Starting a Grocery Store Business

  • 26 expert advise

This article briefly discusses the grocery store business. Find out some of the things you need to know in order to start your own grocery store business.

The grocery store concept, which is a descendant of the turn of the century general store, belongs to the retail industry.

grocery store business

The retail industry is one of the fastest growing industries today and is considered as a vital part of our economy. The chief purpose of this industry is to provide goods and merchandise to the consumers. They get their products straight from the manufacturer or via a wholesaler or distributor. Ultimately, these products are sold to customers for consumption.

These goods are vast and varied. Retailers may sell anything and everything from food to apparel to electronics and so on. A grocery store for the most part offers food (both fresh and dry) and other household essentials.

Starting a grocery store business may pose as a challenge if you are not equipped with the proper information. The business has several aspects that you need to focus on and study if you want your efforts to yield results.

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Begin with yourself. You don’t need to have prior retailing experience. All you need is the right attitude and the ‘customer-first’ mindset. An effective grocery store owner knows how to multitask. He is able to make swift yet calculated decisions. He is hard working and is not afraid to work long hours.

Planning is essential as you begin to stock up your store. This keeps you form buying items that at first may seem like a good idea until you notice that they’re just gathering dust on the shelves. Unless you have experience to back you up, there is no way you can be 100% correct in your inventory forecasting that is why you need to plan and at the very least conduct a market research. With adequate planning and research, you will be able determine what you need to buy and how much. If need be, conduct a survey. You can also ask the manufacturers themselves for their most popular product. Be keen though for they may not always give you a straight answer.

Exercise diligence in scouting for the best possible resource for your products. See to it that you get the lowest deal thereby allowing you to give the best mark-up price.

Enticing your shoppers with the products you have on hand is difficult if you have limited space. Therefore, you need to be crafty. Make sure that impulse items (magazines, sweets, etc) and high priced items are allocated in an area within your store where there is heavy customer traffic. See to it that your fast moving products (milk, bread etc) are displayed near the back of the store space. The idea here being, your shoppers will have to pass through several aisle of products they may not have considered on buying had they not seen it.

A final note. In light of the number of grocery stores and supermarkets out there, is there room for more? Most definitely! The key is to create your own market niche. To do this, you need to have a unique selling point. You may want to sell hard-to-find premium products that most supermarkets don’t have on stock. Use your creativity. Think of a distinct concept that is entirely yours. Or you can improve on what’s already out there. The key is to offer something that customers cannot get anywhere else.

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  • 1. Admin said on 4/18/2008
    [Shivan]: There are many factors involved in starting a grocery store. You have to prepare a set of questions and answer them before you approach anyone for a business plan. I can only write down few for you to start with but thumb rule is more homework, never start a business without a homework. Remember, no contractor can produce a business plan without getting an answer to these questions.
    1. What kind of grocery store? (indian, chinese, mexican grocery store)
    2. Where you want to start it?
    3. Will it be a franchised one or your own brand?
    4. Do you won a place where you want to start this grocery store?
    5. Will you hire or run yourself?
  • 2. KBG said on 4/19/2008
    Thanks Shivan, you and I are the same track. I want to do my homework, I would like to have a community market, I have my site on a location and it was once a market. It is currently empty, I have been looking for more information about starting up a market, this won't be a franchise, too small. More of a community market with basic good and produce. Any suggestions?
  • 3. JT said on 4/21/2008
    I've also have been searching for more information concerning opening up a new grocery store. Loans, start up costs, location research, etc. After 6 Months I still have issues on locating the sort of information that is required, most grocery stores now are operated by big business and they are not willing to share any information. I would like to open a small family business, anyone have any suggestions?
  • 4. TBW said on 4/26/2008
    I have a location, it actually was a grocery store before. How do I determine the start up costs? Is there grant money available for this? How would I go about obatining a loan with F grade credit. I went through a bad divorce & currently disabled, hence the bad credit rating. There is a need in this area. Just need to know about how much money is required to get started.
  • 5. Quan beginner adviser said on 6/9/2008
    Hi everyone, I'm about to open a grocery store soon near my house. And I'm just like everyone here looking for the information, and I have collected some tips, hope these tips would help.

    Things you need to do before open a grocery store:
    - Know how much money you have and need to open a store. (I found a small place for rent with $300/month, deposit for 3 months: $900; I need a cash register:$150-$200; a small refrigerator: $800-$1000; shelves: $100up; and a license for $200up, so total for start up cost is: $2500-$3000, and I didn't calculate the money you need for buying products for sale, it's up to you for how many and how much you want to sell)

    - If you find a place, negotiate with the owner and get the deal done. Ask them to give you a week or two free to clean and prepare the place before moving in.

    - Go apply for your license at your state. Call the Health department and Fire department to inspect the store.

    - Set up the store, buy products at wholesale prices (you have to search for wholesale dealers in your area, and negotiate the prices), stock up your products and prepare for grand opening day.

