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Choose Your Path

Ready to start a retail business? Don't get stuck at the fork in the road--we've mapped out 3 different retail paths so you can choose the one that's right for you.

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This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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The world of retail is everywhere you look. It's the coffee-cart kiosk you pass on your way to the office in the morning; it's the brick-and-mortar shoe store you hit during the lunch hour; and it's the online emporium where you order discount stereo equipment in the evening. As a nation of consumers, we spent $3.8 trillion at retail establishments in 2003, according to statistics from the in Washington, DC. Trying to get your head around that number is tough--but trying to get a piece of that gargantuan pie? Now, that's doable.

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