upfitting and how much you really want to invest initially in how your space looks.


Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge and open a storefront, make your windows inviting. Make the atmosphere around the storefront welcome people in – include flowers, easy-to-read signage… Those visual cues tell people that you’re open for business and that you’re worth taking the chance of walking in the door. Having a storefront is a huge commitment. It’s very rewarding by the relationships you develop in your community but you do need to think long and hard about that decision. I know that Gladiola Girls is open 361 days out of the year. Think about that. 7 days a week, till 6 PM. The consistency has really been a huge part I believe in our success. You have to create a presence and a commitment to retail. I would be happy if you’d like to come down to Gladiola Girls and talk with me about opening before you open your storefront. I hope that I’m a resource for that. I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’m happy to share any information that I have as you negotiate, navigate, and decide about opening your storefront.

Video Information

Gladiola Girls

About Renee Mattraw Wood

Renee has had a retail storefront since 1999 and is an expert when it comes to retail sales and how to pick the right storefront location. If you have any questions or would like to learn more from Renee, visit her at Gladiola Girls at 1210 Main St. in Lynchburg.


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Author Renee Mattraw Wood
Date Added July 1, 2016
Length 3:55
Views 75


Is a storefront the best way to distribute your product or service? Renee gives incredibly helpful feedback and insights into how to run a successful retail shop. She outlines:

  • Picking the right location
  • Negotiating your lease
  • Investment considerations
  • How to make your storefront inviting
  • And more!