Running a profitable clothes store from a shipping container

Many clothing retailers are struggling and are looking for ways to cut down on their outgoings. One of these is opening in shipping containers to save costs.

High street retailers are hit with high rents and costly business rates, not to mention the competition from the online sector. To cut down on overheads, some clothes shops have opened in converted shipping containers. Many of these are pop-up shops that are quickly fitted out with their clothes simply displayed hanging from heavy duty garment rails.

Boxpark in the London district of Shoreditch is an example of a thriving container retail centre. It has 27 shops and 19 restaurants and bars.

Shipping containers are not expensive, since used ones can be bought for a few thousand pounds or leased. Business rates for containers are generally less than bricks and mortar retail shops, and they can be painted in eye-catching colours. Maintenance costs are low. Conversions are not expensive and are quick to complete. A garment rail manufacturer can supply rails at a reasonable cost.

The other advantage of containers is portability. If a shop wants to relocate to another site, it can simply load the container on a truck and move it.

Shipping containers are not the long-term answer to Britain’s struggling high street, but they are one way in which clothes shops have cut down overheads so that they can trade profitably. They are not just operated by small businesses; large clothing retailer Superdry has opening branches in converted shipping containers.

Posted by Derek
29th August 2018
Retail & Warehousing

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