Retail Business Loans: Finance Options

For The Retail Sector

Fast Access To Finance For Retailers

Access £1,000 – £500,000 in just 24 hours

Everything You Need To Know:

UK Retail Sector Overview

The Retail Industry

Business Loans For Retailers

Retail Funding Options

Retail Business Loans FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


The Retail Industry

Over 3 million Brits work in the retail industry, making it the UK’s largest private sector

employer. According to Prospects, in 2017 over £395 billion retail sales were made from

over 320,000 businesses across the UK. Encompassing high street shops, supermarkets,

department stores, market stalls and more – this varied working environment provides

huge benefits to employees and business owners alike.

Research from Deloitte reveals that 2018 was the retail sector’s worst Christmas experienced for 10 years. As

a result of weakening demand combined with rising costs, shops faced store closures, job losses and

business insolvencies. With businesses attempting to restructure in the face of change, 2018 witnessed a

36% increase in the number of physical store closures from 2017 (7,500 net closures).

The rise in physical store closures is not something that’s looking to slow down any time soon. In fact,

analysts reveal that more and more shops will be looking to close in the wake that the internet is expected

to account for 53% of all retail sales in just 10 years time.

“Successful retailers have always had to reinvest themselves to stay relevant. However, the page of change

will inevitably prove too fast for many. It definitely feels like the digital retail revolution is only just getting

started.” – Richard Lim, Retail Economics

The British Retail Consortium described retail conditions as the ‘toughest in a decade’. Physical

supermarkets face difficulties in the sense that almost 1/3 of non-food sales are now placed online (a figure

predicted to continue to grow). As a result, The British Retail Consortium and others have called on the

government to support the reinvention of the high streets, where the number of shops lying empty

continues to increase.

The most evident channel shift has been from physical store to e-commerce. At the end of last year, e-

commerce made up 20% of all retail sales. Whilst this may at first appear like a small figure, the bulk of

business growth is coming from online. It is therefore integral for retail businesses to invest in their online

platform, presence and e-commerce sales in 2019. Though costly, this is just one area that retail business

loans can benefit business owners.

Retail business owners should remember that despite difficult times, it’s all doom and gloom! Scope remains

for stores to innovate at scale, offer new store experiences for customers and be agile in their strategies

moving forward. We understand that new ventures like these aren’t always easy to achieve, and without the

right amount of funding it’s unlikely that any of this will be possible. For this reason and more we are

committed to providing financial solutions for retail businesses looking to survive and thrive in 2019.


Retail Funding Options

If you are searching for retail business loans in the UK, then you have come to the right

place. At SME Loans we do financial lending a little differently, we help retail businesses hit

their goals with our alternative funding options! That means there’s no need to dress up

and head out to jump through hoops with your High Street bank ever again! The alternative

funding options we offer have helped so many business owners like you to grow their


Our aim is to assist entrepreneurs to cover unexpected costs or take the next big

business leap needed to boost your bottom line. Whether you need to buy new

equipment, move to better premises, invest in stock, or even boost your digital presence –

we can help provide the cash required to get this done.

At SME Loans, we understand that there can be no one-size-fits all approach to business funding. We believe

that business funding should be tailor-made. When it comes to retail stores, there needs to be flexibility. We

know that the requirements of a boutique gift store will be different to that of a kid’s clothing store. What

you need is a retail business loan that is tailor-made to suit the needs and cash flow of your business as it

goes through ups and downs.

It’s not always easy for companies to obtain retail business loans, and most business owners give up after

receiving their first rejection. Applying for finance can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Most

entrepreneurs head to their local High Street bank to apply for a retail business loan when they want to

grow and expand their business – but this doesn’t always end well. Traditional bank loans are not

particularly easy to get. The requirements for bank loans are extensive and if you have a less than perfect

credit score and no security (collateral) to offer, you can expect your application to be denied – no questions

asked. Loan approval rates are low at High Street banks – it’s nothing personal.

That is what sets our alternative business funding apart from traditional banks. While we do expect our

clients to already be handling their finances responsibly, we do not penalise applicants if they have a less

than perfect credit score.

Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance at SME loans is designed to work with your business’ growth and not against it,

enabling you to receive the cash you need now to help your business flourish. The repayment schedules are

designed to wax and wane with your business’ monthly income, so there there’s less of a risk that you will

find yourself overloaded with debt. Approval for this product is primarily subject to your business’

performance rather than your credit score, using your previous months credit card receipts to get an idea of

your average total monthly card payments.

Here’s everything you need to know about the merchant cash advance:

  • Apply online in just 10 minutes and get a lump sum of £5,000 – £500,000 paid out in just 24 hours
  • The cash advance is provided in exchange for a percentage of your monthly credit card and debit card transactions. The money you make through cash sales is yours to keep
  • A merchant cash advance is an unsecured cash injection that comes with just one all-inclusive fee and no APR
  • With a less than perfect credit score, you can still be accepted

Am I Eligible For A Merchant Cash Advance?

You are eligible for a merchant cash advance if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your business is registered in the UK.
  • The business has been in operation for 6 months or more.
  • The business currently generates a minimum of £5,000 in credit and debit card transactions per month.

Documents Required:

Supporting documentation may be requested after you have completed the online application. You need to

have the following readily available:

  • Credit card sales statement (4 months)
  • Business bank statements (3 months)

Retail Business Loan

Retail business loans from SME Loans are unsecured, which means that you could receive an amount of

money for your retail business in full, making scheduled monthly repayments at a fixed fee that includes

interest. Loans for retail businesses often require a personal guarantee. This personal guarantee exists as a

legal agreement that if your business was to default on loan repayments, you as the business owner

becoming personally liable for paying back the money.

Here’s everything you need to know about an unsecured retail business loan:

  • Apply online in just 10 minutes and get a lump sum of £1,000 – £500,000 paid out in just 24 hours
  • You will be required to make repayments every month at a predetermined interest rate
  • The loan is unsecured, so instead of providing collateral you may be asked to sign a guarantee
  • With a less than perfect credit score, you can still be accepted

Am I Eligible For A Retail Business Loan?

You are eligible for a retail business loan if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your business is registered in the UK.
  • The business has been in operation for 6 months or more.
  • The business currently generates a minimum monthly turnover of £5,000.

How To Apply

Applying for a retail business loan or cash advance takes just a matter of minutes, and our dedicated

account managers are on hand to help with anything you’re confused about. If you need guidance through

the application process, get in touch at 01244 506279.

Step 1:

Click to apply. You will be redirected to a page where we will ask for more information about your business,


  • The name of your retail business
  • The number of years trading
  • Your retail business’ average monthly turnover
  • The amount you are wanting to borrow

Step 2:

The next step involves disclosing your personal details, please be ready to tell us:

  • Your title, first name and surname
  • Your position in the business
  • Your contact details

Step 3:

Carefully read through the terms and conditions, accept them and click ‘get my quote’. From here your

application will be reviewed quickly by one of our approved business finance suppliers, who will help find

the best lender for your retail business.

Step 4:

Please expect a call and email from one of our dedicated account managers to discuss the terms of your loan or cash advance agreement.

Step 5:

Carefully read through the terms of agreement and sign the relevant documentation ready to return to the

lender. From there you will be able to access the funds in your account in just 24 hours.

We understand that to grow a business and earn more money, you first need to have money available to

you. We want to make your business dreams become a reality by providing you with the funds you need to

take your retail business to the next level. Take a few minutes to complete our online alternative business

funding application and you could end up changing the trajectory of your business forever.

The retail industry is a highly competitive one and in order to keep one step ahead of the competition, you

need to keep growing and expanding your business quickly… don’t delay, apply today!


Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still unsure about applying for a retail business loan, then make sure to check out

our FAQs below where we’ve answered some popular questions.

Retail business loans are unsecured loans which specialise in financing businesses in the retail industry,

such as clothing shops, supermarkets, department stores and many more.

You can get retail business loans by applying for a business loan with SME Loans. The application form is

simple and only requires some information about your business, basic personal information, contact

details and how much you want to borrow. Following the submission process, we will be in touch with

you to talk a bit about your business and what finance options being offered by the lenders we work


Our account managers have helped many retail businesses find the funding they need, whether it’s for

that extra bit of help or for growing their business. We work with lenders who are able to provide long

and short term loans at a competitive rate. Best of all, the lenders are regulated and can offer up to


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