35 cheap retail business ideas

Opening a store is a popular way to start your own business. There is a huge range of products to sell and you can run your business in person or online. Some retail business ideas can require a lot of capital, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Here are some options for those on a budget.

What is a retail trade?

A retail business includes any business that sells goods or services directly to consumers for consumption or use. Traditionally, retail companies have included physical storefronts where people buy tangible goods. But many now offer products online or over the phone and ship products to consumers.

Retail in 2022

The retail industry has changed a lot in recent decades. Many stores are now online or even completely mobile. The pandemic has moved the industry even further from a personal model. However, with the right retail business idea in the right market, any type of storefront can still succeed.

Read more: Retail stats you need to know

Why You Should Consider Starting a Retail Business

If you are looking for a profitable business to start in 2022, the retail industry presents many opportunities. Here are some key benefits of starting a retail business:

Various Possibilities: No matter what you are interested in, there is a retail business that deals with it. Community Involvement: Having a brick and mortar store allows you to create a more vibrant downtown district and participate in community activities and events. Model: Some companies have complicated offers. But a store generally sells products with a small profit. So it’s easier to manage the basic schedule. Personal interactions: A physical location allows you to interact with customers throughout the day, ideal for extroverts. Inexpensive Options: Some retail business ideas may require a lot of capital. But there are also online storefronts and micro-enterprises that can start for next to nothing.

Profitable Retail Business Ideas

Many small town shops and business ideas don’t require a lot of startup capital. So there is plenty of room to make a profit over time. Here are some top retail ideas to consider in 2022.

1. Health food store

A health food store is usually a brick and mortar store as it can offer fresh options. However, you can still start this business online and ship packaged foods.

2. Coffee shop

Coffee shops serve local customers fresh drinks and snacks. Create a comfortable environment and extra amenities like free WiFi to attract customers.

3. Organic Food Store

Organic food is food that is grown or produced without pesticides or chemicals. Many consumers prefer natural food for health or environmental reasons.

4. Pet Shop

A pet store allows you to offer animals, food, and accessories to members of your local community. Many also offer additional services such as grooming.

5. Food truck company

Food trucks are actually retail businesses, as they sell food items directly to consumers. This is also a fairly inexpensive business idea, as you don’t need a full window display.

6. Thrift Shop

Thrift stores sell second-hand goods such as furniture, clothing, and home accessories at discounted prices. Many accept donations or run on consignment so you can keep your profit margin high.

7. Furniture store

A furniture store allows you to sell pieces from top manufacturers or produce your own pieces. Inventory can cost more, but pieces usually sell at higher prices.

8. Ice Cream Shop

If you have space for a small store, an ice cream parlor may be ideal. Just set up a counter with a few flavors and toppings.

9. Subscription Box Service

Subscription boxes contain a series of related items that are periodically sent directly to subscribers. This has become an increasingly successful business model in recent years.

10. Mobile Store

A mobile store can actually sell anything. The store would be hosted on an app or mobile website.

Read more: 3 Rules to Help Your Retailer Deliver the New Products Customers Demand

11. Candy Store

Candy is a cheap and easy product to sell in a local or online store.

12. Sports shop

Sports stores sell a variety of equipment and clothing for local athletes. You can even list products online.

13. Dollar Shops

Dollar stores offer a huge range of products for a dollar. Buy cheap products in bulk to maximize profits.

14. Flower Shop

Flower shops sell cut flowers, bouquets and custom arrangements for special events.

15. Beauty Salon

Beauty salons are considered retail businesses because they provide services directly to consumers. Many also sell hair and beauty products.

16. Craft Beer Retailer

Craft beer is gaining popularity in many markets. Stock unique flavors and brands for customers to try.

17. Newsstand

Newsstands are small outdoor businesses that stock newspapers, magazines, and convenience items. Start-up costs are usually low due to the small location and cheap inventory.

18. Vape Shop Business

Vape shops are booming in 2022. There is a huge range of flavors and accessories to stock.

19. Fashion Boutique

Fashion boutiques sell clothing and accessories both in person and online.

20. Online Store

Online stores can actually sell anything. You don’t even have to carry physical inventory if you have an off-site fulfillment service.

Read more: Small Business Ideas for Beginners

21. Local Market

Local markets may sell groceries or other popular items in your area. They are widely known for their friendly, personal service.

22. Vending Machines

Vending machines are like automated retail businesses. Place them in crowded locations with people interested in your products.

23. Gift Shop

Gift shops have small items that are perfect for gift giving. They are especially popular in urban areas and tourist spots.

24. Bakery

Bakeries offer cakes, pastries and various desserts.

25. Kids Shop

A children’s store can carry different types of toys, clothing and equipment for children and families.

26. Auto Parts Store

There is always a demand for auto parts. Stores may have a variety, or specialize in one item, such as tires.

27. Used Bookstore

Used books are quite cheap. And many consumers love the experience of browsing these stores.

28. Tech Accessories Shop

Tech accessories like phone cases and Bluetooth speakers are quite popular. And many are cheap to take away.

29. Shop for Art Supplies

Artifact shops are especially popular in cities and college towns. Many also carry craft items and household items.

30. Medical Device Shop

Medical equipment stores are fairly recession-proof and help community members in need.

31. Record Shop

Records are enjoying a revival. Save it by buying private lots or estate sales.

32. Collectibles Seller

Collectibles like trading cards and coins always sell for decent prices, both in person and online.

33. Handmade Seller

Handmade businesses are quite popular online. But there are also some physical stores that offer these items.

34. Farmers Market Seller

Farmers and food producers can offer their products directly to local markets.

35. Pharmacy

Pharmacies sell medicinal items, and many also carry complementary products such as cards and cosmetics.

What is the best low cost retail business idea to start?

If you are trying to save money while starting a retail business, start an online store. You only need a domain, hosting and inventory, rather than a physical store. You can also cut costs by using marketplace sites or fulfillment and dropshipping services.

Which type of store is the most profitable?

Retail earnings vary widely by industry. Some high-profit options include medical supplies, pharmacy products, and tech accessories. Online stores are also usually the most profitable right away, because the start-up costs are low.

How can you open a store without money?

Opening an online store is the easiest way to start a store with no money. There are many marketplace sites that allow you to list products for next to nothing and pay a small commission when they sell. Start with used items you already have, such as collectibles, and use the profits to buy other inventory.

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