A bridal shop is a retail outlet that predominantly retails bridal wear, including wedding gowns, veils, and other accessories such as shoes, ties, gloves, and jewelry. Some bridal shops also typically provide alterations, such as hemming, taking in or letting out seams, and lengthening or shortening sleeves. Some of them also go as far as renting wedding gowns and other wedding accessories.
The global bridal gowns market was valued at over US$ 39 billion in 2020. It is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 7.01 percent from 2022 to 2031. Please note that the bridal wear market potential growth difference will be USD 13.5 billion from 2022 to 2026.
Steps on How to Start a Bridal Shop Business
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
The first step in the market research process for your bridal shop business is to develop a market-based research question in line with your overall business goal and objective.
In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will give you a reliable clue of what your potential market will be looking out for from a bridal shop and also help you operate your bridal shop with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability within the shortest time frame.
a. Who is the Target Market for Bridal Shop Business?
- Bridal trains
- Wedding planners
- Movie producers
b. Is Bridal Shop Business a Profitable Business?
Yes, the bridal shop business is very profitable. Statistics show that in the United States, the wedding industry generates over 60 billion dollars each year – and that figure doesn’t even include the honeymoon.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
No, there are no existing niches when it comes to bridal shops.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Ivory And White Bridal Boutique
- Lillian Lottie Bridal Couture
- Loho Bride
- Jennifer’s Bridal
- Joan Pillow Bridal Salon
- Margene’s Bridal
- Alta Moda Bridal Boutique
- One Fine Day Bridal
- An Elegant Affair Bridal
- Laura’s Couture Collection
- Bliss Bridal
- Andrea’s Bridal
- The Gown Shop Bridal
- A & Bé Bridal Shop
- Elle James Bridal
- Fleur De Lis Bridal
- Mark Ingram Atelier
- Hayden Olivia Bridal
- Mary Me Bridal Store
- Blue Bridal Boutique.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Bridal Shop Business?
Yes, there are county or state regulations and zoning laws for bridal shops, and players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing such business in the county or state where their business is domiciled.
f. Is There a Franchise for Bridal Shop Business?
Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the bridal shop business. Here are some of them;
- Winnie Couture
- My Wedding My Dress
- Bella Bridesmaid
- Fabulous Frocks
- Lovely Bride.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Bridal Shop Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business and Marketing Plans
- Business Licenses and Permits
- A Good Shop facility
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Suppliers of wedding gowns and related bridal products
- Startup Capital
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a bridal shop business are;
Creative Bridal Shop Business Name ideas
- Red Rose© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Pinky Jane® Bridal Shop, LLC
- White Rose© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Shavonne Benjamin® Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Linda USA™ Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Brenda Benson™ Bridal Shop, LLC.
- Mary Martins© Bridal Store, LLC
- Jonny Moore® Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Pretty Woman© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Martins© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Sonia Joe® Bridal Store, LLC
- Coast Line® Bridal Shop, LLC
- Deb Rosen™ Bridal Shop, LLC
- The Grange© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Lucia Jones® Bridal Store, Inc.
- Janeth Chris™ Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Mildred Merrick™ Bridal Shop, Inc.
- Esther Emmanuel© Bridal Shop, Inc.
- One Stop® Bridal Store, LLC
- Anita Henry™ Bridal Shop, Inc.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Bridal Shop Business?
Even though there are several options when it comes to the business structure of a bridal shop business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Bridal Shop Business?
- General Business License
- Health and Safety Permit
- Reseller’s Permit
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Bridal Shop Business?
You don’t need any certifications to open a bridal shop.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Bridal Shop Business?
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Document
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting a bridal shop business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Bridal Shop Business?
The cost required to open a bridal shop may vary significantly. It can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000 depending on size, the type and brand of wedding gowns you want to retail, and also whether or not the shop will be heated, require electricity, and how you have it plumbed. Your retail storefront will require another $50,000 investment minimum and your start-up inventories and supplies will cost you another $50,000 to $250,000.
b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Bridal Shop Business
- The total fee for registering a business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services – $1,200.
- Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $80.
- The cost for hiring a business consultant (writing of business plans inclusive) – $2,500.
- Insurance coverage – $2,400.
- The cost of accounting software, CRM software, and Payroll Software – $1,500
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of – $35,600.
- The cost for shop / facility remodeling – $25,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $500
- Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
- The cost for start-up inventory (a wide range of wedding gowns, bridal dresses, and related bridal accessories from different brands) – $150,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,150
- The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound systems, tables and chairs et al) – $8,000.
- The cost of launching an official website – $600
- The cost for our grand opening party – $3,000
- Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Bridal Shop Business?
- The size of the bridal shop business
- The choice of location
- The required licenses and permits
- The type of facility
- The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the bridal shop
- The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
- The cost of the insurance policy covers
- The cost of registering the business
- Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
- Cost of recruiting and training your staff
- The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
- The cost for the grand opening of the bridal shop
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your bridal shop, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Bridal Shop Business?
