Chunk O' Change
To add to the excellent answers below, I want to add that a single product brand gets lost on a retailers shelf. I would aim for at least 3 products or more before I would approach a retail buyer.
Also, a 'program', may also be a product package, where you offer a good sampling of your best-selling products at an introductory price. This helps buyer know which products are more likely to sell for them plus they get a great sample of your line.
Shelf space and managing their vendors is a ongoing challenge for most retailers, Buyers like to know that when they invest in a line, that it bring svalue and brand strength into their stores. It is tough to make money for a brick and mortar retailer with an single item unless it is one of those rare one in a million, walk off the shelves by the hundreds type of item. When retailers review a line they like to see depth, longevity and broad based appeal. That usually comes with a variety of products and ongoing vendor product development.
Retail has historically been defined by limited physical shelf space and costly inventory. As a result, traditional retail buyers have often sought to minimize risk by focusing on large brands or brands that are offering multi-SKU product families or "programs". Interestingly, we believe this mindset is changing pretty rapidly. With e-commerce and the rise of direct-to-consumer brands, consumers are demanding unique, authentic brands that suit their individual needs; often these brands are highly focused on one product and market niche. Thus far, only large e-commerce platforms (i.e. Amazon) could support these one-product brands and satisfy the increasing demand for long-tail products. As retailers increasingly move toward a business model of lean-inventory and online-enabled infinite shelf space, however, savvy buyers are becoming more willing to work with early-stage, single-product brands. The next-generation of reps and buyers understand this, and will evolve and thrive with this change. This is great news for both consumers and entrepreneurs.
Very insightful. Thanks!!
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