    - Last, remember to to your customers. Wish everyone the best in opening their stores. Btw, my total cost for opening my small grocery store was about $6000.
  • 6. Andy said on 7/11/2008
    Ya, that above solutions are useful but not enough at all. Most thing is that operating cost, means how much the annual cost. That includes insurance of store, annual tax, and mortgage. So do you have any idea about this, please share your thinking. That might be helpful to someone. thanks
  • 7. daisy said on 8/24/2008
    hi everyone, i want to open a grocery store too in upper darby i need some information too please if anybody direct me with start up.
  • 8. dave said on 8/30/2008
    Hi Joni - how can I contact you? - I would like to email you for little information I need to get straight. You being an email addy is and good luck to everyone
  • 9. Trischa said on 10/1/2008
    Hi Joni, I'm interested in learning more about grocery store management. I'm looking at starting a specialty, organic food store, any help would be appreciated. my email is
  • 10. Tony said on 10/6/2008
    I have found a place for 5000SF, but I do not know how to get an estimate on the cost of setting up to see if I have enough fund to run the business, or I will need to find a smaller place. and where to find a contractor to buy and set refrigerators up. please help!
  • 11. Tony said on 10/9/2008
    Hi, Joni, I have started negotiating the lease, can you advise me, I really need help, I am new and do not know where to get refrigerators and how to hire contractor to do installation, and ... my email address is Thanks.
  • 12. ugyen said on 10/10/2008
    its helpful to me but, i still want detail about how to start grocery shop & bar.....My email address is
  • 13. kelvin said on 10/16/2008
    I'm zambia needing to start up a grocery store. can we all network, help in ideas exchange, opportunity sharing. good luck
  • 14. delphian said on 10/29/2008
    I want to start an organic grocery store. Many organic stores stock other companies items, just like regular grocery stores, but like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Wild Oats, make their own store products. Would I need to own a farm in order to run my business or could I stock items, and then start my own brand, once I have the capital?
  • 15. Kris said on 10/31/2008
    Quan, you have given some good information. Which state are you opening your grocery? Why I ask is that the lease seem to be very low! How much sqr feet to go with? How do I find local wholesale dealers/distributers? I am planning one in northern cal.
  • 16. Avi B said on 11/4/2008
    Hey Joni would love the opportunity to ask you some questions. or if anybody else can help my email is and am interested in opening an upscale fruit and veg. store. thanks
  • 17. sam said on 11/6/2008
    hey everyone what's going on, I to dream of opening a grocery store but the only thing that concerns me about is how much will everything cost if I rent an empty store meaning nothing there I will have to put fridges and shelves and ecg also a grill what do I need and how much I will rent the place out and start really basic I have a limit of 10000 do you think that will cover for the merchandise and the equipment is that possible or just far fetch , thanks everyone hoping someone can help me out with he info.
  • 18. Gerry D said on 11/9/2008
    I also wanna open my own grocery store. The only difference is that all my product will come from local farmers. right now I am doing surveys to see what really upsets people as they shop other grocery stores. A Lot of people have commented that they wanna see more produce grown from local farmers. I think this will work. If anyone else has ideas or suggestions please forward them to me.
  • 19. Lisa said on 11/12/2008
    Hi everyone! I too would like to open my own grocery store. I have the ideas and maybe Joni, and fellow entrepreneurs, if you have time, you can answer some business questions.
  • 20. Toby said on 11/15/2008
    Joni I am a meat cutter and have a few years in the grocery store and would love to start my own local grocery store.. where mostly everything is local... any ideas on start up cost and just how to go about it my e-mail is It would be great if you or anyone else could e-mail me and give me your ideas. thanks
  • 21. apcowboy said on 11/18/2008
    for those starting up a grocery store that would sell me you may want to check out this site for information on meat,
  • 22. Kate said on 11/19/2008
    Hi Jony, I too want to open a local grocery store in combination with a dollar store. My e-mail is please email me so I can gather some important info from you and anyone else who would like to share some knowledge...THANKS!!
  • 23. Jeanie said on 11/20/2008
    Very interested in knowing about the profit margins I would be working with if I opened an organic market. I'd love any input! Feel free to email me.
  • 24. Namita said on 12/4/2008
    Hi, I am a student doing research on Indian grocery store. I was wondering if anyone could provide me information about where wholesale goods are brought from, how licenses are procured, what kind of customer base is developed etc. Thanks
  • 25. sherilyn said on 12/5/2008
    Hi, My husband and I are in the beginning stage of opening a discount grocery store in s.c. Any advise on how to start. thanks,
  • 26. swarna said on 12/15/2008
    I am very much interested to start grocery shop but the thing is where can i get goods, billing machine. How would I arrange all these things. Where can I get a license for this? I need all these info.
  • 27. SOUTHERN-SUN said on 1/1/2009
    Hello, I simply would like to know specifically how to begin the process of establishing a grocery business. Thank you. I certainly do look forward to hearing from you. Please email me at
  • 28. raylott said on 1/4/2009 2:02:42 PM
    Hello, I am looking to open a grocery store in my own small town. There is already a small store in town, but it is pretty old and is sort of run down. I want to buy a strip of land on the main highway running through town.I will have to build the building. Thinking maybe a general steel building. My family and I have a garden with all the vegetables you could imagine. We have a summer crop, a winter crop, and a spring crop. These things ranging from corn, okra, squash, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes etc... Winter crops are cabbage,broccoli, greens, cauliflower, etc... Spring crops include; onions,and potatoes. We also have a catfish pond. I am thinking of selling dressed catfish also.These things are very important to a small southern community. This being fresh,local produce. I plan to get my own meats processed instead of buying processed. This saves a lot of money. When the season is out for certain produce here, then I will go to Plant City,Florida to get produce. This may not be applicable to most of you, but is worth mentioning because that is where a very large farmers market is located. I buy 50 pounds of potatoes for $10.00. Watermelons are .50 a piece at certain times of year. These are places to save tons of money. Also I was thinking of getting one of those machines that you can rent movies from to put in front of the store. Our small town doesn't have a movie store around, and this would be a great incentive for customers to come in. Maybe come to my store for a movie and browse down the popcorn aisle. I know that I'm just rambling, but maybe some of you got some good ideas for your store. I wish everyone the best of luck.
  • 29. Guest said on 1/5/2009 5:03:12 PM
    Hi, Are there people from SF bay area in this group, wanting to start a grocery store? If yes can we network and help each other? Interested, write to me at thanks Kris
  • 30. Dale Servacio said on 1/5/2009 10:40:56 PM
    Raylott, can you please send me your contact information and the farmers market where you can bet 50# of Potato for $10? I'm looking for fresh produce sources. Thanks.
  • 31. B Robinson said on 1/6/2009 8:42:10 AM
    Raylott, can you please send me more information and contact information for your fresh produce sources. Also joni if you have a web page that I can view. Iam opening a small grocery store all help is welcomed. Please send all responses to
  • 32. anvear said on 1/11/2009 1:35:33 AM
    Hi dear friends, i would like to open a grocery shop which will include some meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. So, i can have more customers, who will prefer to visit my store for various reasons.
    please email me, if you have the details, which might help me. Thanks
  • 33. Lou said on 1/24/2009 11:12:04 AM
    Can anyone here inform us what the prospects of retail grocery is during these uncertain economic times? I am also considering a small-town grocery, but am a bit apprehensive in light of the economy. My gut tells me that people still need to eat, but I also know that people who are out of work and/or pinching pennies will probably gravitate to larger super-stores where they can get better food deals. Would like to hear from someone who has knowledge and experience with this aspect of grocery retailing.
  • 34. Guest said on 1/27/2009 8:19:02 PM
    Hi Everyone,
    for the past five years I have been seriously thinking about opening my own grocery store (save-a-lot style). could anyone tell me how much start-up money I would need to borrow from the bank. Thanks guys; luv you all
  • 35. mike said on 2/1/2009 8:39:44 PM
    I am putting together a business plan for a small store, the most difficult number to get seems to be my cost for product? Anyone have any direction on where to go and what to expect here.
  • 36. Kris said on 2/3/2009 12:45:38 PM
    Hi Swarna and Namita,
    I am also exploring an Indian grocery store. Did you find any info? Where are you planning to start. I am in Fremont, CA. If you are also in CA may be we can put our heads together. What do you say?
    If interested write to me at
    thanks Kris
  • 37. Cathy said on 2/3/2009 3:03:52 PM
    I would like to open a small somewhat exclusive yet down to earth grocery store.
    Joni if you are still out there with information. I'm at
  • 38. Raaj said on 2/7/2009 2:23:12 PM
    Hi Joni, I am planning to open an Indian grocery store in NJ. I need your help for this. how to set up furniture, fridges and from where to get groceries on whole sale prices and where to get billing machine?? My email is Anyone has details how to start an Indian Grocery store, please email me at Thanks, Raaj
  • 39. Anne Marie Matic said on 2/18/2009 9:18:54 AM
    My husband and I are interested in opening up a Salvage and Bulk Food Store. Does anyone know where these stores get their products from - dented cans or soon-to-be expired items? The Amish own a lot of these stores and we could be very successful with a similar store in our area - just don't know how they receive these items. Does anyone know anything about this type of business. Please e-mail me. I'd greatly appreciate any information you may have.
  • 40. Jeff said on 2/22/2009 2:38:18 PM
    Hi, My wife and I are thinking about starting an Asian grocery. We believe there is demand for it but would like to speak with someone who has experience managing one which will help us determine margins, wholesalers, etc. Please contact me at
  • 41. bob said on 2/25/2009 9:48:00 PM
    I would like to start a salvage food store but where can I get product. I am a meat cutter for a chain.
  • 42. Cristina beginner adviser said on 2/26/2009 9:43:49 PM
    How do I start a specialty grocery store, particularly an organic store?
    Demand is the fuel that drives any business. So before starting an organic store, look around whether people in the area where you plan to open a business are inclined to buy products that are healthy and free of pesticides and antibiotics. Also consider your competition like health food stores, and farmers’ markets. Make sure you are not one too many. As a specialty store you could sell a variety of items like organic fruits, meat, grains, vegetables and dairy products free of synthetic ingredients. Or you can specialize in one product. To prove the authenticity of your claim that your products are organic, adhere to labelling standards by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Just like any business, you would have to secure permits, licenses and tax numbers for your business, as well as choose a business structure. Visit your city office to know which proper agency to submit the requirements.

    Do you have some tips for someone planning to open a grocery store?
    Display is a big factor in a grocery store. Put consumer goods at the farthest end – people will not mind going the distance for something they need. Put those that they need least along the way and nearest to your counters for last-minute reminders to shoppers. A grocery store is heavily dependent on refrigeration, put in place measures to improve your refrigeration system’s efficiency.

    Where do I find contractors to buy refrigerators for my grocery store?
    At you would find global suppliers of commercial refrigerators, refrigerated display cases, freezers, undercounter refrigerators, reach-in refrigerators, walk-in coolers. As you would need a lot of refrigeration for you perishable goods, buy energy-saving refrigerators so that you don’t get hit with a large bill every month.