- Supplies (inventory expenses)
- Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
- Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Shop Manager (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
- Merchandise Manager – $32,000
- Cashier (Accountant) – $29,630,000 Per Year
- Sales Boys and Girls – $26,100 Per Year
- Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Bridal Shop Business
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Red Rose© Bridal Shop, Inc. is a neighborhood bridal shop that will be located in a fast-growing community in Dallas, Texas. We have been able to secure a two-year lease of a vacant shop within the city’s largest shopping mall. We are fortunate to secure a facility with an option of renewal for 5 years at a rate that is favorable to us.
b. Products and Service
Red Rose© Bridal Shop, Inc. will be involved in retailing and also renting wedding gowns and wedding accessories such as shoes, gloves and jewelry, bridesmaid dresses and crowns et al. We will also help our clients with alterations, such as hemming, taking in or letting out seams, and lengthening or shortening sleeves et al.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to establish a bridal shop business that will make available a wide range of bridal wear and accessories at affordable prices to the residents of Dallas, Texas, and other cities in the United States where we intend opening of chains of bridal shops.
Our vision is to become the leading bridal shop in Texas and also to be amongst the top 10 bridal shop brands in the United States of America.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of a bridal shop are to provide a retail outlet where people can purchase or rent wedding gowns and wedding accessories such as shoes, gloves and jewelry, bridesmaid dresses and crowns et al. We will also provide alterations, such as hemming, taking in or letting out seams, and lengthening or shortening sleeves et al.
e. Organizational Structure
- Shop Manager (Owner)
- Merchandise Manager
- Cashier (Accountant)
- Sales Boys and Sales Girls
- Security Guard
a. SWOT Analysis
- Ideal location for a bridal shop
- Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
- Access to finance from business partners
- Excellent customer testimonials.
- A high volume of unique designs and styles of wedding gowns, and bridal dresses from different designers.
- Financial Constraints
- A new business that will be competing with well-established bridal shops.
- Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
- Increase in the number of ladies getting married
- Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
- The arrival of a new bridal shop within our market space
- Unfavorable government policy and regulations.
- Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas will reduce industry profitability.
- Economic uncertainty
- Liability problems.
b. How Do Bridal Shops Make Money?
Bridal shops make money by;
- Retailing and renting bridal/wedding gowns
- Retailing bridal accessories
- Retailing and renting bridesmaid dresses
- Providing alterations and other related services.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your bridal shop by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to wedding planners, socialites, celebrities, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your bridal shop is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Join local bridal shop business associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?
There is no uniform price when it comes to the products retailed by bridal shops. This is so because the brand (designer), type, and size of the wedding gown, bridal dress, or accessories will determine the product or the item. Please note the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,251 and $227 for accessories according to data from The Wedding Report.
b. How Much Profit Do Bridal Shop Business Owners Make a Year?
It depends, the Career Bliss website profiles two stores online and found the owners of one averaged between $70,000 and $92,000—annual income can vary depending on the store’s profits—while another successful store’s owner made between $46,000 and $56,000.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the bridal shop business
- The types of products retailed in the shop
- The location the bridal shop business is covering
- The management style of the bridal shop
- The business approach of the bridal shop
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the bridal shop
- The number of years the bridal shop is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Bridal Shop Business Product/Service?
The profit margin of a bridal shop business is not fixed. It could range from 35 percent to 65 percent depending on the type of products retailed in the shop.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
Below is the sales forecast for a bridal shop business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year: $320,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $600,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $1 million
Set Up your Shop
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Bridal Shop Business?
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to ladies due for marriage
- The demand for wedding gowns, bridal dresses, and accessories in the location
- The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of bridal shops, and other boutiques that retail wedding gowns in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Bridal Shop Business?
- Manhattan, New York
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Montclair, New Jersey
- Brooklyn, New York
- Chicago, Illinois
- Durham, North Carolina
- Los Angeles, California
- Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Dallas, Texas
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Bridal Shop Business?
You will need hangers, holders, cases, shelves, racks, accessories, and receipt issuing machines, a Sound System (For playing music), Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines), CCTV Cameras, and Flat Screen TVs. You will also need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard bridal shop business, you should make plans to hire a competent shop manager (owner), merchandize manager, cashier (accountant), salespersons, and security guard.
Launch the Business Proper
In recent times, no bridal shop business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.
The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the bridal shop business, you will officially inform people in your city that your bridal shop is open for business.
a. What Makes a Bridal Shop Business Successful?
- Choose a good location and shop facility to launch the business
- Make sure your shop is stocked with different types of wedding gowns, bridal dresses, and accessories
- Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the bridal shop
- Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
- Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your bridal shop
- Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your bridal shop
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Bridal Shop Business?
- The shop is open for the day’s work
- Goods are properly arranged
- Walk-in customers are attended to
- Deliveries of orders are made
- Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted
- The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Bridal Shop Business?
- Customer services skills
- Interpersonal skill
- Accounting and bookkeeping skills
- Business management skills
- Bargaining skill
- Work experience in a retail shop environment
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration
- Experience in handling wedding gowns, bridal dresses, accessories, and related products.