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how to open your own retail clothing store

Want to Turn Your Passion for Fashion into a Career? Here’s How!

If you’re wondering how to open your own retail clothing store, and are worried that you might not have the background or retail experience to do so, rest easy — Apricot Lane is there for you, every step of the way! We believe that part of what separates a good franchise investment from a great one is the training and support a franchisee can count on from the franchisor. At Apricot Lane, we take that commitment very seriously, which means our offering can be capitalized on by a wide range of investors from a wide range of backgrounds. Let’s take a closer look at how we prepare you for ownership, here.

Pre-Opening Training

At Apricot Lane, we’ll fully prepare you on how to open your own retail clothing store with us, beginning with the 40 hours of at-home training you’ll take part in, conducted at your own pace and on your own schedule. You’ll study our proprietary training manuals that are electronically stored in a password-protected intranet, and take tests on their content, in addition to learning some of the software we use during this training. But it doesn’t stop there! After you complete your home instruction, you’ll take part in five days of classroom training, at our beautiful Sacramento Valley corporate location, where you’ll learn everything you need know about the day-to-day operations of your boutique, including buying merchandise, managing your store and its inventory, delivering first-rate customer service, and marketing your boutique, among other important topics. You’ll also get to spend one of those days on a field trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District, where you’ll visit with our on-site buyer and meet some key suppliers, for a big-picture introduction to our exciting fast-fashion industry.

After that, we’ll help you find, lease, and build out the perfect location for your new clothing boutique, and help you design its interior so that it reflects who you are and your unique aesthetic sense. We take your pre-opening training and support seriously, because we know how vital they are to preparing you for success.

How to Open Your Own Retail Clothing Store

When it comes to how to open your own retail clothing store with us, we don’t just walk away once your boutique doors open; we make sure to thoroughly support you after you begin your career as a boutique owner. That means we’ll help you craft and execute targeted marketing campaigns to reach your best customers, conduct monthly networking phone chats with you to go over aspects like merchandising, social media, best sellers, and more, and keep you up-to-date on the latest trends via online webinars and an annual learning conference. We know a franchise brand is only as successful as each of its franchisees, and that means we’re behind you every step of the way. Our commitment to our franchise partners has allowed us to grow to over 75 boutique locations across the country, and we look forward to growing that number in the years ahead.

If you’d like to learn more about how to open your own retail clothing store with us, reach out today!

  • January 20, 2020
  • Blog
invest in a clothing franchise

What Does Your Apricot Lane Investment Look Like and What Does It Get you?

Choosing to start your small business as a franchise owner is one of the very best ways to become your own boss. When you invest in a clothing franchise with Apricot Lane, you gain access to all kinds of benefits that you wouldn’t otherwise have if you started your boutique from scratch. A time-tested business model, comprehensive training, and ongoing support are just some of the perks you’ll enjoy when you invest with us. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what that investment looks like, and more importantly, what it gets you.

Your Franchise Fee

As a requirement of doing business under a brand name, all franchisors charge a one-time franchise fee, and when you invest in a clothing franchise with Apricot Lane, that fee is $34,500 for your first boutique location, and $15,000 for each additional store you’d like to open. This money pays for your initial training, both at home and on-site, as well as our proprietary logos and resources, and our time-tested business model that’ll help you navigate the day-to-day operations of your beautiful new store. It’ll also get you access to our proprietary operations manual and a treasure trove of marketing and advertising materials that’ll help you market your business to your best customer. These materials are paid for in part by a 1% monthly advertisement development fee. You’ll also be responsible for a bi-monthly royalty fee of 5.5% of your gross sales.

In total, typical start-up costs for an Apricot Lane store run around $150,000, exclusive of working capital. Keep in mind, that number could vary, depending on the size and location of your boutique. We’re proud of these numbers because we know what they get you, and because we know when it’s all said and done, we’re one of the most affordable franchise opportunities out there.

