Opening A Stationery Store: The Guide To Get Started

Stationery shops remain an essential place. Every month, every year, schoolchildren and businesses need quality materials to work.

Are you passionate about this sector? Would you like to set up a stationery store, but you don’t know where to start? Do not go further. This article was designed to answer your questions. In the following lines, we will review each of the major steps to take to open a stationery store.

Opening a franchised stationery: probably less risky

Given the economic situation in the stationery market, you may want to position yourself in the niche of franchised stationery.

Becoming a franchisee has a cost (entry fee and annual fee), and is accompanied by a certain loss of freedom (particularly in terms of the product catalog). However, it also has many benefits that help reduce the risk of your plan to open a stationery store.

In fact, by being a franchisee, you benefit in particular:

  • brand recognition of the network you join
  • a concept that has proven itself, and therefore a priori more easily profitable
  • tariffs negotiated by the network’s purchasing center with suppliers
  • support and help with the marketing part

There are some big names in stationery in France who are looking for franchise entrepreneurs, such as Agora Presse or Maison de la Presse.

You can also join other, more specialized networks, such as Bureau Vallée or Office Dépôt. These large networks are often linked with administrations or professional companies, which ensures them a clientele.

If, despite the difficulties of independent businesses, you prefer the charm of traditional small stationery, you will need to find a concept that sets you apart.

Many customers appreciate this type of establishment for its “human” side. The stationery is indeed a place where you can leaf through, discuss with the seller, ask for advice on a book … It is not something that you can find in a supermarket.

You can thus seek to play on this characteristic specific to local businesses.

On the other hand, small paper mills are diversifying more and more to face competition. In addition to the sale of office supplies, which form the basis of the business, some also offer other services such as photocopying, the sale of books or newspapers.

Where to install your stationery?

The choice of your commercial space will be essential in putting together your stationery business plan.

A location in the city center has become practically essential to create or take over a stationery intended to satisfy local customers.

However, you can also target shopping areas, especially if there is no competition there: the presence of adjacent shops will help improve your attractiveness and visibility.

Finally you can choose to settle near a school or a university which can constitute points in which the demand naturally strong.

Besides the location, you will need a room with enough space to store your stock. Also remember that it will be larger during key periods such as back to school, for example.

What legal form to open your own stationery?

Choosing the legal status of your business is the next step in setting up your stationery.

This is not a trivial choice, because a lot of elements will flow from it. This is the case with the manager’s liability vis-à-vis the debts of the company, for example. 

The choice of your status will also influence the method of taxation and the manager’s social regime.