By: Business in Milwaukee, WI

Department stores have played a significant role in the retail industry, providing a wide range of products under one roof. This article aims to shed light on the prospects of starting a department store business in Milwaukee, WI. We will explore the city’s population distribution, important residential and commercial areas, approximate investment required, return on investment, and suitable locations for department stores.

Population Distribution:

Milwaukee, WI, is the largest city in the state, with a population of approximately 600,000 residents. The population distribution is diverse, with the majority being African Americans, followed by Whites, Hispanics, and Asians. This diversity offers an opportunity for department stores to cater to a wide array of preferences and needs.

Residential and Commercial Areas:

Milwaukee has several important residential and commercial areas that would be ideal for opening a department store. Some notable neighborhoods include:

  1. Downtown: The heart of Milwaukee’s business district, characterized by a bustling city life and a vibrant mix of residential and commercial spaces. Opening a department store here would ensure a large customer base, particularly residents and officegoers.
  2. East Side: Known for its trendy shops, hipster culture, and proximity to the University of WisconsinMilwaukee, the East Side attracts young residents and students. A department store in this area could attract a demographic looking for a variety of fashionable and affordable merchandise.
  3. Bay View: Located south of downtown, Bay View is a charming neighborhood with a mix of residential and business spaces. With its strong sense of community and growing population, a department store establishment here would cater to the local community’s needs.
  4. Wauwatosa: A suburb located just west of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa boasts a thriving retail district and a wellestablished residential community. Opening a department store in this area could attract not only local residents but also nearby suburban residents who seek convenient shopping options.

Investment Required:

The capital investment required to start a department store in Milwaukee, WI, can vary depending on the store’s size, location, and inventory. On average, a moderatesized department store can require an initial investment of around $500,000 to $1 million. This includes costs for securing a property, store setup and design, procuring inventory, staffing, marketing, and other operational expenses.

Return on Investment:

While it’s challenging to provide an exact figure, a wellmanaged department store in Milwaukee can yield a reasonable return on investment. To maximize profitability, department store owners should focus on strategic pricing, effective marketing campaigns, and providing exceptional customer service. By targeting the diverse population of Milwaukee and catering to their preferences, a department store has the potential to thrive and generate substantial income.

Suitable Department Stores Locations:

Apart from the previously mentioned areas, several shopping centers and malls in Milwaukee could be potential locations for department stores. Examples include:

  1. Mayfair Mall: Located in Wauwatosa, it is one of the largest shopping malls in the area, attracting residents from various neighboring suburbs.
  2. Southridge Mall: Situated in Greendale, this mall serves residents from Milwaukee’s southern suburbs. Its convenient location makes it a viable option for department stores.
  3. The Shops of Grand Avenue: Positioned in downtown Milwaukee, this shopping center caters to both residents and officegoers, making it an attractive location for a department store.

Starting a department store business in Milwaukee, WI, can be a promising venture given the city’s diverse population and various residential and commercial areas. While the initial investment might be substantial, a wellmanaged department store has the potential for a reasonable return on investment. Consideration of the suitable locations mentioned, such as downtown, the East Side, Bay View, and nearby shopping centers like Mayfair Mall and Southridge Mall, can greatly contribute to the success of the business. Explore the prospects, do thorough market research, and embark on this exciting opportunity in Milwaukee’s retail landscape.