How to Advertise a Retail Shop

Potential customers will need to know that you and your shop are there, so you need to be alert to all possibilities for advertising your business. This need not restrict itself solely to advertising material.


For example, if you will be needing staff for your shop, remember that you, yourself, will be advertising your business by your appearance, manner and so forth during interviews with applicants: an excellent opportunity for creating a good business image.

Retail Shop

Produce some suitable material – well presented – for applicants to take home: another good and subtle way of getting your name known in these critical early stages. For example, give candidates a small leaflet setting out the basic hours and working conditions, holidays and so on. Make sure the shop’s name and logo are prominently displayed on the leaflet. You should also take the trouble to notify unsuccessful applicants – it is worth the price of a few stamps in goodwill.

For your more formal advertising, you will no doubt make use of the local press. Compile a Press Release feature about you and your business and talk to the advertising manager of the paper about a combined campaign – involving some straight advertising (which you pay for) and an advertising feature (which you get for free) on your business.

A less formal means of advertising, but one which could be effective for advertising the location of your premises, is a door-to-door leaflet distribution within your catchment area. Some local papers will undertake this task for you – it could be worth raising the matter when talking about advertising matters generally.

Do not overlook the opportunity which the shop premises themselves provide for advertising. The actual shop front will present an image to the passing public. Suitable posters on the windows and custom neon signs will carry particular messages, even if it is only to advertise the day of opening of your new enterprise.


Having considered what advertising methods to use, you should also think about when to use them. Timing is significant, particularly when advertising something new, like the opening of a new shop.

Your ‘Coming shortly’ or ‘Opening soon’ advertising which could be appearing in the local press, should be timed to arouse initial interest, followed by a second wave of advertising to carry on the momentum up to the moment of opening with, perhaps, a final reminder to say ‘We are now here’.

As well as the general press advertising, you might consider a leaflet distribution related specifically to the day of opening, combined with a special offer valid only for opening day.

Opening day

When the great day arrives, make sure you try to get the most out of it. The use of large posters on the shop windows announcing the fact is probably a good start.

Are you considering having someone special to declare the premises open? If so, will the public come to see that person rather than buy things from your shop? Remember the value of the Press Release and of press coverage; make sure a photographer is ready to hand.

Maybe a special offer – a voucher for a free item or a reduction of a set amount handed to the first 50 customers to enter the shop – could provide useful advertising and goodwill (except from customer No. 51!).

Do not overlook the value of giving a personal welcome to those first customers as they enter the door. Putting the human touch to a business enterprise, if done well and sincerely, can only be of value to the business.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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