Should You Open a Physical Store in 2021? Our Practical Tips

As a business owner, the decision to open a physical retail store for your company is an important one. Whether you are considering expanding a current online business or want to start a physical store from the ground up, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. This is especially important for business owners in 2021 when the world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and retail businesses were some of the most hard-hit due to lockdowns, temporary closures and stay-at-home orders. If you are thinking about opening a physical retail store this year, it’s important to bear in mind just how different things have become as a result of the past events. While opening a successful retail store is certainly still possible, there are several key factors that you will need to consider to put you at a higher chance of achieving this success.

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Open a Physical Store

Location and Target Demographic

One of the first things to consider when starting a retail store in 2021 is your target demographic and how the location of your store is going to make it easier for them to visit. The last thing that you want is to end up running a store that stands empty for a lot of the time because it’s difficult for your target audience to get to. This is especially important in 2021, when people are returning to shopping after a year of lockdowns and want the experience to be as easy as possible. Consider where the store is located and amenities that will make it easier for your customers, such as parking and disabled access.


Whatever you plan to sell, one of the major factors to consider before starting your physical retail store is insurance. Your store will need to be insured against almost everything that could go wrong. Not only will you need to insure the building itself if you are the owner, but you’ll also need to get insurance for equipment, inventory, and any employees that you hire. In 2021, it’s a wise idea to look out for insurance that is designed to also cover your business for situations that could arise as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including having to temporarily close your business. Explore your retail store insurance options at Next Insurance. Next Insurance offer a wide variety of options to compare insurance policies and get a personalized quote based on your individual business needs and requirements.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

In 2021, retail store owners have a lot more to think about when it comes to customer and employee health and safety. While many people are excited about getting back to normal and might even be more willing to shop in-person rather than online due to more than a year of restrictions, many are still rightfully concerned about COVID-19 and will only feel safe to shop in stores that are taking customer health and protection seriously. Because of this, the COVID-19 safety measures that you will put in place are some of the main factors to consider before opening a retail store in 2021. Measures such as social distancing, hand-sanitizing stations, extra deep cleaning, and asking customers to cover their faces while in store are just some of the main ones that health-conscious customers are looking out for, and will help your store build a good reputation even in a crisis.

Online Operations

It’s a good idea to consider running an online store alongside your physical store in 2021. Not only do most customers now expect retail businesses to be available online for shopping, but this can also improve your sales and help you gain more brand awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the situation is looking up as more people get the vaccination and stores are open for business as usual in most areas, it’s important that you don’t ignore those customers who might still be feeling a little wary about leaving their homes and shopping in-person. Online shopping can help boost sales and ensure that your business gains a reputation as a modern, up-to-date brand that is committed to meeting customer needs and expectations.

While online shopping has certainly been the major choice for customers over the last year, retail stores are beginning to reopen and customers are eager to get out and shop again. With these factors in mind, it’s definitely possible to open a successful retail store this year.