Ongoing Support

At Apricot Lane, we never stop learning, and we make sure to pass on our knowledge to you! For as long as you are part of the Apricot Lane family, you’ll have access to the continuing support and education that comes with the Apricot Lane franchise cost. You’ll work with the very best and latest in technology and support systems, and take part in the monthly conference calls we hold with all our stores. During these calls, we cover buying, best sellers, marketing, social media, and operations, among many other important subjects. You can also count on us to help you with:

  • Visual merchandising — to help you set your store up beautifully
  • Hiring staff — so the right people are there to help you succeed
  • Bookkeeping — so your records stay organized and at your fingertips
  • Technology — so you’re always on the cutting edge

These are just a few of the benefits and rewards you’ll enjoy when you invest in a clothing franchise with Apricot Lane. We’re committed to the success of our franchisees because we know it’s what sets us apart from all the other retail franchise opportunities out there, and because our continued good reputation depends on it. Apricot Lane is extremely proud to be recognized as a leader in the fashion industry, and when you invest in your own Apricot Lane Boutique, you’ll be recognized as one, too!

To find out more about how to invest in a clothing franchise with us, get in touch today!

  • January 13, 2020
  • Blog
open an apparel franchise

What Are the Steps to Opening an Apricot Lane Boutique?

There is perhaps no better feeling in the world than knowing you can take a passion for something and turn it into a profession. We’ve been watching franchisee after franchisee do just that — turn their passion for fashion into exciting careers — and if you’d like to do the same and open an apparel franchise, you’ll be happy to know Apricot Lane makes that process easier than you might think. Becoming an Apricot Lane boutique owner is a straightforward and transparent journey, making it simple for qualified individuals to become part of our brand family. Let’s take a brief look at the steps, here.

Give Us a Call

The first step you’ll take to open an apparel franchise with Apricot Lane is to give us a call and speak with our Franchise Development Ambassador. During this introductory call, we’ll go over the initial investment, general store operations, and support resources available to all our franchisees, and generally just get to know each other a bit better. We’ll want to make sure you’re a good fit for our opportunity, so we’ll ask you some questions about your goals and background, and will make sure to answer any questions you might have about how to open an apparel franchise with us. Soon after this initial call, you’ll receive a series of informative emails that will reinforce our discussion and provide you with additional information on subjects such as training, location, store features, bookkeeping, and much more.

Submit Your Request

The next step is to complete and return our Request for Consideration financial application that you’ll find at the bottom of each of our informative emails. We’ll need to make sure you have the resources to open one of our boutiques, and once we’ve established that, you’ll speak with our founder, Ken Petersen. Ken has decades of experience in the franchise world, and he’ll share some of that knowledge with you during this important call. He’ll also make sure to answer any questions you might still how to open an apparel franchise with Apricot Lane.

Look Forward to Our Visit

At this point, we’re probably all pretty excited to meet, so we’ll do just that! We’ll come out to visit you, in your market, at our own expense, sending our real estate expert, or our president of retail, or even Ken himself.  While there, we’ll research location opportunities and schedule appointments with leasing agents, touring properties together and helping you narrow down your choices. When it comes to starting your small business out on the right foot, we know that location is everything, so we’ll help you find the best one that will allow you to make the most of your market and its demographics.

Open an Apparel Franchise!

Once this visit has been completed, we’ll meet internally to review everything we’ve learned about you and your market and, if we believe the fit is right, we’ll award you your franchise. Welcome to the Apricot Lane family! Now you’ll spend 120 days training with us and will begin to curate and establish your beautiful boutique, as our experts help you market your new store. In fact, you can rest assured we’ll be there for you every step of the way, before, during, and after your grand opening, because you deserve that commitment, and our good name depends on it.

Ready to open an apparel franchise with Apricot Lane? Get in touch today!

  • January 7, 2020
  • Blog
clothing franchise opportunities

Franchise Terms That You Should Know Before Investing

Clothing franchise opportunities are an exciting way to become your own boss and break into retail and an industry that is robust and growing. But becoming part of a franchise clothing brand can be a little confusing and overwhelming at times, in part because of the language and jargon you’ll come across that you might not be familiar with. Let’s take a look at a few words or terms you’ll be introduced to when you start the process.

Franchise Disclosure Document

A franchise disclosure document, or FDD, is a very important document that all franchises generate and must make available to serious potential investors. In it, you’ll find out everything you need to know about any investment you might make in clothing franchise opportunities like ours, including the history of our brand, our team leaders, the investment numbers, and what you can expect from us in the way of training and support. You’ll also learn more about what’s expected of you as a boutique owner and any monthly fees you’ll be responsible for. Because an FDD is such an important document, you’ll be given at least 14 days to read it before anything can be signed, and many of our franchisees have reviewed their copy of our FDD with the help of an attorney.

