Both Sides of the Retail Table

Advice for Entrepreneurs Pursuing Retail Success

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Tips for Being a Good Retail Partner So Your Product Stays On Shelf

You have heard Vanessa and I preach about being a good retailer partner. Getting on the retail shelf is one accomplishment; staying there is another. Past tips have included the importance of customer service, inventory management, and quality product. http://tinyurl.com/qeyf2ta and http://tinyurl.com/qjvsfax In Vanessa’s most recent blog post, “Target Pitch: 3 Ways This Little Brand Turned Moderate Sales Into More Stores,” […]

From the Buyer’s Perspective: In-Store Execution – what you have control over, and what you don’t.

  You have a vision for how your products will be merchandised and displayed in stores. And it’s a magnificent one. Your SKUs are lined up neatly, shelves are fully stocked, and the packaging is gleaming with crisp edges as if it just came off the production line. You imagine yourself turning down the aisle and being blinded by the beautiful […]

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: In-Store Execution – what you have control over, and what you don’t.

Congrats. You got your product on the retail store shelf of a regional or national chain. But, wait, some things are amiss. Your product is not merchandised correctly. It’s not forward-facing because the store shelving doesn’t allow enough room. The POP (point of purchase) display tray that you supplied to the retailer with your product is not being used so […]

From the Buyer’s Perspective: Should you sell to a home shopping channel (i.e. QVC, HSN, ShopNBC)?

As a retail buyer at Target, I never gave much credence to brands that appeared on QVC, HSN or the like. Why? It wasn’t the same type of shopper that we pursued at Target. Plus, those networks often undercut the pricing in brick and mortars. And if your product requires that much demonstration in order to sell, that doesn’t bode well for […]

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Considerations of doing business with a home shopping channel (i.e. QVC, HSN, ShopNBC)

It sounds so glam and fun, right? Who wouldn’t want to go on QVC or one of the other major home shopping networks and sell a ton of product? And earn credibility? And have a “free” advertising/infomercial created? Following are some considerations before you take this plunge: Can you extend to the home shopping network 50-70 pt margins and still […]

From the Buyer’s Perspective: Markdowns. What they are, why you need to consider them, and strategies for minimizing your risk.

Note: “Brands” and “Vendors” are used interchangeably in this post. Markdowns are what happens when inventory goes on discount. You’ll find 4 major types of markdowns in retail: 1) Promotional markdowns These are discounts that derive from any type of promotional sale such as a temporary price reduction, circular promotion, coupons, endcap promotions and more. 2) Clearance markdowns An item goes on […]

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Markdowns. What they are, why you need to consider them, and strategies for minimizing your risk

Markdowns are when retailers discount a product to help move the product off the shelf and/or from their DCs. Most big retailers ask the supplier to help support a markdown when/if they discontinue the product from their assortment. Markdowns are one of those necessary evils in the retail sector. Consumers love them (they get merchandise at a fraction of the […]

From the Buyer’s perspective: How do I find a branding/PR/media firm to market my product line?

By Vanessa Ting The momentum of your brand is important, especially for large retailers. Brand awareness does not build overnight, not even with an aggressive marketing budget. Awareness takes time to build. And without it, your product is less likely to sell at shelf. In most cases, a brand less than 2 years old lacks enough brand awareness to support […]

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: How do I find a branding/PR/media firm to market my product line?

Marketing is a learned science, just like any other discipline. And it’s comprised of many components (social media, direct mail, public relations, advertising, telemarketing, and the list goes on). Each sub category requires a learned set of skills. Just like you would not hire an intellectual patent attorney to defend a bankruptcy, you would not hire a publicist to drive […]

FROM THE BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE: WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN RETAILERS INCREASE/DECREASE INVENTORY QUANTITIES AFTER PLACING AN ORDER

By Vanessa Ting Some retailers give you their purchase orders (POs) with plenty of lead time for you to turn around and place your orders with factories. For those of you who manufacture overseas AND sell to national retailers, you probably do not have the luxury of waiting for retailer POs before placing your production orders. In fact, you probably […]