Checklist for Opening A Brick and Mortar Retail Store {Free UPDATED Checklist}

UPDATE: I first published this blog post and free checklist in 2019. This blog post was updated in December 2021 and the checklist is much improved! Use the form below to sign up for the new updated checklist.

I often hear potential store owners ask what they’ll need to think about before they start their store’s planning process. I also hear Shopkeeper’s Lab group members who are actually preparing to open wondering if they have “everything” they need as they start the buildout process or before their big grand opening day.

I realized a checklist would be really helpful, so I compiled a fairly comprehensive list to help out!

On this free checklist, you’ll find both tangible items, like cleaning supplies and a Point of Sale system, and intangible items, like registering for an EIN (Employee Identification Number) with the IRS or finding a bookkeeper.

I’ve been working on this list for months. I created it by listening to MANY shopkeepers over the years, asking Lab and Master Shopkeepers members for their input and from my own personal experience in opening a store with my sister.

What’s Included

This is a comprehensive and categorized list. You may not need EVERY item, but I wanted to include as much as possible. It’s a guide to help you prepare and plan. You may need more, you may need less than what’s on the list

It’s a 5-page checklist, so it may seem overwhelming at first. But trust me, we all eventually get what we need for our stores. It takes time and nothing happens overnight.

Opening a brick and mortar store is no small feat. I know firsthand! This checklist is something I personally wish someone would have given me before my sister and I opened The Salvaged Boutique in 2015.

Current brick and mortar stores owners tend to agree that they underestimated how much they’ll need and how much they’ll spend in order to get ready for their grand opening. My hope is to prepare you – not scare you.  Knowledge is POWER.

Want to learn more?

  1. Follow Savvy Shopkeeper on Instagram or Facebook or sign up for email updates!
  2. Visit the Shopkeeper’s Academy to learn more about our group memberships and 1:1 coaching.
  3. Listen to the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast.

I share some of the most helpful information and tips for retail business owners on the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast. I know you’re busy so episodes are short and sweet at around 20 minutes. Want to work less, profit more, and grow? Listen on any of these platforms:

You’ll find the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast on all these listening platforms: Spotify  Apple  iHeart  Audible  Amazon Music

Similar Posts


  1. you say this list is free but when I try to access it appears I have to join your academy first. Is that correct? I also tried to access your free 5 step planner to americasmart and was brought to a sign up page. So is it free or not?
    thank you

    1. Hi Daniel, thanks for asking – yes both the checklist and the 5-part AmericasMart series is FREE. But you do have to sign up through the Academy to get access. You’ll see there’s no charge or payment requested to get access to both the free resources and the 5-part series. Let me know if you have any other questions – I’m happy to answer.

    1. Yes, it is! Just use the sign up form in the blog post. You’ll see a spot for your name and email address and it will get sent to your email inbox. Refresh your browser if you don’t see the sign up form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.