    Towing Business Adviser

  • 43. John said on 3/11/2009 3:15:46 PM
    I am trying to rebuild a grocery store. It is in a rural area, where it is desperately needed. I need as much info on where to start. Should I focus on obtaining the land? I'm just overwhelmed by all of the confusing info out there. Would like some advice on how to put my plan into action.
  • 44. Betsy said on 3/16/2009 3:38:03 PM
    Joni- you clearly could start a consulting business! If you are still willing and have time, I would love to ask you about margins, equipment, staff- for a very small local foods store- emphasizing local, year-round produce, grass-fed meats, eggs, dairy- mostly primary foods. Thank you! I would love to talk with any of you who are also working on local produce to hear how its going. Good luck everyone! email is
  • 45. Thanh Pham said on 3/17/2009 12:04:41 AM
    How do you know who or what company to contact. I have a location idea, but still sketchy with the who meeting the demands etc.
  • 46. Vanna said on 3/17/2009 11:51:25 AM
    My husband and I want to open Asian grocery. we live in a small town in Kentucky... If anyone has any tips on management and how to find the wholesale distributor in our region.. Thank you very much for everyone help.. Please email me..
  • 47. Anh Mai said on 3/17/2009 1:58:13 PM
    I have a place 700 sf, i want to open small asian grocery store. please tell me that's enough or not? And how much at least do i need? And where can i buy products?
  • 48. marcus rogers said on 3/20/2009 10:32:28 PM
    hello, I am thinking of opening a grocery store in my county but I need info on how to do so if anyone could give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
  • 49. Sahil said on 3/24/2009 12:52:08 PM
    Hi Everybody, I am planning to open an Indian store in Alabama. Can you please provide me with the info.
  • 50. tomzee said on 3/24/2009 6:10:27 PM
    We're thinking of starting a food store in our area, but I'm having trouble finding a wholesale distributor, or a food supplier or something. We have everything we need for a grocery store, except for food..
  • 51. tomzee said on 3/24/2009 6:12:10 PM
    oops forgot to give email info on starting business and how to get food appreciated TY
  • 52. gentino said on 3/26/2009 4:15:41 AM
    hi, everybody, I will be opening a grocery store very soon. Was wondering if anyone could advice me on any system or software that can be used to manage the stock or inventory. My email address is Thanks in advance.
  • 53. marcus rogers said on 3/26/2009 6:36:27 PM
    hi I forgot to give my email. it is the info will be much appreciated
  • 54. yemisi said on 4/1/2009 5:25:51 PM
    Hi, i want to open a grocery store that will serve African/Caribbean and the rest of the world that will be like a world grocery store. Please can you help me what do i need to do to start. Thanks
  • 55. yemisi said on 4/1/2009 6:20:18 PM
    oh sorry i forgot to add my e-mail add its Thanks and i need feedback quick. thanks once again yemisi
  • 56. katie said on 4/8/2009 4:54:54 PM
    hi all, i am doing a project for graduate school about grocery stores - and we are trying to figure out the costs associated with running a grocery store each month? staff, electricity...all of it. any insight would be so much appreciated!! and the logic is also helpful.... thank you thank you...
  • 57. rahul said on 4/13/2009 4:25:49 PM
    Hi i want to start a Indian grocery shop in WV. can you please give complete details, i am on my h1-b, how much money i need to spend? other expenditure etc... Thanks
  • 58. franky said on 4/16/2009 3:04:31 AM
    Hello i'm looking to open a small grocery store. I know little about opening one. I was wondering around how much i would need to start up. I have bad credit would that stop or hurt me from opening one? how would I go about getting the equipment I need like freezers, shelves at a cheap price? Is the license expensive. I'm looking to sell food, candy, cigarettes. where do i go to get the license. Thank you if you can help and god bless. I'm from Chicago. u can email me at
  • 59. Yemoski said on 4/16/2009 6:32:31 PM
    I want to open a grocery store. What method will best preserve fresh fruits and vegetables without refrigeration. What market research do you suggest both on the supply and sales sides. Moreso, i'm having a big hitch completing my business plans do i really have to complete it before starting?
  • 60. Minh Le said on 4/18/2009 10:39:36 AM
    Hi, my name is Minh. I want to start open Vietnamese grocery store in two years at Pennsylvania state. If anyone knows, where do I get my supplies and products (like fish, poultry, and vegetable.) Can anyone show me, where is distributive located. Please email me, thanks very much. (
  • 61. Ed Bradford said on 5/3/2009 9:25:00 AM
    I am interested in opening a small store using local farms for fresh fruits. I have a site in mind please help with info on coolers, shelves & start up costs.
  • 62. zel said on 5/6/2009 5:15:20 PM
    hey I am so interested in putting up a grocery store. Could you please give me information and advices. my email ad is thanks buddies
  • 63. HI JONI said on 5/12/2009 11:24:55 AM
  • 64. Jack said on 5/12/2009 11:51:40 PM
    I am from Germany, currently living in US. I am planning to start one german grocery store in my locality as there is no such stores running. Can you help me in proceeding from here?
  • 65. letitia said on 5/15/2009 1:38:08 PM
    I am Letitia and I am looking to start my own small grocery store in my area. I think of using the trailer size container and having all food item display. It still has to be clean well design and appealing to the public in my area I am looking for.
  • 66. kriss said on 5/18/2009 9:59:03 AM
    hi everyone... i am on H1B visa and looking to start an indian grocery in ny state... can anyone suggest me if starting a business is possible on h1b and how much does it cost to start it and cost of utilities...etc. can you provide me the useful info please.
  • 67. Kim said on 5/20/2009 2:17:00 PM
    I am going to start with the SBA, also the the development authority and score. I think these are a good place to start at if you want information and they do give good information on where to go.
  • 68. Michelle said on 5/20/2009 8:20:36 PM
    if you're personally emailing more information about a start-up grocery store, I would appreciate receiving some info - I live in New Orleans and our area is in desperate need of a small corner-store.
  • 69. jalil said on 5/23/2009 4:12:21 AM
    hi all, i need information about starting a new business in uk, currently i am in dubai in a job but now i am thinking to start a small business in uk. i am pakistani national and what i should do for my new upcoming business, i like to open a grocery shop there. please help me if you can, i am so grateful to you. my contact email is this please i am waiting
  • 70. Daniel said on 5/25/2009 5:39:02 AM
    I am a Nigerian in Lagos also wanting to start a grocery store but will welcome persons with a very creative business minds who would like to form a formidable team. thanks.
  • 71. bob said on 5/26/2009 7:57:09 PM
    I want to open a grocery store in the westbend area. How do I go about doing this and how do I finance this?
  • 72. Sally said on 6/8/2009 1:25:21 PM
    I am located in Utah. There has been tremendous growth in the NW suburbs of Salt Lake City. There is NO grocery store in this area. I think that potentially this could be a great business. There is a vacant pad designed for a grocery store. It would have to be large and offer competitive prices or I fear the shoppers would still travel to Walmart and other chains. Am I way out of my league thinking this is a possibility? I would be starting from the ground up. Thanks.
  • 73. Luis said on 6/11/2009 12:38:19 AM
    I have an opportunity to buy a 7500 sq ft store. The current owner claims to have 120K sales a month. He wants 150K for the name and 30K for the inventory and 6000 monthly rent. I wouldn't be buying the equipment just renting it from him. Is this a good deal? From 120K how much would I have left to pay my loan?
  • 74. Raaj said on 6/18/2009 9:13:13 PM
    I am planning to open an Indian grocery store in NJ. I need your help for this. how to set up furniture, fridges and from where to get groceries on whole sale prices and where to get billing machine?? My email is Anyone has details how to start an Indian Grocery store, please email me at Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Raaj
  • 75. Jay said on 6/21/2009 8:49:35 PM
    Hi everyone, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I'm just starting my research on opening a medium sized (about the size of a Whole Foods) grocery store in my community. I have absolutely no experience operating a grocery store. So, I've decided to partner with a grocer whose maintained a small party store in my old neighborhood for near 25 years.

