Contacting C-Store Wholesalers and Distributors for your Product

Manufacturers seeking distributors to take their products to the market must choose people with the right coverage who can present their products to the right c-stores and grocery chains. If you are able to overcome objections of the initial disinterested distributors then you can overcome objections of c-store themselves when you have to present the products to them. Though first time manufacturers who start their business on a small scale would prefer to stick to distribution themselves to understand the market better and gain a foothold before venturing into statewide sales. However this strategy may not be beneficial as C-store distributors, wholesalers and convenience store brokers can give a professional edge to your product and bring it quickly within attention of right kind of customers.

 Need for wholesalers and distributor? Check out

 While launching their product into the market manufacturers have to look for the best marketing channels along with best channels to boost their sales through retailers. While a strong channel cum retailer like Walmart can promote your product and sell it extensively it will not work with weak brand and would rather work with partners who can steadily provide highly marketable products. Distributors and wholesalers know how to get products into c stores and techniques to move objections so that your product is before your target customer. To determine the right distribution coverage levels, manufacturers have to carry out cost and benefit analysis of every distributor before selecting the most appropriate one for their product.

Beverage distributors– If you want to distribute beverages on a statewide level then look for a company or individual that has dealt with your kind of product and knows which stores have the kind of clientele that can help sell your products. These distributors are market leaders and generally carry out merchandising and marketing support within c-stores for your product. Beverage distribution is carried out effectively by beer distributors, wholesalers, grocery distributors, wagon jobbers and independent marketers cum distributors.

Broad line wholesalers – National level distributors with large warehouses in strategic locations that help them maintain a foolproof distribution network carry a large range of products and play a vital role in branded food distribution channel. They serve large retail network chains and also small independent convenience stores by distributing a large variety of general merchandise goods, snacks, beverages and even non-branded products. They will directly purchase goods from manufacturers and sell it to a convenience store who takes responsibility of marketing the products.

Marketing and distribution specialists – For easy distribution of a convenience product you can make a presentation before distribution specialists like Checkstand program which are professional group of distributors, merchandisers and wagon jobbers. These groups have relationships with nationwide c-stores and grocery stores which may either be a chain or independent store. Manufacturers can directly contact them with full details about their product’s pricing, market research figures and other details to convince them about utility and future prospects of the product. For a specific fee they take the responsibility of marketing and distributing a manufacturer’s product to corporate c-stores, big box retailers, supermarkets and small independent stores across the nation depending on initial public reaction to the product.

Wholesale grocery distributors  These nationwide distributors have warehouses in different parts of the nation as their network extends nationwide and have different units for stocking fresh, frozen items along with dehydrated products. These grocery distributors have their own transport facilities which carry their merchandise to depots of other distributors or directly to warehouses of superstores and warehouse retailers. You can find a bunch of them here: 

Identifying suitable distributors – Convenience stores carry a varied fusion of household and personal use products along with groceries which are used on a daily basis. There are different types of convenience store formats like warehouse retailers, supermarkets, single stores, chain stores and pop-up or temporary stores which are all serviced by different types of distributors. Depending on the type of stores where the manufacturer wants his merchandise to be sold, he selects a potential distributor who can meet his distribution objectives and market his product in the right manner.

Checklist to identify potential distributors

  • Attend trade shows and purchase publications of industry associations to know about distributors in the area that have experience in your kind of product.
  • Once a few potential distributors have been identified write to them with details of your product requesting for a meeting.
  • Check selected distributors for financial stability, past sales, selling skills and market reach.
  • Evaluate distributors for growth potential and check if they can manage your growth from local to state and then into national markets.
  • Study their capability to manage inventory in terms of warehouse size and handling strength and ability to handle problems of transportation.

 How the c-store wholesaler/distributors can help your business

Develop a market plan – The distributor knows which stores can sell your products and will help you device an effective presentation plan before them to make it compelling. Once the product gets accepted by few stores and they agree to sell your product, the distributor takes it across the state to other stores by citing their sales figures and creates a niche for your product.

Expanding your target market – Distributors and wholesalers act like partners to help expand your market as quickly as possible before some other manufacturer discovers the niche market and develops a competing product. Check for distributors that handle products of several of your competitors successfully so you know that he is capable of managing the sales of your product too. 

Grocery distributors sometimes manage costs of shipping between manufacturer and retailers as they have their own distribution network and rarely store the inventory as they directly deliver to stores after picking up from the manufacturer. Convenience products follow a long cycle of bulk breakup and distribution from the time they leave a manufacturer’s warehouse and reach retailers’ shelves. The whole process requires efforts of several middlemen and labor to bring the finished product to buyers and it gains in value as it reaches its final destination as each middleman adds his service charges. So you need to ensure that your products are distributed by the right kind of distributors before they reach customers so that the price is competitive enough for buyers.