Convenience Store Product Brokers
Are you looking for a safe, easy and economical way of getting your new product out there? If you are, the thought of approaching retail buyers yourself has probably crossed your mind already. It’s the most safe and economical way of ensuring that the best to get your product on convenience store shelves is being done.
However, approaching retail buyers is also tedious, time-taking and can be very overwhelming. So what do you do when you don’t want to/can’t afford to spend so much time and money on getting your product out there? You turn to c store brokers!
Relax! Your broker won’t cheat you
Now, don’t let the word “broker” scare you. You won’t be alone if the word conjured a negative image in your mind. Due to the exploiting ways of certain stock and investment brokers, the reputation of brokerage has been marred across all sectors.
The good news is, not all brokers want to charge you unreasonably high amounts of money for mediocre work. C store brokers are essentially product brokers who are on the lookout for new products and services to bring to c stores.
Let’s consider an example shall we? Say you have developed a handmade, herbs-infused soap and would like for it to be shelved by Target in its health and beauty section. Now Target is the direct client of the product broker, not you. The better Target does, the more the product broker will earn. And this relationship is going to benefit you since it’s you who holds the product that Target could add to its health and beauty section.
The inherent nature of product brokerage is such that c store brokers are constantly on the lookout for products that will sell well on the shelves of their clients. If you have an idea/product/service that will sell well, product brokers will actively try to get their clients to feature it.
Store brokers and the economies of scale
Now that we’ve addressed the biggest concern with using convenience store brokers, let’s move to the cost implications associated with such use. It is possible that you may want to keep all your profits to yourself. Product development did use up a lot of your resources. It did take a lot of money, hard work, sweat and blood to get the product ready. Imagine having to share the proceeds with someone else! However, you’ll see that investing in the services of convenience store brokers is well worth the money.
Did you know there exist a whopping 151,282 convenience stores in the U.S. (as of December 31, 2013). The 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count report reveals that the number of c stores increased by 1.4 percent over the previous year and are expected to keep growing. The sheer number is enough to justify the use of additional help in reaching even 10 percent of the total strength.
The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, single store operators dominate the industry, accounting for 62.8 percent of the nation’s total convenience stores. And guess who the majority of these stores turn to for filling their shelves? Wholesalers, distributors and brokers.
Brokers can also be your road to finding appropriate distributors. Further, they also help in the growth of your business. They keep adding and servicing new accounts by distributing samples, product literature and point-of-purchase materials. This way, they are essentially your sales staff. Parting with a small portion of your proceeds for so many services makes good business sense, doesn’t it?
Getting in touch with a broker
Research will be your friend here. Trade journals typically contain listings of brokers. For example, you can turn to The National Association of Specialty Food Brokers if you have a specialty food product that you’d like to be introduced in the market.
However, gone are the days when trade shows and publications were the only source of reliable information. It’s the age of the Internet and your search engine will not put you down! Several federal and private entities host comprehensive online directories. You can for example, turn to The Encyclopedia of Associations by Gale Research or to the world’s largest online directory for a comprehensive list of brokers and distributors.
A few tips to ensure your association with a broker is fruitful
- When presenting trade shows and industry events, a simple “broker wanted” sign at your table will take you places.
- Arrange a face-to-face with at least three brokers, before zeroing-in on one. Ask for references and review details about work experience, types of account services provided and compatibility of their line with your product.
- After you’ve found a broker you’re confident in, seal the deal with a written contract. Cover all aspects of the business association in the contract including the territory to be covered, services promised, rate of commission and terms and conditions for sales.
- Once the contract is in effect, work as a team. Take your broker’s input while planning promotions, ads, expansions and so on. Visit trade shows and industry events together. Approach new clients together – work as a team on all fronts.
Finding a trustworthy broker will be the key and it can often be tricky because there’s no fixed description for a “good broker”. It is therefore okay for you to wonder what a trustworthy broker looks like.
Presenting – The Checkstand Program
You can try The Checkstand Program, developed by our partners Convenience Store Distributors. It is one of the fastest ways of taking your product from the shelves of your home to the shelves of the most popular convenience stores around, at the hands of a trusted broker.
Their adept convenience store brokers provide you guaranteed placement in 200 to 5,000 stores – all the the rate of a mere $10 per store. Instead of running behind purchase managers of convenience stores, you can have the best in business work for you as you sit back and relax. With the Checkstand Program, the store comes to you!