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This guide aims to offer insight into selling your designs and products

to a retailer. It explains; The benefits of selling through a retailer Understanding the role of the buyer Differences between types of retailers For further information on this topic, read How to Approach a Retailer.


The benefits of selling through a retailer Support from buyers and retailers can be very important in order to establish your brand and credibility. Although the profit margins are lower, wholesaling your product can provide many useful benefits including: •

Wider geographical reach - it is possible to have your product in a larger number of outlets giving access to a wider customer base.


Credibililty - the consumer is likely to trust your brand more if they see it displayed in a retailer/store that they already trust.


Although the profit margin is low, the sales volume acquired through a retailer is much greater.

Prestige - an association with illustrious outlets can create prestige for your brand and elevate its status in the eyes of the consumer.

Marketing and PR provides a wider reach to your ideal market and can drive additional traffic to your website.


Understanding the role of the buyer The buyer has many key responsibilities. Generally these tend to be profit driven and many buyers are under extreme pressure to produce profits for owners / share holders. It is helpful to understand what their priorities are when preparing for an appointment. These include: •

ensuring that stock bought sells well and achieves the company’s sales targets


market analysis - understanding the market place that they operate in and identify changes in consumer habits 4/10

trend analysis – predicting future style and fashion trends relevant to their market

planning merchandise and space – knowing when the stock will arrive and how to present it in store

budget control – managing stock budgets, buying enough of the right stock to meet sales targets

developing product ranges – identifying new products which will

inject freshness into their ranges and maintain continuity with existing products


Differences between types of retailers Independent retailers •

Very often the buyer of an independent retailer is the owner and is able to make quick decisions regarding purchases and stocking new products.

They tend to buy intuitively according to their own taste and customer base.

They often know their customers personally and maintain a

close relationship with them. 6/10

Independent retailers continued •

They have the flexibility to try out new product lines.

They order in small quantities and will not necessarily comply

with supplier’s minimum order quantities. •

They may request exclusivity within a local area.


Chain store retailers •

The process for placing an order can be slow as buyers need approval from various levels of management.

The buyer may need to raise a purchase order which can take

time before the order can be confirmed. •

They may require their own presentation / labelling.

They tend to buy a range of products, (sometimes called ‘stories’), rather than single designs.

They may request exclusivity in a design, colour way, print or finish, so be prepared to negotiate on price.


Chain store retailers continued •

The orders tend to be larger so it is important to negotiate a realistic delivery time when the order is placed .

Deliveries may need to be scheduled i.e. you may be required to make a scheduled delivery appointment at a centralised

warehouse . •

The buying process may be dictated by company guidelines.

The buyers may be required to negotiate a higher retail mark up to comply with an overall company strategy. 9/10

Next steps For further information on this subject, please refer to the following resources: Costing & Pricing Work How to Approach a Retailer Preparing to Attend Trade Events Planning to Sell at Trade Events How do I protect my ideas / business / product? 10/10

Disclaimer: Cultural Enterprise Office is not responsible for any advice or information provided by any external organisation referenced in this document.

An Introduction to Retail  
An Introduction to Retail  

A Cultural Enterprise Office guide offering an insight into selling your designs and products to a retailer. It explains the benefits of sel...