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Start Up and Run Your Own Fashion Business

This intensive 5 day course will provide you with all the tools necessary to start to plan your own fashion retail business. The course includes the study of the elements involved in the start up process including; brand positioning, shop and stock selection, finance and forecasting, market research, and display and customer service. The course will provide a clear insight into all aspects of running a bricks and mortar or online retail business and a step by step guide from initial business concept to business success.

The course will incorporate a combination of theory, discussion and practical workshops delivered by tutors, who have considerable expertise in the area of fashion business start ups.

This course includes:

  • Turning your fashion retail business idea into reality
  • Stocking up, Buying and Merchandising
  • ​Setting up shop, creating your fashion retail environment
  • ​The big sell, marketing your business
  • ​Sitting Pretty, Visual Merchandising and Display Completion of research tasks and independent research are included during the course

The course is delivered by experienced tutors who are industry experts in the field of buying.

The following aspects are covered:

  • Turning Your Fashion Retail Business Idea into Reality - How to research potential markets to ensure you have a business opportunity with potential, customer profiling and market positioning, how to give your brand a name, how to write a basic business plan and raise funding for a business. Finance of fashion - paying the bills, legal eagles - legislation you need to know, engagement - professional practitioners you need to assist you, fashion markets and channels to find the perfect platform for your business position, where to locate your fashion business, online or bricks and mortar
  • Stocking Up, Buying and Merchandising - Researching trends and range planning, sourcing and managing supplier relationships, buying a balanced range; retail maths, managing OTB and interpreting sales data, seasonal buying activity and link sales buys
  • Setting Up Shop, Creating Your Fashion Retail Environment - Launching a transactional website from design to customer service, the changing business of fashion, how online retailing is changing our shopping habits, capturing the online market, SEO and analytics, choosing a retail location and designing a retail space
  • The Big Sell, Marketing Your Business - How to use appropriate marketing media for your business, how PR can help your business - writing targeted press releases, social media - how to spread the word, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, marketing - raise the profile of your business through selective marketing activity
  • Sitting Pretty, Visual Merchandising & Display - Creating effective window and in store displays using props and graphics, analysing different VM techniques for optimum results, store layouts to maximise sales and encourage add on sales, finding display solutions for accessories and pick up items

18+ and those with a fashion business idea.

Before the course starts an examination of different retail locations and different brands in the UK retail market would be useful. Compare different retail locations and shopping areas of London, specifically analysing the different areas, types of stores, environments, customers, prices and merchandise.

Locations should include:

  • Oxford Street W1 - Flagship stores e.g. Gap, Topshop Department stores e.g. Selfridges, House of Fraser
  • Bond Street/Bruton Street W1 - High end fashion stores e.g. Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs
  • Westfield Centre - (White City or Stratford)

5 Days: 10.00am - 4.30pm (including lunch break)

Next Dates:

Monday 23rd - Friday 27th March 2020

Monday 6th - Friday 10th July 2020


£495 incl VAT

Payment Options:

The easiest way to pay is online. Simply register for the course and pay using a debit or credit card.

Alternative payment options are available. If you'd like to pay by an alternative method (bank transfer, telephone payment, company invoice) please email us - - or call 020 3040 2884.

Full payment of the course fees must be received prior to commencement of the course. Your place on the course cannot be guaranteed until full payment is received. All fees stated are inclusive of VAT.

2. METHODS OF PAYMENT (excluding late applications)
Fees can be paid by credit card, debit card, cash or online. Payment by cheque is also accepted except in the two weeks prior to the course start date and please make all cheques payable to FRA Enterprises Ltd. Fees can be paid by cash if payment is made in person. Please see paragraph 20. Payments by bank electronic transfer or Banker’s Draft are acceptable. Our bank details are available on request. If your company is paying for the course fees and would prefer to be invoiced, please write to us on your company's headed paper and send a company purchase order with your booking form.

We cannot accept bookings from students under 18 years of age.

The course fee includes the cost of basic materials which will be provided. Please see the course description on our website for details of the additional materials which you will need, if applicable. Failure to bring the required materials will delay your progress on the courses


If there are places available on acourse we will accept bookings right up until the course commences and require payment in full on confirmation. If you apply within 5 working days of the course commencing we cannot guarantee that your booking will be confirmed. Late applicants will usually have their place on the course confirmed by email. If, however, you have not received confirmation within 24 hours of your application it is your responsibility to check the status of your booking which can be done by contacting the Short Course Office on 0203 040 2884.

Please note that courses have minimum attendance levels and may be cancelled if too few bookings are received. We reserve the right to amend or cancel courses. If we cancel a course we shall endeavour to give you at least one week's notice and you will have the option of transferring to another course or of having a full refund of the fees which we will return to you within three weeks. We will not be liable for any losses (including, but not limited to, travel and accommodation costs) arising as a consequence of any modification or cancellation of courses or time-tabling constraints as set out above beyond the cost of the course fee.

