How is the retail business

Become self-employed in retail

Retail data and facts

According to HDE - the industry association of the retail trade - the retail trade in Germany counts more than 400,000 companies with annual sales of around € 400 billion. After industry and craft, retail is the third largest economic sector. The retail trade in Germany accounts for around 16% of the nationwide GDP. The retail sector is very diverse - from the small jewelry shop around the corner to the large consumer temple.

In total, 50 million customer contacts are made every day in retail in Germany. Three million people are employed in the German retail sector. There are also 160,000 trainees in retail in Germany. According to the HDE for 2011, specialist retailers (non-chain stores) were the largest retail sector with a market share of 21%, followed by specialist stores (16%) and discounters (15%). Other large retail sectors in Germany are hypermarkets, specialist retail chains and supermarkets.

Open your own shop: guidelines and checklist

Preparation is very important on the way to starting your own business. This begins with the right business model for your store, extends to the business and financial plan, so that you can secure the financing right through to the formal foundation steps. For this purpose, we offer you a guide and a summarizing checklist so that you can open your own shop as successfully as possible.

Each type of retail business has different needs. Get to know examples of what is important for an unpackaged store.

Unpackaged store business concept

Know the target customers in retail

The retail sector in Germany is borne by private consumption. The target group of every self-employed person in retail in Germany are therefore private customers. Knowing the target customer exactly is essential for the success of your business start-up in retail. Buying behavior and purchasing power are two decisive components that determine the attractiveness of the target group for retail.

The retail sector tries to stimulate these components with a corresponding offer. If you want to set up a retail business in Germany, you should therefore take enough time to analyze the target customer. You can find out more about this when working on the business plan.

Would you like to set up your own business as a retailer? Find out more about the business plan specifically for retail now.

Retail business plan

Intense competition in retail

Competition in the retail sector in Germany is extremely intense - at the same time, total sales in the industry have been stagnating for years. In order to become self-employed successfully in retail and to have lasting success in the market, you need to know your competitors well in addition to your target customers. The internet in particular has caused major changes in retail in Germany in some areas.

In addition, the question arises as to what distinguishes your offer from that of the competition (keyword: unique selling proposition). The factors location and distribution channels are also particularly important and should be well thought out by you if you are planning to set up your own business in this industry.

Starting In Retail: Are You A Seller?

In addition to business knowledge, communication and a confident demeanor are particularly important in retail. Service orientation, friendliness and flexibility are basic requirements for retail sales - if you want your customers to come back.

Which insurance in retail?

Starting a business is also about avoiding risks. For many risks that you cannot control, there is insurance so that the financial impact does not mean an early end. But which insurance is worthwhile in retail? Do the needs analysis.

Legal peculiarities in retail

Although it is usually possible to set up a company in retail in Germany without special permits, there are numerous things to consider in retail, especially when it comes to pricing and consumer protection. Useful links on the topic of consumer protection are:

In addition, there are industry associations that are responsible for individual segments in retail in Germany:

E-Commerce: Retail on the Internet

In the past few years, online retail sales in Germany have risen continuously. The opportunities to purchase products of any kind via retail outlets on the Internet is becoming increasingly popular. According to forecasts by the HDE, sales in the Internet retail sector are expected to increase by 12% in 2013. E-commerce - or internet or online trading - comprises all activities in the buying and selling of goods and services on the internet. In 2012, the entire retail sector in e-commerce turned over € 29.5 billion.

Amazon, Otto and Neckermann are among the largest online shops in Germany that generate the most sales in retail online. According to the GfK (Society for Consumer Research), around 41 million Germans purchased goods or services on the Internet in 2011. From clothing to books to travel or event tickets, the range is just as diverse as in stationary retail, but can be reached in a few clicks. Self-employment in retailing on the Internet in the form of an online shop is also an attractive alternative for start-ups.

  • You can find out how to get started with e-commerce, what options there are for online shops and which legal stumbling blocks have to be overcome in the e-commerce guide.

An overview of the retail sector

  • The retail trade in Germany is one of the three largest economic sectors.
  • The target group in retail are private customers.
  • To be successful in Germany, you need to know your competitors well.
  • As a retail salesperson in Germany, you need business knowledge and a confident demeanor.
  • In the retail trade, guidelines for pricing and consumer protection must be observed.

Sample business plan in retail

If you want to set up your own business in retail, you should draw up a business plan. It is necessary to present one at the latest during the financing discussion with the bank. Find out more about the specifics of the business plan in retail now.

Author: Für-Grü editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Grü for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Grü, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.