Franchisor

A franchisor is another name for the brand and the people behind it. The franchisor sells the right to open stores and sell products or services using its brand name, expertise, and intellectual properties to investors, the people who will become franchisees. There are a number of benefits to taking advantage of clothing franchise opportunities, as compared to starting your business from scratch, including brand awareness, franchise training and support, and time-tested business models that take a lot of the guesswork out of running boutiques like ours.

Franchisee

The franchisee is you, the investor, who becomes part of our brand family after going through a number of steps that allow all parties to get to know each other and to make sure there’s a good fit. Franchisees pay a one-time franchise fee to do business as part of a brand, and receive a number of benefits as a result, including teams of fast-fashion experts in day-to-day operations, marketing and advertising, and location scouting and real estate. Not all clothing franchise opportunities make these benefits available to their franchisees, but at Apricot Lane, we make sure they’re part of the advantages you’ll see as part of our brand family.

Franchise Fee

A franchise fee is a one-time sum you’ll pay as part of doing business with any franchisor. In our case, it pays for your onboarding, your pre-opening training, and the right to use the Apricot Lane proprietary materials and resources. In our case, that fee is $34,500, which is one of the most affordable in our industry.

Start-Up Costs

Start-up costs are all the monies you’ll need to have available to pay for fees, real estate leasing or purchase, inventory, and the travel and lodging you’ll be responsible for during your pre-training, among other items. Your franchise fee is also included in this amount.


To find out more about an investment in an Apricot Lane Boutique, get in touch with us today!

  • December 26, 2019
  • Blog

4 Ways That Apricot Lane is Different from the Competition!

If you love clothing and accessories, and are thinking about turning that love into a career by making a fashion franchise investment, we know there are some choices out there. But we also know that an investment in an Apricot Lane Boutique affords you some advantages that other brands simply cannot match. Let’s take a look at four of them, here.

#1. Mothers and Daughters Love Us

We’re one of the few fashion franchises out there that appeal to both moms and daughters, and even grandmothers! When these generations spend special time together shopping at an Apricot Lane, they love that they can enjoy a truly boutique experience, shopping for clothing and accessories that are trendy, classic, and beautiful. Nothing about our stores feels like warehouse shopping. Moms and daughters will enjoy friendly, personalized, and knowledgeable service from fashion consultants who never pressure customers to make decisions or purchases, and always know when to make themselves available and when to step back. This kind of intimate and warm shopping experience is at the heart of the Apricot Lane brand philosophy, and is what separates us from other fashion franchise stores.

#2. We’re an Affordable Investment

You’d think that for all you get when you invest in an Apricot Lane franchise opportunity — the training and support, use of our brand name, access to our buyers and marketers, and so much more — that it would cost more than you might be able to afford. Well, guess again! Of all the fashion opportunities out there, our fashion franchise is one of the least-expensive, and is a terrific way to break into the fast-fashion industry. With an initial one-time franchise fee of just $34,500, ours is a value we’re very proud of.

#3. We’ve Got Brand Power

With over 75 individually owned and operated boutique locations across the country, we’ve grown to become a respected and trend-setting brand in a very competitive industry. Customers love Apricot Lane. They love our owners, our purpose, and the way we give back. They also love our affordable products, and they know we have our finger on the fast-fashion pulse. As an Apricot Lane franchisee, you’ll get to take advantage of our buying power, our advertising and marketing teams, our real estate experts, and our time-tested business model. When you can count on the kind of stability that comes with an established and respected franchise family, you start your career as a small business owner ahead of the curve.

#4. We’re Fashion Experts

Apricot Lane has been keeping things fresh and forward for decades, making us true fashion experts in the industry. We know that many women love to use fashion as an expression of themselves, which means the clothes they shop for must be unique, on-trend, and current. Our buyers go the distance to find favorite runway styles, and are quick to bring that fresh perspective to the lines we carry. That means our franchisees are able to add the newest and hottest looks to their inventory shortly after their runway debuts, and many of our fashion franchise stores receive new shipments on a weekly basis. But just because there’s a quick runway-to-retail turnaround time doesn’t mean we sacrifice quality — in fact, quite the opposite. Our inventory is produced in limited runs, allowing us to keep our standards of quality exceptionally high. Our customers know this, and make it a point to regularly shop their local Apricot Lane Boutique for this reason, among many others.


There are plenty of other ways we differentiate ourselves from the competition! To find out more, reach out to us today.

  • December 19, 2019
  • Blog
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