How to Open a General Store

Are you popular in the neighborhood such that most people go to you for some things or information they need? If that characteristic of yours comes with an entrepreneurial spirit, you can open a retail business with a general store concept.

If you are thinking of going into the grocery store business, starting a general store is an idea you can consider.

Historically, general stores are those old time rural stores that serve the whole community by carrying everything people need -- from needles to farm equipment. But their function goes more than that. They are like modern time malls in a small county in the sense that they also often carry other businesses like cafes and restaurants. And usually, a general store has a post office at the back such that effectively, all people in the community go there. They go there not only to buy but to catch the latest news around.

General stores have disappeared after the emergence of the modern retail stores. But the strategy that had sustained it for so long will never die in the business world: personal attention to customers. Old general stores are usually run as family businesses and the proprietor knows his usual customers. If you live in a close-knit neighborhood, you can resurrect the general store concept for a grocery store business. Here are some things you should think about if you want to pursue this business:

Location

General stores are equivalent to what are called corner shops in the cities. They are so called because they are usually located where two streets meet. They are strategically located to take advantage of the traffic in either way. In scouting for a location for your general store, find one that is at the center of the neighborhood or where most people congregate.

Permit

Since you’d most likely carry food items, you might need an extra permit or license in addition to what most businesses are required to have. Learn all the laws and regulations that affect your business so you can comply with them. Check with your city office.

Merchandise

General stores get such a name because they carry almost everything that people will need. They don’t carry rare items, but one can trust that they’d sell the basic. If you want to follow this style, you must come up with a list to cover this definition.

Customer Service

Smaller stores find it hard to compete with retail chains in terms of price. Those that survive competition usually do so through unbeatable customer service. As a retailer operating with a general store concept, excellent customer is your best asset. Capitalize on it. Be the store where people would like to go to not only to buy but connect with the owner or the sales people and the rest of the neighborhood. You can do this by giving personal attention to customers and by doing those favors such as allowing them to post community bulletins or ads for upcoming events in the neighborhood.
 