If you wish to cancel your place on a course your request should be made via email to If your written request is received more than one month prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30 to cover our costs. If your written request is received within one month of the course start date you will not be entitled to a refund unless a replacement student can be found for your place. If a replacement student is found prior to the course start date, you will be entitled to a full refund, less an administrative charge of £30.

If you are unable to attend a course you are permitted to transfer your place to a substitute student up to one week before the start date. We must be notified via email of the substitute student's name and there is a £30 administration charge for each substitution. Substitutions cannot be accepted after the course has started.

You can transfer to another course up to one month prior to the course start date. There is a £30 administration charge for each transferral. Students can transfer a maximum of twice.

Non-attendance of classes due to illness or for personal/professional reasons does not provide the right to refunds, extra tuition or a transfer.

If a class is postponed for reasons for which we are responsible, including staff illness, we will make every reasonable effort to reschedule the class or to add the missed hours onto the remaining course classes. We apologise for this inconvenience and urge you to ring us on 0203 040 2884 if you have any concerns.

We shall not be liable for any failure or delay in the performance, in whole or part, of any or our obligations arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond our reasonable control including, but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving our workforce or the workforce of any other party), act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, pandemics, epidemics or other outbreaks of disease or infection, failure in the public supply of electricity, heating, lighting, air conditioning or telecommunications equipment.

As we may need to contact you in the two weeks prior to the course start date, please ensure you include your contact details in the UK when making your booking. Please ensure that your place is confirmed and the course is running before you make any travel arrangements. We do not offer refunds for travel or accommodation costs in accordance with paragraph 7 above.

Students who book onto short courses are not eligible to apply for a Student Visa. We recommend you contact the British Embassy in your own country to check visa requirements before you book your course. If you cannot attend a course because you have not obtained a visa to enter the UK no refund will be offered although we will offer you a transfer (subject to the conditions contained in Clause 10 above) if your visa is delayed.


All classes are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English should note that they are required to be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 4.5 for practical courses and 6.0 for lecture courses.

Normally there are no Friday or Monday classes on bank holiday weekends and published course dates reflect this.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to recognise that other students also require support and assistance. If a student becomes persistently disruptive we reserve the right to offer a verbal or written warning and, if this does not resolve the situation, we may, at our discretion, ask the student to leave the course.

On completion of your course, and having attended the 90% or higher, the Fashion Retail Academy will provide you with a certificate of attendance. The name given on the booking form will be the one that appears on the certificate. A certificate of attendance is not a qualification.

If you do not receive your certificate at the end of the course for reasons that we are responsible for we will post certificates free of charge once the register has been returned to us confirming your attendance record. If you do not collect your certificate in class for reasons that we are not responsible for e.g. you miss the last class or leave early, we will post it to you (subject to you attending 70% of the course) but you must supply:

• Self addressed envelope
• First class stamp


If you require to pay for your course in cash, and the amount is over £500, you will be required to provide photo ID (preferably either a driving license or passport) which we will photocopy and attach to your booking form. All cash bookings requiring a refund will be required to bring photographic ID to collect a refund. This will be photocopied (if not already done when booking) when you come to pick up your refund. Please note that cash refunds can only be offered on weekdays between 10am and 4pm with 1 day notice. Please also refer to paragraph 7 above.

Due to copyrights, and to respect other participants, the use of audio and/or visual recording is not permitted during any course.

This website clearly describes the courses being run for FRA Enterprises Ltd. as maintained by Fashion Retail Academy. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy but changes may have been introduced after publication since it is the policy of Fashion Retail Academy to constantly monitor its course offer as well as the performance and content of individual courses. Whilst every endeavour will be made to provide the courses and services described, FRA Enterprises Ltd reserves the right to make changes as appropriate for reasons of operational efficiency or due to circumstances, including industrial action, beyond its control. All course titles and descriptions are the copyright of FRA Enterprise Ltd at the Fashion Retail Academy. Registered Number 6793904.

Register now

For further information please email or call 0203 040 2884.



Charlotte Smith, Start-Up & Run Your Own Fashion Business, May 2015.

"I wanted to get an overall idea of how to start up a business, I have now confirmed my knowledge and feel confident to start my own business. Learning from an independant retailer has helped me gain the extra skills that will help in my current job as well as my new career. Nick King was very helpful during his free time and was always available to give advice and answer questions."

Testimonial 2

Testimonial 2

Hollie Jacques, Start-Up & Run Your Own Business, March 2015.

"There were a lot of group activities and conversations that I found helpful and interesting. I enjoyed learning about the fashion industry and how to enter it, having previously worked in retail I wanted to know about the business side. Nick King is great, his experience is very relevant, I learned a lot from him."




Career Development

Career Development

Being tenacious, outgoing, flexible and interested in the industry will help you to realise your business ambitions. Getting as much experience as possible including work experience is helpful. Adaptability and asking for help when you need it is key.

A typical day running a business is about driving the business forward. The fun part, the travel, sourcing and design is really only a tiny fraction of a day. Commerce and finances always come first and foremost as they make everything possible.You may have a strong idea, a good one, but you will need to be flexible and adaptable to make it in an ever changing market.