Not many know the exact manufacturing location of the products they buy. The closest shoppers have been to a producer would be buying vegetables or maybe dairy products at local farm market. Convenience stores and grocery stores work with wholesalers, distributors and brokers to get the products customers desire and bargain with them to get it at a price they will accept. Convenience stores sell a wide variety of convenience products besides food and have to rely on both brokers and distributors to keep their product line updated. They offer a narrow line of grocery products which are sold at a higher price than grocery stores and buyers come to them for all convenience goods like kitchenware, gardening tools, toilet cleaners, personal hygiene products and many more
Who are convenience store brokers
These brokers work with large format c-store buyers and grocery chain buyers and manufacturers to distribute food products, novelties and other sundry items. They have a wealth of knowledge about market demand and are able to distinguish between slow and fast moving products. Brokers like the Checkstand Program are a type of broker/distribution model which put products before several c-stores and grocery chains through a single representation source. Small manufacturers sell products into national level store chains through brokers which work as contracted sales representatives and offer a wide range of display and distribution services for a few. Though they are not responsible for matters like shipping and inventory management at store level their work is mainly concentrated on making sales, representing products to retailers and assisting the push of products at retail level.
Why convenience store brokers should form an alliance
Just last year top three national level brokers comprising Team Saverino, Total Convenience Marketing and KC Krafts set up National Alliance Network to offer national coverage to their clients and focus on growth of small and large convenience store chains. This combined strength of all convenience brokers will bring together the experience of 50 odd sales representatives spread around the nation who have detailed knowledge of local markets and supply chains which will also strengthen their client base. This partnership also helps them to build on their individual strengths about local markets and expertise in dealing with food products. As a formidable combination now the association can act as virtual sales staff for their clients across the nation by identifying suitable markets wherein they can sell their produce profitably.
These large scale combination of convenience store brokers can help both manufacturers and retailers while bringing profits to the partners too as now they are a stronger force and have better bargaining power along with advantages.
While manufacturers want to sell their products to stores and wholesalers which can give them the best possible price, retailers want to get new and interesting products that can bring in more customers to their stores. This vital information is provided by convenience store brokers who have positive relations with both parties and help both of them combine their energies to develop a long term and profitable relationship. C-store brokers tell retailers about new products in their catalog and also about how these products are faring in other markets so retailers can judge if they want to include them in their catalog. While working with manufacturers, brokers provide similar information about market demand and which c-stores are likely to have demand for their products.
Distribution and supply advantage – As a nationwide brokers association they now can offer better utilities of scale for their manufacturers and wholesalers and also retailers as their network is now enhanced. When c-store brokers combine their forces they can offer a wider selection of products and use their private network to distribute products directly to their retailers thereby bringing down distribution costs and providing better price advantage. With a strong distribution network and bargaining advantage broker agencies can offer better discounts as they can reduce middlemen in some areas.
Trade and specialty distributors – A relationship between trading brokers and specialty brokers help retailers make a strong product line for their customers by providing a large variety of goods for their needs under one roof. Since these convenience store brokers take on the title of products they ensure that their retailers get the twin advantage of competitive prices and top quality. They provide manufacturers the advantage of seeking the best stores for their products so they can concentrate on making better products as they know that brokers will take care of marketing and sales. Specialist brokers help retailers by sourcing the best products they require as they know which manufacturers in different parts of the nation makes them and take the responsibility of getting it at a competitive price.
Bigger brand ambassadors – When your products are managed by brokers who have nationwide associations then you have the advantage of sharing your company’s vision with a larger section of people at the same time. They will become brand ambassadors for your products if you can educate them about the uses of your products and why it would be an advantage for them to carry your product in their catalog. Brokers have a challenging role to play as representatives of manufacturers and retailers too and if they combine their knowledge then it will be advantageous to everyone within the distribution channel.
For every small and large producer and manufacturer seeking a way to get their product/s into convenience stores and grocery stores these convenience store brokers are the strongest link compared to others in the distribution channel. They provide market information and help both buyers and sellers learn from their market knowledge to build a strong product line. When several c-store distributors form a combined partnership they can bring in more product lines and provide cost advantage on national level to retailers. With their experience of touring retailer stores on a statewide basis they have better knowledge of merchandising and shelf layout.