83 Comments

  • kim said on May 7, 2010
    Mt. Wellington Market, Cooperstown, NY. Looking for ideas for daughter and son-in-law who are starting new family general store. They are in the "overwhelmed stage" right now. So many great visions of where they want to be. having to set a list of what should be the priorities, don't want to let customers down if they don't have it all up and running and "perfect" on first day.
  • Jane Jondahl said on June 28, 2010
    I have been dreaming and researching this place for three years. I have some back up financially. I am a single mom. Have worked in a similar store. The store is located in Mitchell Oregon called Wheeler County Trading Post. Has been in business for 100 years. Been for sale 3-4 years. They have just dropped the price in half 299,000.00. I need help fulfilling this dream.
  • deepak shrivastav said on September 18, 2011
    what is the process of to start general store all legal process
  • Cheryl said on October 14, 2011
    North Central Alabama, in Morgan County. What research needs to be conducted before considering the idea of opening a General Store, all aspects of what needs to be considered first? What is the process of getting a business license and where do you go for General Store merchandise to sell in one's General Store, like wholesale grocery businesses in the North Alabama area? Also, if you want to sell fuel for vehicles, automobiles,etc. what do you have to do in order to accomplish this, from start to opening day? Since my family owns property in a much highly traveled area where two major roads meet,what is the process of purchasing fuel tanks for the sale of fuel, having the land excavated, tanks installed and store built. The building is not a problem, and neither is the tanks being installed but the question is what are the regulations for doing so and how do you get started in the paperwork process, what comes first and who do I contact to get the ball rolling?
  • Raut Somnath said on November 29, 2011
    want to open a general store at Village-Safale (second station from Vasai Road), District-Thane, Maharashtra
  • Tony Amico said on January 8, 2012
    I own a commercial building in a residential neighborhood aprox.1200 sq.ft.I would like to open an old style general store,late 50's early 60's atmosphere but with on-line sales capability to offset the lack of offstreet traffic. I have a few other twists in mind, reconditioned tools, some consignment, sidewalk sales, hand lettering trucks and artwork, personal letter writing. I have a 30+yr. reputation in the community as a Masonry contractor. So I'm known in the area. Just looking to supplement my income as I downsize and enter a new phase of my life. What are your thoughts?
  • mohit sharma said on April 25, 2012
    i want to open my own general store but this one will be totally different then any other general store in india. i believe there is no such general store opened all over in india as yet. my idea, i want to open a general store where people will select their items by a touch access machine. people will select their items on a screen & they will get their slip from an attached printer. they will take that slip to counter where their order will be packed & ready & they just have to pay at the counter. this way they will not have to carry a heavy basket while they are in the store. this will save their time traveling from corner to another to search for one single item. this will be a state of the art general store. i am from india, working for a retail banking. please help guide me how do i go about doing the same.
  • manisha said on September 14, 2012
    want to open a grocery store along with a food kiosk in varanasi, India. want to know the estimated budget for setting up and for buying the required items. what would be the necessary legal procedures and licenses needed and from where to get it. please help........
  • Siva said on October 17, 2012
    @mohit sharma, Its good idea but you may not get good business. Because the people may choose exactly what they want from kiosk machines...But when they go each and every corner they may select more than what they want. Let say customer1 want Tooth Paste, He may select only this item at your kiosk, But if he goes inside your shop, he may choose others as well by looking at the products...Do you got what i mean....
  • chitra said on November 28, 2012
    i want to open a general store in elite chauraha, jhansi. please guide me.
  • Arun Kumar said on December 26, 2012
    I want to start general store business... And in that general store i need apparels(Cloth) business also could u guide me for this business.
  • Kavita Kamath said on January 4, 2013
    Hello- I am Kavita, and i intend to open a General Store cum a stationary store at Nallasopara. I need to know how will i be able to keep the materials in my shop. Do i need to contact someone to get the materials (ex bread/vafors/biscuits) from where will i get it and stock. Waiting for a reply, Kavita Kamath
  • anoopkumarjadli said on January 10, 2013
    Hello- I am Anoop kumar jadli from Uttrakhand in India, and i intend to open a General Store cum a stationary store at my home town. I need to know how will i be able to keep the materials in my shop. what's the min. amount to open the General Store. Waiting for a reply, Anoop kumar Jadli
  • Jose Paul said on January 21, 2013
    I want to open a retail business in my hometown at Bombay, India. Retail store will accommodate frozen food stuff, general food stuff, school project / craft materials, some tailoring materials and some office stationery materials. Please guide me on minimum budget to open the business, suitable & short retail shop name and the right sources to obtain materials thru wholesalers / dealers. Waiting for a reply, Jose Paul.
  • feroz ahmed khan said on March 9, 2013
    Hi, I want to open a small supermarket( FMGC ) in my home town in Raichur Dist. Karnataka State. 1-What will be the cost? 2-How to handle it ? 2-Any one will help me to set up the shop. Please do reply THanks Feroz Ahmed Khan
  • Venkatesh.G said on March 15, 2013
    I want to open a retail business in my hometown at ballary. please help me to set the shop
  • sanatosh redekar said on March 30, 2013
    i am interested to open a small general store membership basis. pl suggest
  • Binoy Paul said on April 28, 2013
    Hi, I want to open a family general store in Silchar, Assam. What all things I need to consider ? What would be the investment and the operating cost ? I have a 2000 sq. ft. commercial space in the heart of the city.