    I'm hoping this person can guide me through the morass of distributors, unions, and state and local inspectors. Wish me luck!
  • 76. pam said on 7/9/2009 7:40:03 AM
    hi, my name is pam. i would like to open a grocery store from scratch, i found a place and the realtor says i need a business plan. please help, how much do i need to open up a 22,000.00 sq foot store? where do i get freezers, and when i get it, how do i do install it myself?? help me with the steps i need to take. thank you
  • 77. Richard Tambunan said on 7/10/2009 10:58:31 AM
    I am planning to open a small Asian grocery store in Murrieta Califorina (total start up investment $15K including product). My rental space is about 900sqf. I need your help for this. how to set up furniture, fridges and from where to get groceries on whole sale prices and where to get billing machine?? My email is Your help is highly appreciated.
  • 78. Melissa O. said on 7/15/2009 6:28:48 PM
    Hi, I am interested in starting a Caribbean grocery store in Western Canada. Can you provide any tips? Thanks a million :)
  • 79. Yanqui Dudelle said on 7/16/2009 12:51:04 AM
    Hey everyone, careful about posting your email address online. I too, want to start my own small ethnic grocery store.
  • 80. karen said on 7/16/2009 9:20:38 AM
    I am interested. what is a good target for labor costs for a grocery store. Also a good target for grocery costs.
  • 81. misty s said on 7/19/2009 11:16:46 PM
    hi, i want to open a grocery store that you email me your grocery list and pick it up without ever getting out of your car. i hate taking my kids in wal-mart, so i thought this would help out a lot of moms with small kids. i don't have a clue how to get this idea going, can someone please help me?
  • 82. keysha said on 7/20/2009 1:58:49 PM
    hi, i want to open a grocery store, no prior experience but i am good with people payroll and regular business management, however the state requirements and where i need to go to order my supplies...
  • 83. Rabi said on 7/20/2009 6:02:29 PM
    We own 3 Grocery stores in Northern VA. The BEST thing to do is buy a Grocery Store that is already UP n' RUNNING. Starting a new Grocery store is a BIG HEADACHE and you will need A LOT more money than what everyone here is estimating. Because no wholesaler will sell you their products unless you pay all cash for it up front. A good easy and cheap business to start and run is a Butcher Shop.
  • 84. Pena Matasere said on 7/24/2009 2:15:42 PM
    Please can anybody help, am planning to start a grocery shop in Fiji....need some tips to get it off....thx
  • 85. steve said on 7/24/2009 4:56:34 PM
    what percent of sales should payroll be? total expenses should be what percent of sales?
  • 86. James expert adviser said on 7/24/2009 6:23:29 PM
    @Steve, your payroll shouldn't be more than 12% and your total expenses should remain under 20% of your sales.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • 87. anonymous said on 7/27/2009 8:07:29 PM
    It will def take some intricate planning to establish the kind of grocery store you would like to build as you want it to be unique to how you envision it. The internet and business library in your local area can be of great assistance. Your state should also have a government page dedicating to helping people understand the process of startup and will allow you to either have applications for permits/licenses mailed or downloaded for such purposes. Hope this was helpful....good luck to all wanting to start your own biz!
  • 88. Maureen said on 7/29/2009 5:58:48 PM
    My husband and I are thinking about starting a bulk food only store. We would not be carrying any frozen or cold foods. Things like bulk herbs, grains, nuts, rices, dehydrated veggies etc. Does anyone know of a good wholesaler who has great prices and how to contact them. Also do you know if there is any law in CA that says you can't be just a bulk food store? We have the operating capital to get started I think.
  • 89. Sam said on 7/30/2009 3:20:03 PM
    Hi, my name is Subash Maharjan. I and my friends are thinking of opening the Indian Grocery store. I want to know the total process and the cost for opening the new store. If anybody can help me, I would really appreciate. Thank you very much.
  • 90. lara said on 8/10/2009 10:23:57 AM
    I am a working mother and contemplating starting a grocery store but the issue is that i am not ready to quit my job yet. Please how do i track or check on whoever I employ.
  • 91. ownsix beginner adviser said on 8/11/2009 8:33:04 PM
    If you haven't worked at a grocery store, anybody who says "I want to start a grocery store!" is just plain doomed to failure. Trust me, people. If you want to own a grocery store, get a job at one first. Work there for a couple years...During inventories. During resets. When the scan dept. took the week off. When you have difficult employees (0h yes, you will have them!). Or when you have to slot 45 new sku's, Or maybe when product isn't getting rotated and you learn 20% of your shelf stock is out of date and can't be sold...or that no matter how hard you worked and what great employees you have you just came in 5% under budget on your inventory, and even the cpa's can't figure it out other than to say shrink/wastage/theft.

    Anybody thinking they'll get rich (or even make a living!) owning a grocery store is a pure fool. And anyone who tells you otherwise is a consultant, sales rep, or a well wishing (yet anonymous) internet voice.
  • 92. an beginner adviser said on 8/12/2009 4:16:39 AM
    hi guys, Before you decide to start up with grocery store business, be prepare to work long hours. There are a lot of work involved in this business; you are not selling just 1 product but thousands. So management of your inventory is important; probably if you can get a inventory software system, that would be of great help. Uh, I think margin for grocery business is in a range of 10 ~ 30%. Good luck to all of you.
  • 93. saeed nematollahi haghighi said on 8/30/2009 6:05:04 AM
    I wanted to learn about control of employees, for example a cashier, because that is the job of the cashier to take cash money from customers and to secure it. he/she are not going to take money in their pocket. traditionally, what way they are controlled in a super market or grocery store? by aii respect: saeed n,h bye
  • 94. Amr Sallahudiyn said on 8/30/2009 3:34:46 PM
    I am about to open a grocery store and I am really looking for pointers to draw the community's support.
  • 95. Sumit said on 8/31/2009 11:15:38 AM
    Hi Joni, I am not sure if you are still looking at this page but I will definitely be able to use your knowledge in this field. My contact email is
  • 96. Dolly said on 8/31/2009 8:02:21 PM
    I am a grocery store owner and all I found here was people wanting to start a grocery store business. Beware also that there are a lot of scammers here just wanting to get your email address to enable them to try their scams on you.
  • 97. maima626 said on 9/6/2009 5:21:42 AM
    I want to open an African grocery store, can anyone tell me how to start?
  • 98. Mani said on 9/11/2009 12:44:52 PM
    HI Dolly, How is your grocery store doing? can you please give details of how you started and how much you invested in beginning? thanks
  • 99. Mani said on 9/11/2009 12:55:42 PM
    Hi Joni, I am planning to open an Indian grocery store in NJ. I need your help for this. how to set up furniture, fridges and from where to get groceries on whole sale prices and where to get billing machine?? My email is Anyone has details how to start an Indian Grocery store, please email me at Thanks, mani
  • 100. rose said on 9/14/2009 7:58:01 PM
    hi everyone, i'm planning to open an asia grocery store but i am only 23 and don't have enough experience. i don't know how to start. if anyone can tel me how and i will be, really appreciate for it. (
  • 101. l road said on 9/14/2009 11:08:17 PM
    I want to sell salvage groceries at flea markets as I see many people do but I live in central florida and no one will tell me where I cam buy them. please if you know email me with info. thanks
  • 102. Varsha said on 9/15/2009 9:08:50 AM
    I want to open an Indian grocery store and have no experience. I don't know how to start and if anyone can give me some advice, i will really appreciate it.
  • 103. Jay Hernandez beginner adviser said on 9/16/2009 1:16:45 PM
    @ Lewis (9/16/09) --> in Michign, grocers are required to have a food handlers license. You can get this from your state dept. of health or, in some instances, dept. of agriculture.

    My question: I am well into my process of opening a full-line grocery store in my city. I have loads of retail experience, but none in managing a grocery store. Where can I find training for ordering food from national distributors?
  • 104. Jay Hernandez beginner adviser said on 9/16/2009 1:21:44 PM
    @ ownsix (123.) --> you seem to have a host of experience operating a grocery store. I appreciate your comments. Would you be willing to share more info. on running a store for beginners like me?
  • 105. juliet said on 9/24/2009 12:19:07 PM
    hi. i have an idea to open a grocery store and i don't really know the cost implication and its in an estate close to my house. now i really need to know what i can sell in such an environment, thanks
  • 106. shyam said on 9/27/2009 6:50:15 PM
    I want to start indian grocery store in Aurora, CO. I need more information about where to purchase the items (grocery wholesale dealer). Please contact me
  • 107. Priya said on 9/29/2009 5:09:55 PM
    Hi Guys, I'm inserted in opening up an Indian Grocers in NE, Please provide me any kind of information regarding that, i don't have experience. Would like to know about dealers, tips for locations, contacts infact what all that i require for starting a business, i would appreciate your help, Thanks and All the best for all of you. plz contact me at
  • 108. Anwar said on 9/30/2009 2:26:39 AM
    I live in Sydney, Australia. Like to start a Indian/Australian grocery from a residential area, any advise will be highly appreciated. If you have a business plan and product list please email me, my email address is
  • 109. Patrick said on 10/3/2009 1:11:59 AM
    Like a lot of you out there, I too am thinking of starting a grocery store of my own. Just wondering how many of you have worked in the industry? I have been in the retail and grocery industry for over 15 yrs and worked for some of the largest big box chains and Organic/Natural stores. I can tell you one won't be easy. Not saying anyone can't start one but I think it would help to know a little of the business from the inside. Know the food vendors, refrigeration & security companies, health and safety policies and codes. Do you want to have a patio or sell alcohol? These will require permits. These are just some of the concerns and questions you need to ask. I have been employed at stores only 40,000 sq ft. or less and they ended up costing close to a million. This could be due to having re-designs and high rent. Rent and parking are always an issue in big cities. Know you're demographic and what other stores are offering and what you can do that will separate you from the others. Hope everyone lives the dream and finds the way to do it! Good luck. :)
  • 110. David said on 10/9/2009 8:32:45 AM
    I want to learn more about opening a grocery store and an organic candy/chocolate store. I would like to know if anyone would be open to offering me advise along with what I should include in my business plan to be successful. Contact me at Thank you in advance for your assistance.
  • 111. Damodaran said on 10/21/2009 1:59:31 AM
    Hi, I am about to start off a Grocery Shop, Please provide me any kind of information regarding that, Would like to know about dealers, tips for locations, contacts. I would appreciate your help, Thanks and All the best for all of you. plz contact me at
  • 112. Sabrina said on 10/25/2009 12:44:55 PM
    my fiance and I want to open a community store, we already have a name but don't know how to go about getting a grant or how to go about making sure the name we choose is ours to keep, Please write me with info. thanks
  • 113. sain said on 10/28/2009 11:45:14 AM
    Hi Joni, I am planning to open an Indian grocery store in Los Angeles. I need your help for this. how to set up furniture, fridges and from where to get groceries on whole sale prices and where to get billing machine?? My email is Anyone has details how to start an Indian Grocery store, please email me at Thanks, sain
  • 114. Kathy said on 11/1/2009 8:27:30 AM
    Hello Everyone, I want to know about the insurance and if i need it to be a small business? Emergency exits? Any information will Help Thanks! -Kathy
  • 115. Dawne Eng beginner adviser said on 11/21/2009 8:46:19 AM
    Anyone out there able to help me figure out what kinds of insurance is needed for a grocery store? Fire, Liability, what else? Also how much insurance will cost/yr in NYC area?

