Startup costs for a convenience store


I'm not sure if this forum is an appropriate place for this question but here goes.

I work in a building that isn't close to any restaurants even though it's in a downtown-ish area. There's just one exception: we have a Jimmy John's in the building. It's the only option and everyone I know is sick of it.

This building has a ton of vacancies and I know that if another store existed people would jump on it. I talked this idea through with my fiancee the other day I ultimately decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to start the business since I already have one startup and it would be dumb to have two at once. It was, however, fun to talk about and now I'm just dying to know what the start-up costs of this sort of thing would be, out of curiosity.

Does anyone have any idea? Obviously I'm looking for a very rough guess. I'm thinking we would sell candy bars, gum, soda, and maybe have a little hot dog machine or something for starters.


asked May 11 '11 at 02:07
Jason Swett
555 points
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2 Answers


If you want to do something like a 7-11, info online indicates $200,000 and up. For something a lot simpler, it could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

If you decide to sell foods like hot dogs that have to be cooked, you may also have to get a food service license, get food-prep training, and do build-out of a food prep area up to standards - all of which can be expensive.

I once did something like this with a postal services and office supply store in a growing distant bedroom suburb of LA. Over the few years it was open, my partners and I sunk countless amounts of time and about $200K into it, with little to show at the end beyond a lifetime supply of paper clips.

Any retail business has a lot of hidden gotchas that are not readily apparent to customers. I would recommend before doing anything like this, you should get a part-time job working in a place like it. That will teach you a lot about how the suppliers work, normal ways of doing business, what to do when an employee simply doesn't show up for a scheduled shift, and so on.

answered Jun 18 '11 at 12:37
Bob Murphy
2,614 points
  • So become a paperclip wholesaler. – Chris Morgan 13 years ago
  • I found out the hard way that paperclips rust if you store them in the garage for several years. :-) – Bob Murphy 13 years ago
  • Ah. Call them vintage paperclips or antiques or rare articles or something like that. – Chris Morgan 13 years ago
  • Heh. I could probably get a few yuks and a TV appearance by going to Vegas and trying to flog them as antiques to the Pawn Stars guys. "These are gen-you-wine antiques from the desk of President Millard Fillmore. See, I've got a provenance statement printed on his laser printer in 1852." – Bob Murphy 13 years ago
  • Sounds good. Cut me in on the profits for the suggestion. Look, I've even given you +1 ;-) – Chris Morgan 13 years ago


I'd price the leasing based on looking at leasing prices in the area.

answered May 19 '11 at 06:12
John Bogrand
2,210 points

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