  • pramod negi said on June 25, 2013
    I want open a retail shop in Kotdwara Uttarakhand, pls tell me how to open it
  • S KUMAR said on July 1, 2013
    Hi, i want to open grocery store in Navi Mumbai. Is food license (fda) required for keeping items like: cold drinks, ice cream, bread and ready made fruit cakes and provisional items? thanks
  • sachin tripathi said on July 28, 2013
    HI, i want to open general store in M.P. devendranagar panna satna road
  • bharath goud said on August 13, 2013
    hi, i want to open general store in mallapur hyderabad ap so please help me to set the shop
  • sanjay kadam said on August 13, 2013
    I want to open general store in mumbai pls guide me
  • naginder Gajre said on August 23, 2013
    I want to open general store in navigator mumbai at vashi please help me how to start
  • ajay kumar said on August 26, 2013
    hi, i want to open general store in ludhiana so please help me to set the shop. I need to know how will i be able to keep the materials in my shop. what's the min. amount to open the General Store.
  • Lakshmi Kishore said on September 6, 2013
    Hi, I want to open general store in HYD, plz guide me wt the things i have to do ? 9866190668 my no call me seriously i am looking to keep general store.
  • sanjeet said on September 24, 2013
    Hi, I want to open general store in Bokaro in Jharkhand so plz tell me how much investment in general store just like reliance fresh.
  • tarundeep singh said on September 25, 2013
    i have shop at mall road near khalsa college delhi university. Shop size 24x12 i want to open department store.
  • Jangale.Shankat said on September 26, 2013
    I want open general store in Tuljapur Mharastra i want all info & wholesale store total investment
  • sujeet said on November 24, 2013
    i want to open general & cosmetics store in my own flats at varanasi(up). i have need to all info & wholesale store total investment
  • Shashish Shekhar said on November 26, 2013
    i want to open general & cosmetics store in my own shop (16x8 feet carpet area) at bokaro steel city, i have need to all info & wholesale store total investment.
  • vipul said on January 15, 2014
    hi i want to open general & cosmetics store at aurangabad. i need to know about investment, wholesale dealers information.
  • Naveen said on February 1, 2014
    Hi sir/mam, I want to open general store in navi Mumbai please help me how can I to collect general store license. Please..... Naveen kumar
  • Kalpita vartak said on February 18, 2014
    I do not know exact terminology of gen.provisional store/ small vending shop for daily household items such as eggs, bread biscuits, chocolates ,cold drinks etc not retail grocery of dal chawal. other daily use items like soap, hair oil, shampoo satche. The place is in veer Sawarkar nagar VASAI Rd. Can I get transferred all licenses of recently closing down shop, offering him royalty or so.
  • manish said on April 14, 2014
    I want to open a grocery store in Dhokali (Thane-west) please help me what licenses are required and how to go about it.
  • ARUN SHARMA said on May 19, 2014
    i am interested to open a small general store membership basis. pl suggest
  • michele said on May 29, 2014
    I live in a small close nit community and I want to open a general/feed store. I don't know where to start. I have checked on a location, It has old gas pumps already there and I'm worried about the tanks under ground. They want 1300 a month for leasing it, And they want a year up front. It seems so expensive. But the location is where two streets meet and right next to a livestock auction barn. What do you suggest I do. I have no retail experience but I did have a painting service co years ago.
  • ARUN SHARMA said on June 15, 2014
    i am interested to open a small general store membership basis. pl suggest. DEVLI TONK RAJASTHAN
  • Firoz said on July 14, 2014
    I am open to new General store, i need all item list & advise me.
  • Ankit chahal said on August 8, 2014
    A big wholesales general store want to open in Alewa, jind, 126102 haryana. .
  • deen dayal nager said on August 13, 2014
    I am starting a general store in anta baran Rajasthan plz advise me
  • ANTHONY MICHEAL said on August 18, 2014
    hello sir, i want to open a general store in mumbai..so i required the license details to be aquired from Municipal office, and wherever........so send me the details
  • Khushal Sharma said on September 9, 2014
    i want to open general & cosmetics store in my City at Phulera Raj. Jaipur . i have need to all info & wholesale store total investment. How to Manage and contact to company for product... Please Send me detail.... khushal
  • linet Taka said on November 28, 2014
    Hi, i want to start a general store business where i live just by the road side hence i need to put up a two roomed house where i will be carrying out my business. this is to help me evade rent. N/B, i am new to this place and haven't gotten used to the people in the area. pls advise i live in Kenya Kisumu town.
  • pankaj said on December 26, 2014
    Engineering College with hostel facility. boys and girl students
  • pradeep said on December 29, 2014
    i want to start general store give advise how to start and how to get me market information means direct company dealers contact no to direct purchase item.
  • rahul pandey said on January 24, 2015
    I want to open mart type business please give me advice how to get open
  • gnana said on January 28, 2015
    sir, i want to start a supermarket which of licenses are need to do this one and how much budget required to start super market
  • Kreesan Pillay said on January 28, 2015
    Durban, South Africa, Phoenix Suburb. Hi. I would like to start a basic comprehensive general store for my neighbors and passing traffic. I will market & advertise later on but I live on an internal road with not much traffic. Would it be feasible for me to start at a location as this.
  • MANISHA said on February 1, 2015
    I want to open a general store in Ghaziabad indrapuram from where I need to get the license and how to contact the wholesale dealers and required budget?
  • Neerav Vyas said on February 25, 2015
    I am trying to open a general store in mumbai. As am new in this business kindly help from 0 level to the basic level how to start a business. Regards, Neerav Vyas
  • sayed said on March 8, 2015
