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How to Make a New Store Opening Go Smoother

It’s an encouraging time when a brand is thriving and is able to open additional locations. In the first six months of 2023, U.S. retailers announced plans to open about 3,420 new stores, according to The Daily on Retail.

While new store openings are exciting, they can also bring a lot of stress to the planning and execution teams involved.

There are many details to manage, and new store openings are high-visibility events, with both the brand’s leadership team as well as their current and prospective customers. It can be difficult for a retailer’s new store team to keep track of the many moving pieces and parts, especially when there are several store openings involved.

While you may know that Bunzl Retail Services can handle retail supplies, we also manage the new store opening process, remodel projects and store decommissioning for a significant number of retailers nationwide. Bunzl works to make the process as seamless and cost-effective as possible for our clients, so they can focus on their customers and sales.

Retailers can save money by engaging an experienced partner to consolidate new store supplies and large fixture items which allows for one shipment (or a series of shipments) to be coordinated to meet the new store opening schedule.

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that consolidate vendors can achieve cost savings of up to 20% on their total cost to complete the projects.

Bunzl’s National Account Managers offered these 5 tips to make your next new store opening go smoothly:

1. Hold Regular Check-ins


Regular communication about the new store process is key. Schedule dedicated meetings to review future store openings, share updates, and plan ahead.

Review timelines and ensure alignment on key milestones together with your retail operations partner.

With these regular status meetings, the entire team will remain aware every step of the way and can address challenges and make informed decisions together faster.

Continuous communication throughout the new store opening process can eliminate the need for additional shipments, resulting in less freight required and lowered waste.

2. Encourage Open Collaboration


Share relevant information with all invested parties and decision-makers to keep everyone in the know. Share goals for delivery in-store dates and timelines, store addresses, and essential contact information.

Be sure that your internal retail personnel are apprised of shipment arrival dates and have personnel ready and dedicated to handling items as they arrive.

3. Strive for One Comprehensive Order


Work with members across departments to develop a full Bill of Materials for all items needed to open the stores. Involving a large cross-departmental team can help cut down on adjustments and additions later in the process.

Starting the process early and placing an accurate order is important to ensure that your retail store hits its original new store opening date.

4. Standardize Items


Creating a standardized assortment or template for stores to follow will create a more accurate and reliable order, which can lead to better forecasting and buying.

The standardized assortment, coupled with the calendar planning of multiple projects also allows for the ability to buy more items in bulk – leading to greater savings on the cost of goods.

A consistent order can also reduce waste and save money. It is important to work with the full team to get an accurate number and keep your retail partners updated on any changes. More precise numbers mean fewer emergency replacements and less money wasted on expedited freight.

5. Consolidate When Possible


Working with fewer vendors that reduce the number of deliveries is always ideal. Streamlining these vendor relationships can simplify logistics and build stronger partnerships.

Consolidated orders deliver freight savings and also help support sustainability through fewer trips and less packaging.

Consolidation also will benefit your operational efficiency and contribute to a more cost-effective retail strategy.

Save Money and Open Faster


On average, the number of lost or damaged items is reduced by 10% when working with Bunzl Retail Services to open a new store.

New store teams that engaged Bunzl and used our streamlined process opened about 20% faster than previous projects.

Want your next new store opening to go smoother? Contact us at [email protected].


More Posts

5 Tips to Maximize Profits from Closed Stores

Leveraging its extensive national network, comprehensive supply chain management, and deep industry expertise, Bunzl Retail Services, your trusted partner, can expedite the process. Read on to learn how to maximize profits from closed store assets and transform potential losses into gains.

Bunzl Retail Services can handle your new store opening process with these 7 tips that our National Account Managers provided for us.


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Mary Flenner

Mary is a creative marketing writer with a passion for making brands shine. With an agency background in consumer goods, B2B and beyond, she brings a unique blend of creativity and strategic insight to our content development. Mary seeks out interesting retail news, patterns, and ideas to help our partners operate more efficiently and stay informed. When she's not writing and creating meticulous lists, you may find her attempting a plant-based pasta recipe or reading.

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