Both Sides of the Retail Table

Advice for Entrepreneurs Pursuing Retail Success

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: WHEN, if at all, do I approach a buyer about markdowns/discontinued items?

The answer to this question is probably that you do not. But, you must be thinking about this topic. It’s about risk management and it has an important place in your upfront considerations on how many skus to launch with a retailer. And here’s why. Backing it up just a second, just in case you do not know what I […]

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

Tip 1: Regularly update your buyer on your sales performance. Provide monthly recaps. Buyers don’t have the time to dig into individual SKU sales regularly so your regular analysis is much appreciated. This also allows you to own the analysis and control the story you are telling. Influencing how the buyer perceives your brand performance is important. Obviously, you should […]

From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: How I Got A Second Chance After Getting A “No”

So here’s how I got a meeting with a major retailer in an assortment where Psi Bands had been previously booted. I was so inspired by this blog post, “Target Pitch: 3 Ways This Little Brand Turned Moderate Sales Into More Stores,” by former Target buyer, Vanessa Ting, that I took action. Background: Crunching numbers is not my favorite thing. Give […]

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 […]