    And if anyone else in the NYC area is trying to start a food retail business and wants to share resources/help each other, post your email and I will contact you. As much as I wish everyone luck, I'll only be responding to NYC area folks, sorry.

    Also to other fellow grocery store entrepreneurs; I see this attracts a global audience and I'm from NYC area but I can share a few thoughts:

    1. Try to take a business planning classes if you can, or at the least take a class to help you write a business plan. Even the smallest grocery store will benefit from this process.

    2. There is a book on called "How to Open a Gourmet Food Store" but it also applies to Organic and Specialty food stores; this is a wealth of information.

    3. Some costs to consider just for start up budget: Rent, Security deposit, Lawyer fees, Build out space, Store fixtures/equipment, Computer hardware/software or cash register, Sign for store, Alarm system, Licenses, Permits, Marketing, Inventory, Supplies, Loan fees if applicable, Utilities (Elec will be a lot), Phone, Internet, Working Capital, Grand Opening, Contingencies.

    4. Costs to consider for Operating budget: Cost of goods, Rent, Salaries, Loan repayment if applicable, Utilities, Phone, Internet, Insurance, Payroll tax, Equipment maintenance, Marketing, Office Supplies, Membership fees, Trade shows, Accountant, Bookkeeper, Technology, Contingencies

    5. B/T/W, I could be wrong, but I doubt that "Joni" is still reading this site to answer every person that needs help.
  • 116. Kelly said on 11/23/2009 11:35:07 AM
    Does anyone have any numbers on scratch and dent grocery stores. The average size or average sales a year, etc.? Doing a feasibility study and can not find anything regarding stats for this type of grocery store. Please email me at if you have any information on these type of stores. Thank you, Kelly
  • 117. clapton said on 11/25/2009 12:12:36 AM
    hi there, I want to open a grocery store in canada. I need more information about where to purchase the items (grocery wholesale dealer)its very urgent. i would appreciate if anyone helps..thank u. Please contact me at
  • 118. Victor said on 12/9/2009 10:34:01 AM
    Does anybody know deli, grocery store owners forum? I searched net and couldn't find any. Thanks
  • 119. Luis said on 12/26/2009 2:12:26 PM
    Brooklyn, NY USA. I want to start grocery store /deli. I need tips how to start and how much it could cost.
  • 120. Akeel said on 1/10/2010 2:10:40 AM
    Joni i need your help as well i want to open a grocery shop as well but have no experience in this so i am asking your assistant..this is in Grenada West Indies (Caribbean). OH Joni my email address is
  • 121. DIPAK said on 1/13/2010 4:26:08 PM
    Joni I am willing to open up a small grocery store i need some advice maybe you can help me. Please provide me your email address mine is
  • 122. Bill said on 1/15/2010 2:47:25 PM
    I am in WI and am working on starting my own grocery store. If you have questions E-mail me. I have worked in grocery for over 20 years.
  • 123. lisa said on 1/18/2010 1:12:34 AM
    I live in a tourist area in WI. We have recently lost are "mom and pop" grocery store. The issue many people feel is to going a major grocery store is a pain for the simple needs. I think this may be a business opportunity. If anyone has advice id greatly appreciate it.
  • 124. kamir said on 1/20/2010 1:09:06 PM
    Where do I buy the food a small grocers? I can pretty find supplies such as shelves, equipment, etc. but I am not having any luck in knowing where to purchase from to get the best products at the best prices. Do I purchase different product from each different vendor or is there a general place that grocer owners can buy majority of their good?
  • 125. Gopalakrishnan said on 1/23/2010 3:07:18 AM
    I intend to start a grocery shop in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania State, USA. I would like to know the process. I am not a green card holder or a citizen of USA. But my son is a citizen of US.
  • 126. ravi said on 1/26/2010 4:12:07 AM
  • 127. angela said on 1/28/2010 6:11:00 PM
    how much does a small deli make a day. location in upper manhattan, ny, ny?
  • 128. Darla said on 1/29/2010 12:11:56 PM
    I have an old Mercantile built in 1915 I plan on opening up with part of it being used as a small grocery store in Wyoming, 35 miles from COdy. Very small town. My questions are 1) what type of licensing do I need, 2)is it smarter to purchase items from a wholesale place to stock the store to begin till we find out how much we need is it wiser to get started with a trade association. Any suggestions welcome.
  • 129. Peter said on 2/5/2010 3:09:44 AM
    I want to start a grocery and news agent shop nearby a college and university. There is also a residential area nearby. Any suggestions and ideas that what should I sell and how to manage. I am new in this field. I am in UK, Yorkshire area. Any suggestions and ideas welcome with thanks.
  • 130. Alethea said on 2/5/2010 3:05:59 PM
    I want to fill the need of a college area as well as the need for people who does not have a car. I have the perfect area like I just described. The big chain store closed in December 2009 and left the market wide open. Please help!
  • 131. Luke beginner adviser said on 2/12/2010 3:30:22 PM
    Hi guys, to all you out there wanting to open your own store.

    Like you, I too am dreaming of opening my own store. I have thought of some advice to give you, some thoughts I have gone through myself, and what you need to survive. Before you read on, I want to mention that I am NOT giving you specific costs etc, just GUIDANCE.

    First off, you have to look at yourself. Question why you want to start your own business, how you think you could succeed in what is now-a-days a very tough job sector, and what will make you different from others.

    My first advice is quite obvious really - DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I read an article (can't remember the exact figure for the life of me..) but something like 80% of all small businesses fail after their first 2 years trading. Don't rush into spending any money until you have thought every single little detail out. Here’s a few starting points to think about;

    WHERE: Location is a very important factor when starting a business - especially a grocery store. You need to know where the nearest competition is, and what makes you stand out from them. What’s the rent? Lowering your costs, not just improves profit directly, but it means you can lower your prices attracting many more customers (indirectly improving your profits too!!). If you’re in a competitive area, you really are going to struggle unless you offer something completely different to everyone else.

    HOW: So what do you know about retail? I myself have many years experience at a leading supermarket. I have been a shop filler, a cashier, and a manger. I am highly trained in stock replenishment, customer service, staff management and many more aspects of running a store.

    WHY: Why are you going to succeed? You’re going to succeed because you are going to put all your efforts, all your focus, attention, and heart into it. That's really the best advice I could ever give you. You can never fail if you want something so very bad.

    One important factor you must ask yourself if you are near a recently closed store...why do you think it closed down? I've heard many people speak in here about finding great locations where stores used to be etc etc. The post above me sums up my next point. Do your research into the area. 'Alethea' mentions a college area nearby. Now that’s a great chance in itself! All you need to do is focus on what their NEEDS and WANTS are, mix in a great low price, and you have before school, during school breaks, and after school trade nearly everyday, and that’s ONTOP of your normal customers.

    One of the greatest tips I've been given by a business wiz is most businesses are sitting on a gold mine of customers - RETURN CUSTOMERS. Return (or lack of) customers make or break a business. Make sure your shop layout is logical, make sure your warm and friendly greetings are constant, and make them feel they have left the store with a great deal (through either pricing deals, or product quality).

    To answer a big question: WHAT TO SELL?

    Well, what do you think people need? 'Peter' mentions a college and university nearby. How about the obvious? Prepared sandwiches and drinks (near the door - unlike 'normal' customers students don't like wasting break times. Just look at where the sandwich counter is in any other shop to see my point). How about the house holds essentials for the nearby residential area? Dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese. Groceries such as tinned foods, crisps, snacks. Maybe get a license to sell official Lotto tickets and scratch cards. The options are endless. You just need to do some research into what you think people need! (and even more importantly - what they WANT!).

