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How to Buy a Gift Shop

Independent retailers are constantly searching for new trends and products to keep their store fresh and unique, making the UK’s retail landscape ever-changing and resilient. 

The gift shop industry is a healthy sector for entrepreneurs to enter, according to the 2017 UK Greeting Card Market Report, consumers are spending £1.75 billion a year on greetings cards alone.

Online traders account for almost 20% of retail sales, growing at 10 times the rate of store sales.

A buyer’s profile

To be successful in the gift shop industry, there are certain characteristics a business buyer should possess. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are key; remember, you are the soul of the business, so customer relations and good dealings with your suppliers will be a great advantage.

Owning a gift shop will mean working on weekends and public holidays, which may compromise time with your family.

Although you can build up a management team, in the first few years you will need to be available during busy periods like Christmas.

It’s also great to have good recruitment, training and employee management skills when running a gift shop. Your staff are the face of the business, so if the business for sale already has an efficient and dedicated team, this is an extra bonus.

What to look for in a gift shop for sale

A successful gift shop should have a strong high street presence with a high footfall of passers-by. A large window is very useful to entice customers with seasonal displays and is a great asset to a gift shop on the market.

Another great asset is a functioning website, this additional trading platform allows you to compete with online retailers and utilise your social media channels by promoting online offers and seasonal promotions.

The physical appearance and condition of the store is also important, if there are visible signs of deterioration or renovation and repair work that needs to be done, it would be a good idea to get an estimate of how much these costs will be so you can take this into account during negotiations.

Question what type of customer and supplier relationships the current store owner has in the community and in regard to business contacts; do you plan to keep the same suppliers and sell similar items, or are you looking to rebrand the store and source different wholesalers?

If you find a store that is thriving and successful, you can expect to pay a higher price than if a gift shop is failing. Buying a failing business and making it successful may be tempting but is more suited to seasoned business owners that already have experience in running or managing a business in a similar sector.

Krystena Griffin

About the author

Krystena Griffin writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.


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