A Wholesale Checklist to Becoming Retail Ready

Time and time again, people’s dreams of launching a product line come to life – therefore jump-starting a million steps towards landing on retail shelves. Many wholesalers – whether designers themselves or vendors sourcing their product – miss vital steps along the way that create barriers for their brand to effectively position themselves at retail. Others take each careful step with consideration as to how it will lead them to the next. All steps have one goal in mind, however – gaining customers from retail sales.

To help prepare you for your own steps towards retail, consider the questions below.

1. At what pace (turn around time) can you support orders placed? Do you have shipping plans prepared for bulk deliveries and multiple deliveries, or are you paying traditional mark up for shipping? If you are paying traditional mark up, you are losing money.

2. Speaking of shipping, what are your packaging plans for this? Do you have boxes and all the packaging goods you will need to safely and securely ship your goods? Retailers don’t want broken pieces or loose garments arriving to their stores.

3. Of course, before you ship you need to gain sales. What is your sales strategy for reaching out to retailers? Door to door only goes so far. Trade shows, social media, sales reps… there are so many ways to go about this.

4. Do you have a Buyer’s Packet prepared to support retailers?  This is a must. Pitching to retailers without effective marketing / selling tools make you look unprepared to be retail ready.

5. Are you prepared for the time it takes to create sales? If you aren’t good at sales, what is your back up? Remember – good work costs money. Experienced support cost more.

While there are many more steps involved in reaching the retail market, the above checklist will help get you on track with the right steps you need to take. And if you happen to be in the middle of your path and not sure how to get on the right track, take time to review and analyze. It’s okay to step backwards if you trust it will get you moving in the right direction.

Hey wholesalers – need to prepare your presentation to pitch to retailers? Let Retail Minded help! Discover how we can here! 


  • Ursula
    September 13, 2011

    I represent emerging designers and this information was AWESOME!! Great article, thank you for sharing!

    Silhouette Public Relations & Management

    • Nicole Reyhle
      September 13, 2011

      Ursula, So glad you enjoyed the blog! I hope the entire site has more to offer you and your clients. Thank you! Nicole, Retail Minded

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