    Ok, that’s it really. If you are one of the hundred plus people above asking for exact and instant answers, then I think you really need to take a step back. Not only is it impossible for me to tell you what is the best thing to do in your area (every area being different, and therefore there is no such fail safe plan for every geographical area), but if you’re not willing to find this out for yourself, making surveys, talking to local suppliers, looking at rent rates for different locations, then I think you don't have the drive and correct mindset to make a successful business. Sometimes you have to do things for yourself, find things out yourself.

    Good luck to those who are making a success, and let the profit grow by the day!

  • 132. Glynn said on 2/16/2010 12:16:05 AM
    Hi everyone, I am a partner in a small investment group. We want to open a grocery store in the Dominican Republic. Can someone help us with as much information as possible on operating a grocery store internationally. mail me
  • 133. Michael said on 2/16/2010 3:08:51 PM
    Hello all i live in Indiana am trying to open a store here in this small town. I have got the groceries i just need to find out who owns the building no one seems to know i live 12 miles from a store so this would be a good spot any way you all can try they have all the items meats can goods and they are going to help me. when i find the person that owns it. troyers told me to go to the county court house with the address and they can help me
  • 134. RONKE said on 2/22/2010 10:43:26 AM
    Hi Joni, I plan to open a sizable grocery store in my country. I would really appreciate and management/stocking ideas and tips you can give me. Also, what kind of margins are we looking at? Any kind of refund for expired goods? Would also appreciate if you can share how to reach wholesalers. Email is Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.
  • 135. vaida said on 2/23/2010 9:59:03 PM
    Hi I would like some info on opening a bosnian grocery store, if you can give me any tips how to start I would love it and appreciate very much, thank you in advance
  • 136. Robert Buff said on 2/24/2010 2:44:48 PM
    I was wondering in starting a grocery business where would I look to start buying items to stock my store with. I am considering starting either a rural regular grocery market or suburban green grocery
  • 137. Emmanuel said on 2/27/2010 11:27:12 AM
    I've convinced myself about opening a grocery and supermarket in a suburban town in Oyo state, Nigeria where a tertiary institution is located. I need some ideas how to go about it.
  • 138. rauben magezi said on 3/4/2010 1:17:54 AM
    i've already started the grocery shop in RWENZORI region KASESE district in uganda, pearl of Africa, and the name of the business is XTRMEMULTECH.ENTERPRISES LTD. i have no website yet, and am seeking financial support. you reach me on +256775241105/+256772223053...
  • 139. Joseph Wilson said on 3/6/2010 1:43:19 PM
    I am interested in starting a neighborhood grocery store. I recently retired and am interested in opening a grocery store in the neighborhood that I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. The areas closest store is about 3-4 miles away.
  • 140. johnr said on 3/6/2010 10:34:35 PM
    i have extensive grocery experience. in terms of set, (what products go with what), line ups, displays, store layouts. i've done instore renovations on a major grocery chain in canada which consisted of merchandising the store(s) across Ontario for a year. could name thousands of products that i am familiar with. follow sales planner and know how to order without flooding the backroom. i am almost 3/4 through my business portfolio. i have 1 question. how do i obtain my product? i know what i want and where i want it. but how do i get it?
  • 141. M Chavez beginner adviser said on 3/11/2010 6:17:19 PM
    Interesting comments in regards to starting small or big box store formats. It sounds complicated but it really isn't (of course it is). Set down a basic outline, A. Product Lines/Foot Print (HBA, Grocery, Fresh departments (produce, meat, deli, bakery)). By this time in your business plan a general idea has been established as to the size of the store you want to open. Mid size stores can be as small as a 1000 sq ft up to the big box foot prints of 160000sq ft. My favorite store size is 20,000 sq ft. Very easy to manage, big enough to compete and large enough to make adjustments to perishable departments. B. Establish your basic margins for each department (Wal-Mart and others run a basic 30% on all food based products, not taking in to account ad specials or introductory adjusted prices where you generate more margins or use the lower prices to fight your competitors down the street. Your fresh food departments have to carry stronger margins, 40% to 60% because of waste generated from poor purchases, bad rotation and general day to day trim. C. Pick your suppliers.. produce, grocery (all frozen items), fresh meat, cheeses, milk. Break these departments also into groups (for margin and retail control). There are large support warehousing organizations that a person can go to get prices and a full selection of national brands and private label brands. Google, Dog Pile, Yahoo or any search engine will bring up IGA type warehouses in your area of operations. Ethnic operations have a harder time locating items for their customers which only means that you have to find your source in the big cities. Indians, Arabs, Hispanics, European all have their own pipe line. The only disadvantage to some of these suppliers is the cost of trucking or shipping. D. Establish your aisles and store sets. E. Purchase scanning and computer software, begin logging in all UPC's and retails so you can view your average margins. You can at this point either decide to increase or adjust opening prices against your average. F. Hire your staff. G. Train Train Train. Of course there are a hundred different points I'm leaving out but I just wanted to comment with the others here in this medium. Good luck in opening your store. M

    Grocery Business Expert

  • 142. phil said on 3/11/2010 11:06:57 PM
    I am looking for any and all information about opening up a grocery store / fruit market / bakery / deli. If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it. I have prime location but not much information about how to actually start up the business from scratch. Including writing the business plan, finding investors/getting loans, number of employees, equipment, budget of everything, etc. Please e-mail me at with any and all information. I am also looking for a mentor to look up to. I have a lot of drive and motivation but no one to look up to. I probably wont be on this site anymore so please respond back to me by email
  • 143. sridhar said on 3/14/2010 6:23:09 AM
    hi I am a grocery merchant from bangalore India. I can help you sourcing any grocery and spices. my id is
  • 144. Jessica said on 3/30/2010 8:51:21 PM
    Hi I really need some help. I just opened a store and I need to figure out a good way to track my lotto and tobacco inventory. How do other stores do it? HELP PLEASE!!!
  • 145. bernard vet said on 4/4/2010 8:10:03 AM
    hello my name is bernard. i see by all this question above. you are a person that people like and you have the answer to everything then you can help me out please. i'm new to this i just left army in 2006. i dont want to work for anyone but myself, just because i got blown up and really cant deal with 8 to 12 hours shift a day. my doctor tell me i need to go somewhere peaceful so i choose tacoma washington i was station out there as well. right now i'm living in new york in tacoma washington state i want to open an organic food store and would like your help in locating food items and basic. thank you, bernard
  • 146. Tara said on 4/4/2010 5:46:14 PM
    How can I possibly start a business with bad credit! It's a voluntary repo $6000,00. and a $300.00 credit card that's it how is anyone going to give me a loan to start my business!
  • 147. Scott said on 4/6/2010 9:32:57 PM
    So my problem is that I have a great location, yet a few hundred yards away is a 7/11 store. Not my target shopper. I want a small food store where neighborhood shoppers can get fresh produce, meats, and household goods. Items not available at the other guy's store. Word has it that he does not want me anywhere near him. Understood, yet it would be perfect for the neighborhood. I want to come up with a neighborhood letter stating the need for our family style market. Anyone had to do this?
  • 148. john oliveros said on 4/10/2010 3:21:06 AM
    pangasinan, philippines. i'm planning to start my own grocery store in a small town here in philippines could you please give me some tips on how to succeed on this venture, i have seen some small groceries around the area and one big grocery store, but my problem is the location.
  • 149. Rakesh B beginner adviser said on 4/12/2010 6:29:49 AM
    Hi All, I am an Accountant and have read most of your questions and inquiries. Let me tell you from accounting perspective the following vital issues. It is imperative that you do your research in many different ways such as;
    -suitable site
    -surrounding area and your prospective customers
    -What you want to sell and for how much
    -what is the amount of upfront capital you have available to invest in this business
    -important to do a best/worst case scenario analysis
    -do a comprehensive(detailed) cost analysis
    -do an ROI return on investment analysis to see if you were to investment your capital elsewhere what ROI would you receive alternatively
    -Who will manage your business, if it is you what are you worth working for someone rather than for yourself, e.g if your annual net is $80k but after investing in your business you are working 7 days a week but only making $20k per annum?
    Do not rush into making a decision, please always consider the alternatives so that you have a good "apples to apples" comparison. Good luck

