There are a few ways to differentiate between a boutique and a retail store. The term boutique originates from the French word for “shop.” Aside from sounding fancier than its counterpart, boutiques also tend to offer more upscale and unique products. There are other aspects to factor into what classifies a store as a boutique.
Business size is a good indicator of whether a location is a boutique or a retail store. Many boutiques are small spaces in enclosed malls or in strip plazas. Retail stores are bigger companies and typically have access to larger locations. Boutiques are also known for being quaint and charming; retail stores are more impersonal.
A huge indicator that a store is a boutique is the small variety of goods that are sold. Boutiques are specialty shops that sell limited types of products. A large retail chain may offer clothing, makeup, hair products, and possibly even food all in one place. Boutiques operate in small spaces, so they must be more selective when ordering inventory.
The difference in pricing between retail stores and boutiques relates directly to inventory. Boutiques purchase their products in small quantities from small to mid-size companies. In comparison, most retail companies manufacture their own clothing lines. If a retail company does not manufacture its own clothes, it buys them wholesale in large quantities. For this reason, boutiques are consistently more expensive than retail stores.
Owners Make All the Difference
Boutique store owners have poured their lives into their store. They are almost always small, privately owned businesses, and are created from somebody passionate about making it succeed. Retail stores, on the other hand, are owned by large corporations and operated by managers. The manager’s job is to keep the business running smoothly, but if income is lost, they do not suffer. Boutique owners’ lives depend on the income generated from their stores, and the relationships with their customers.