    i want to open a general store at my home town so can any one tell me how much budget should i prepare to open a medium general store .
  • pinku said on April 13, 2015
    I want to open general store my home town narwana jind tell me about its license and it's budget.
  • pinku said on April 13, 2015
    I want open general store in my home town narwana jind haryana tell me about it's budget and license.
  • raj said on April 28, 2015
    i want start a grocery shop...in tohana, simbal ,dis.fatehabad,india. plz tell me ...any information...
  • shahid khan said on May 4, 2015
    Hi, I want to open a small supermarket( FMGC ) in my home town in DEAWS.M.P State.
    1-What will be the cost?
    2-How to handle it ?
    3-Any one will help me to set up the shop.
    Please do reply Thanks Shahid Khan
  • HITESH VANI said on May 6, 2015
    i want to open a general store in my home town alirajpur district madhya pradesh. plz guide me
  • Adil Parvez said on May 9, 2015
    I want to open a general store & fiber Crockry. Please advise me anybody. & store seller contact me email & mob. 8941035044
  • kailash mali said on August 14, 2015
    All general stores & all milk product. navi mumbai vashi maharana india
  • Rajesh Tiwari said on September 1, 2015
    I want to open a general store in my home town first ballia please guide me
  • sandeep kumar said on October 6, 2015
    sir.I want to open general store in the location in dehradun.please guide to me what is the process to open this.
  • Nitin sharma said on October 20, 2015
    I have my own general store how to compete my other competitor...how to lead...they open the same general store...
  • Neetesh Dwivedi said on November 8, 2015
    Dear All, I i am interested to open a General store, like a small Super Market, where people can get packed fresh Item and the can also have a look what Material they are buying. then can self walk around in Store and collect self the Things what in which Quality they need , there would be everywhere Price , so they can compression in which Price they want and pay to the cash Counter. I have little bit worry about it , because its a small Town in rural Area , connected with so many Village in Uttarpradesh . I would be happy and Welcome your suggestion . Thanks to all
  • jasbeer singh said on November 15, 2015
    I am From palia kalan khiri (up).I want to open general store with all the facilities. like vegetables,all daily use products,etc I have all the information about whole sellers in my area.but i want new strategy to do work.
  • shovendra jha said on January 5, 2016
    I WANT TO BE OPEN GENERAL STORE, SO HOW I COMPLETE MY NEED SO PLEASE GIVE ME ADVICE.THEN MY CONTACT NO IS 08447709594 EMAIL ID-jhashovendra@gmail.com so please seller will contact us.Thanks & Regards Shovendra Jha 08447709594 jhashovendra@gmail.com
  • kumaresh dgx said on March 21, 2016
    I want open my general stores in villupram village mim 50 village in surrounding gave me some idea.
  • Devendra said on April 1, 2016
    I want to open my genral store in udaipur ( Rajasthan ) give me idea
  • narendra miri said on April 26, 2016
    I am open general store city korba, disttic chhattisgarah.
  • Narendra Doiphode said on May 27, 2016
    Hello- I am Narendra, and i intend to open a General Store at Naigaon I need to know how will i be able to keep the materials in my shop. Do i need to contact someone to get the materials (ex bread/vafors/biscuits, Cold Drink Rice,Wheat all types Dal) from where will i get it and stock. Waiting for a reply, Narendra -
  • Ruchi said on July 14, 2016
    Hi I want to open a general store cum stationery shop in indirapuram, ghaziabad. Please suggest if its a good idea, what all licenses i require and from where i can procure the materials.
  • Ritesh jain said on August 6, 2016
    My name is ritesh and i am interested to open a general store in my native place which is situated in Deori(sagar district ). Plz give you precious suggestion and i am also willing to know about items list of general store. You can reach me on 8871041789
  • abhishek sharma said on September 4, 2016
    I want open General store plz. Give my ideas
  • HAYAT SINGH said on September 16, 2016
    i WANT TO OPEN GENERAL STORE IN DEHRADUN. PLEASE GUIDE ME.
  • pappu kolhe said on December 17, 2016
    I wish to leave job and open general and stationery store with service of photostat and an internet pc for students or job seekers. I have one shop space of 200 Sq ft in midc nagar. Please guide me. Thanks.
  • Mohd. Yunus said on December 21, 2016
    i want to open general stores item shop for Crockery items Gift Item leather bags kids item please provide details of wholesaler shop at lucknow so that i can purchase the same near about 01-2 lac amount.
  • sanjeev singhai said on December 27, 2016
    Hello Guys, I'm thinking to convert my general store shop into small mall. so please suggest me some software that is economic as well as cost effective. and i would we really thankful for yours if you arrange me a list of products if anybody have.
  • Rajendra thapa said on February 4, 2017
    Pl call me.back after see the msg sir
  • ajit prasad said on February 19, 2017
    i want to open general & cosmetics store in my own flats in my village i have need to all info & wholesale store total investment. Plz give you precious suggestion and i am also willing to know about items list of general store.
  • Umakant Pandey said on March 19, 2017
    I am Umakant Pandey Sir i am requesting in small general items shop opening i request suggestions to dealers and ideas my address is ara bihar india please contact 9815209671
  • bharat said on May 25, 2017
    i want to start a wholesale market at sikar road, plz suggest. me the minimal requirement 9509716004
  • marcy said on November 7, 2017
    Hello, Where would I go to get basic products for my general store.
  • Nazia said on May 26, 2018
    Hi am planning to open a grocery store cum general store could you please help me with what all things are required such as what all items and how do I get it from. Beside all these what all the requirements to open a shop and most importantly how do I get in contact with the distributors and if any license required to run the shop. Awaiting for your reply. Place Mumbai.
  • Sachiv Makwana said on July 7, 2018
    I want to open a general store but i dont know from where i will get products and goods. i want to know the distributors no. and collection in wholesale price please help us

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