    Grocery Business Expert

  • 150. Quartez said on 4/12/2010 1:08:51 PM
    I'm from Flint Michigan and me and my fiance want to open an a grocery store business together and need some help on how to get started we need all information available. Please email
  • 151. Lawrence Murphy said on 4/13/2010 3:05:01 PM
    new york, not yet sure where at. can I get a rough figure on to start up a grocery store. A small business
  • 152. Karin Mac said on 4/15/2010 3:50:31 PM
    Yes I am trying to find out information on buying and opening a small grocery store. I have found one in my town that is soon going out of business, what kind of licenses will I need how, do I go about finding all of this out?
  • 153. syed rizvi said on 4/16/2010 2:37:59 PM
    how i can improve my grocery store please visit at 140 wattvill road b21odp birmingham, thankyou.
  • 154. mike3jj said on 4/18/2010 9:42:57 PM
    I have just bought a shophouse by the highway. My money end up in buying the shophouse. I'm penniless and bills keep coming in. Help me to start the grocery business, I don't know how? How to get financial to start business? I know I have to do renovation but need money fast...second things can I get supplies from somebody here? North Borneo, Malaysia.
  • 155. Dlo said on 4/26/2010 1:21:33 PM
    I worked at this grocery store and the owners were paid out the ass! They barely came in but I want to be an active part of my store. Anyone looking for a good business partner. I'm here and willing and I have plenty money! I just need a partner to have my back.
  • 156. Stan said on 4/27/2010 11:22:42 AM
    Hi guys! I am like all of you - looking for any information possible. All i see here just questions but there are no answers. Is there any grocery store opening forum or something like that? Thanks
  • 157. Laura said on 4/30/2010 1:45:07 PM
    I am writing a fictitious business plan, a international grocery store for school. Where can I find suppliers and what kind equipment will I need. If any one has blueprint for store it would give me ideas.
  • 158. Praveen Kumar said on 5/2/2010 3:01:29 AM
    Dear Brother ... Pl.s give this information to Bava ..and you can find in google for any details about super market .. and search for permissions and registrations also.....
  • 159. yawer said on 5/4/2010 9:18:20 AM
    Hi guys..I want to know how can i start a mini superstore where i can sell all vegetable, fruit, meat and juices etc and how i will manage this if i will hire manager or workers. thanks. plz send me email on
  • 160. umar bukar mala said on 5/4/2010 4:32:34 PM
    NNPC fuel station, Abakwa total, Kaduna state, Nigeria. i want to open shop. i will be selling dried vegetables like baobab leaves, spinach, okra e.t.c. can i call it a grocery store?
  • 161. amanda said on 5/9/2010 4:12:03 AM
    hi i am planing on opening international grocery store in maryland, what the cons and pros i need to search for? And how do i get started by finding a suppliers?
  • 162. Vin said on 5/9/2010 5:52:02 PM
    Any ideas on a Fruit and Produce store? We're currently selling at a roadside stand...would like a storefront. Anyone with experience in Fruit and Produce? We have a few major grocery chains in our town of 40,000 people in Connecticut. We have suppliers that we are currently buying from....ideas?? ps we have plenty of retail experience from package store to Floral and ladies boutique. 30 years+
  • 163. Patrick said on 5/11/2010 11:31:41 AM
    My company can supply most of your frozen retail pack needs at below wholesale costs. All of our product is in date and not damaged. We can ship anywhere in the southeast and may be able to work something out if you are not. Email me at
  • 164. Mike F said on 5/14/2010 11:15:26 PM
    I am starting a small foods store in WI. Could you help with some questions I have about a business plan and setting up the store. Thank you, Mike. here is my e-mail.
  • 165. Jim beginner adviser said on 5/16/2010 5:08:49 PM
    Hello everyone, My name is Jim. I currently work as a food distributor and I also own an advertising business. Many of you have been asking about profit margins. I have listed the costs and suggested retail prices to some of the items I distribute.

    Stacy's Pita Chips 8oz bag $2 cost - $2.99 retail
    Snyder's Tortilla Chips 16oz $2.15 cost-$2.99 retail
    Pirate's Booty 4oz bag $2 cost - $2.99 retail
    Popcorn Indiana 10.5oz bag $2.70 cost $3.99 retail

    These items and most items from independent vendors are guaranteed so if they go stale or break, the vendor will give you credit for them. This is usually true for snack food, bread, pastries, soda, other beverages, etc. I do not believe this is the same for grocery distributors who would bring you items such as bulk meat and bulk produce. After you figure out your costs, the key to long term success is to build a turn-key system. So that everything you do has a method to it. This will remove much of the thinking, therefore reducing the stress of running a small business.

    If anyone would like assistance in building a strong brand for your business, let me know. I can help you develop a solution where customers will enjoy shopping at your store, tell their friends and continue to return time and time again.

    Things to keep in mind:
    What does the store look like?
    Is it easy to navigate?
    Is it clean and fresh looking?
    How does it smell?

    Your answers to these questions are important but in the end, all that matters is what your customers think. Everyone sees through different eyes to make sure to ask quick simple questions from time to time. "Did you enjoy shopping here today?" "Is there anything we can do to improve our business so we may serve you better?" I hope this post helps. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.
    Thanks, - Jim

    Grocery Business Expert

  • 166. Jim beginner adviser said on 5/16/2010 5:26:47 PM
    Here is some additional information that might help. An excellent place to search for commercial real estate for rent or sale is You can register for free and search for and view most of the listing. There is another website called They have supplies for the restaurant industry but still may help. They have walk-in coolers, refrigerated display cases. I would also look into, they have a wide selection of signs and displays that may help. Last, there is a new website called that has direct sourcing at smaller quantities, direct from manufacturers.

    Grocery Business Expert

  • 167. Paula said on 5/21/2010 1:30:08 PM
    OK, I've opened my specialty foods market, it's doing well and we're covering expenses - now how do we make a profit? Right now all $$ goes back into replacing inventory - now what??
  • 168. Sapna karwadi said on 5/23/2010 10:25:59 PM
    Hi JOHN, I want to open small grocery business my email is plz tell me from the A TO Z how to start a business
  • 169. Riz said on 5/24/2010 2:52:09 PM
    Hi Joni, I've been longing to open a small Filipino grocery store here in Lorton, VA. At the same time, I would like to mix it with some Filipino to go food. Could you help me with your expertise on this please? Thanks, Riz Lazo Saleh
  • 170. Ganesh Giri said on 5/26/2010 3:01:26 PM
    I would like to have more information and advice to start up a new business, specially i m looking to buy a store - business. so could u help me how to search good store in good location and in good price? Regards Ganesh Giri
  • 171. blessing Mazodze said on 5/28/2010 5:18:13 AM
    I am doing an investment evaluation and would like to know specifically what are the fixtures needed to set up a grocery shop
  • 172. uduak said on 5/29/2010 2:18:56 AM
    Dear Sir, I am a Nigerian based in Portharcourt the capital of River State. Please I will need a guide on how to open a grocery shop(provision shop) in portharcourt nigeria. thanks
  • 173. Mike said on 5/30/2010 12:03:09 AM
    I am thinking of opening a bulk priced foods store in Wi. where is a good place to find plastic containers to break the food down in smaller packages? any help would be great.
  • 174. bill feader said on 6/1/2010 5:29:45 PM
    i have a 10k sq in a small coastal community. my parents bought it and i am now taking over. we have owned it for 30 yrs. i am experienced in all aspects of the grocery store, being a journeyman meatcutter, produce, grocery, dairy, office. willing to do consulting. i like to do most of the work myself, and get 6 or more part time cashiers, and deli servers to to have great customer service, without paying too much in wages. keep your store bright and clean, costs low, and have quality meats, produce and deli, bakery items, and you should 8-8 if possible and have store in "showroom"condition for am opening.
  • 175. Nabs said on 6/3/2010 2:18:16 AM
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I'm looking at buying an existing grocery store. This store is ran by family (father + 3 sons + daughter + daughter in law), open 7 days/week. I'm alone, no family. How easy is it to take over a business ran by family, and what are my chances of success? I do have another business that I drop in few hours a day, and I don't want the grocery to take up my whole time, and the weekend. Is it do-able? all advise is appreciated.
  • 176. Bridget said on 6/3/2010 8:43:08 AM
    Hello I'm Bridget, i'm currently a high school senior and taking an entrepreneurship class. I want to know what is the basic licenses I need to own and fully operate a grocery store. My teacher is the banker and I have to propose a business plan to her for a loan. I have to make a business plan and I need to know about the licenses and insurances needed. Thank you for any input i can get!
  • 177. ANIL KHATRI said on 6/4/2010 10:41:03 AM
    HELLO, I am planning to open a indian grocery store in san diego, california and would like to get tips on requirements and lease negotiations process. please advice me or send me link so i would look into that thanks in advance. -Anil
  • 178. varun said on 6/4/2010 6:48:18 PM
    hi, friends. i need to know what all the LEGAL things to be done to open a grocery store in hyderabad, india. and if anyone can provide me the distributors list of hyd will be very helpful for me kindly help me...
  • 179. B Waters beginner adviser said on 6/9/2010 2:13:43 PM
    Hi Everyone, I am working on opening a small neighborhood grocery store in Atlanta, GA. My husband works for an organic produce distributor, so we already have a supplier lined up. They extend product on Net dating terms which allows you flexibility with your cash flow. Just make sure you pay your suppliers on time to maintain good credit standing. If you are in the Southeast US area, Destiny Organics and Global supply to this area. Check out your organic farm suppliers as well. They can supplement with seasonal crops and great to feature local businesses in your store, especially since there is a huge locavore movement.

    Check out other grocery stores in your area and in other states for lay out and product ideas. After all, opening a grocery store is nothing new and many successful business owners have found ideal layouts and product offerings. You don't have to reinvent the wheel and can certainly be inspired by what works for them and/or how you can cater more towards your specific market. Whether you plan on opening the small neighborhood market or want a larger grocery operation like a Whole Foods or Earh Fare; use these businesses to get an idea of how to lay out your store and product to carry.

    Manage your inventory. The margins in the grocery business are really tight and you are dealing with products with a shorter shelf life. Don't overbuy, but keep track of what sells out quickly so that you can keep up with demand. Find a way to "reprofit" bad produce by turning it into compost that you can resell. Saw this at a co-op. Great idea to turn your rotting produce into a profit.

    Commercial leases are suffering due to the recession. Ask for free rent for so many months in exchange for signing a longer term lease. This can help give you at least 3-6 months to get the business off the ground while using that much needed capital to invest into equipment, inventory, labor, etc. There are a lot of empty retail spaces out there and it never hurts to ask. Just make sure it is in the right location and you understand the demographic you plan to serve. Conduct market research by surveying the people you plan to sell.

    If you have bad credit, it will be tough to open a store unless you already have enough start-up funds to get the store open, filled, and operating to generate cash flow. Finding investors or partners can also help you get your business off the ground if you have poor credit. Ask your family and friends. Check out micro-funding in your area. These sources can lend up to $10K and do not solely base it on your credit.

    Hope this info helps. Small businesses generate much needed jobs in the US and remember food is the number one item people spend their money on even in a recession. Good Luck to you all!!

    Grocery Business Expert

  • 180. Mike said on 6/16/2010 10:08:02 PM
    I am working on my Business plan for a small specialty foods store. 2000 sq ft. I need some help with the financial part of my plan. How do I figure out the sales I will generate for my plan. Any help would be great. please e-mail me at
  • 181. muhammed rafeeq said on 6/17/2010 12:23:32 PM
    it is a beautiful article. but i want know how to prepare the business plan, what are the most important factors, while we are thinking about supermarket. how much population is needed for start real one ?
  • 182. magezi rauben said on 6/19/2010 4:29:15 PM
    am intending to start up a grocery shopping center in the mt rwenzori region, in Uganda i would like to find any established company or individual interested in partnership in this line to write to me on the above email or call me on +256779601619 or +256775241105 and +256772223053.
  • 183. Dalton Smith said on 6/25/2010 5:37:32 PM
    I am 15 and was able to start my own independent grocery store. I come from a large family and am pretty fortunate that my grandma use to own the town's IGA store that she shut down last year since she was retiring. My aunt and uncle owned a property on the "main drag" of town and a pet store ended their lease with them. So I mentioned to them that a grocery store would be a good business to start up and it would be pretty affordable since my grandma still had a lot of equipment from IGA. It took me 3 months and a lot of hard work and effort, but thankfully Village Foods is doing great, 8 months later. Our advantage is that we own many businesses, including Fresh Cut Meat Shop so everything is fresh and produced locally. Our monthly income from Village Foods is about $3,000 , but remember we just started less than a year ago and we are expanding our selection of locally produced, organic foods. If your visiting Byesville, Ohio say hello when you go to Village Food Market (next to Dollar General on Est. Main Street).
  • 184. Angie Lynch said on 6/28/2010 3:19:58 PM
    HI! I live in a city of about 7000 people. We have a walmart and fareway. Walmart carries NOTHING in the way of all natural/organic foods. Fareway is a little better, offering some gluten free items. I have to drive about 40 miles to get some real food! SO for the last two years I have been really wanting to open a store! Does anyone have any advice? I have a degree in graphic communications, and have been working as a graphic designer for the last 10 years, so my forte isn't in retail :) I think it would go over nicely! My email is Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated!!
  • 185. mark Fitzpatrick said on 6/29/2010 9:55:47 PM
    Hi, My name is Mark and I am in the buisness of selling Used store fixtures.I have sold fixtures to many grocery start up stores owners. I provide all shelving counters, refrigeration- self contained or remote. Meat cases, Oeli Cases, Produce cases, Walk-in coolers. All back room storage shelving. AS well as installation Help design/lay-out Call Mark at 702-883-8792 or email
  • 186. Collins Jumbo said on 7/2/2010 9:30:42 AM
    Hi Everyone, please i am Collins and wants to open a Standard Grocery in Abuja Nigeria and will subsequently make a chain all across Nigeria, please want to know the profit margin in percentage of grocery products especially in a City like Abuja where everything is on the high side.
  • 187. Ramesh Gaoncar said on 7/4/2010 4:13:56 PM
    I am Ramesh from Goa, I am planning to start a Grocery Mini market in my city Madel-Thivim Goa, I am looking for wholesalers, distributors and suppliers of all sorts of grocery items as well as cold storage equipments. Please could everyone help me to suggest your own ideas and thoughts to established the well managed mini market to success in my dream business, Thanks n regards.
  • 188. rain said on 7/7/2010 6:04:32 PM
    Joni and anybody else who have advices and suggestions... please help. I've thought about opening my own grocery store but never really got into it. I've recently been laid off and now realized that this is something i really want to do but I have no idea how to get anything started. I have a location in mind but don't even know if its available. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My email is thank you.
  • 189. Rohit said on 7/7/2010 10:22:46 PM
    Please count me in @ I want to open an Indian Grocery store in MA. Joni and all friends, enlighten me as well.
  • 190. Aditi said on 7/9/2010 1:10:44 PM
    I want to open up a indian grocery store in Charleston SC. Please contact me at Any help is greatly appreciated. Aditi
  • 191. RAHAAT said on 7/10/2010 2:36:28 PM
    sir i have completed my graduation in bachelor of arts(B.A) in 2009 and now i want to start my own business like grocery etc. i am always confused how can i start i always think about what are the first steps required to start a new business i am living in India state is J&K dist. is Kupwara please give me some important tips to start a new business and what books i read daily about business and give me some addition suggestion about people what they want in present age. THANKS
  • 192. Jennifer said on 7/13/2010 10:37:01 PM
    My fiance and I just moved to a small town and are considering opening a small grocery store in town. Any suggestions would be a great help. E-mail me at Thanks!
  • 193. Radhakrishna said on 7/14/2010 3:24:15 AM
    i need the inventory price list based on Hyderabad rates for all grocery and FMCG products like what is whole sale purchasing price and sales price. please help me...
  • 194. Mike said on 7/15/2010 12:32:28 AM
    Joni, I am working on the finance part of my business plan. Could you please e-mail me. I have some questions. I think you could help. my e-mail is Thank you. Mike
  • 195. Mike said on 7/17/2010 10:48:35 PM
    # 238 RAIN e-mail me about opening your store. I am in the same position you are. I am working on it.
  • 196. cita said on 7/18/2010 2:55:22 PM
    hi! i was just reading every one letters. i also plan on opening a small Filipino grocery w/ carry out here in WISCONSIN by nxt year do u have any advice pls. or readers share your plan. i totally forgot my email add
  • 197. Pete said on 7/23/2010 8:53:04 AM
    Question: Can anybody inform me on how the $$ transactions work with the distributor. Do I buy the food outright or pay first and receive credit if items do not sell? Would appreciate any input. Thank you, Pete
  • 198. JAY said on 7/27/2010 2:12:24 PM
  • 199. Reich said on 8/6/2010 10:36:50 AM
    Hi! Me and my husband plan to put up a mini grocery store business in front of a public market. Can you pls give us info on all the basic things we need to start the business..including how will be the manning of the business and right pricing and how we would negotiate w/ those distributors and manufacturers of the products we will sell. Thank You!
  • 200. Mike F said on 8/6/2010 10:15:45 PM
    First get a business plan started. The most frustrating and difficult section of the plan are the financial. I have been working on mine for about 2 months now. How can you predict the annual sales of a small grocery store for the first month- year? I had to turn it over to my accountant. I am trying to start a bulk price foods store in WI.
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