When is the right time to meet with the Store Buyers?


This is a question I get asked all the time by new potential clients, usually as they are extremely excited to share everything about their brand.  At the point that they ask me this question which seems simple enough in its own right.  There are many other questions that haven’t been asked or even thought about.


The biggest question is of course, which Buyers do you want to meet with and most importantly why?   Normally it is the why that doesn’t get thought through or is known.  This is all about understanding your unique selling point and your core competitors.  Identifying if this retail partner already has this category that your brands are positioned in, established within their retail stores or are you a pioneer?  All these questions need to be researched and answered and prepared before you can confirm which Retail Partner to approach.

In some cases if the Retailer has too many of the same brand they won’t be interested in your product as they won’t have enough space and will be concerned with cannibalisation of other brands, if they don’t yet have this established category within their stores and you would be a pioneer, in the majority of cases you would need to have something extremely unique to secure this and chances are you wouldn’t be successful as the customer wouldn’t be used to shopping for this product in this environment. 

It is understanding their offering and their customer and what they are looking for so you know how to pitch to your buyer.

Once you have answered all of this in terms of competitor offers, pricing, location etc., then you can start to define which retail partner to approach and normally you need to allow 6-9months from starting a conversation to launch.  If you are approaching online or independent stores then the same questions need to be asked but normally the turnaround is quicker. 

Spring and autumn are the key times to maximise this opportunity so a lot of work needs to be done.  Once of course you have chosen and researched your buyer you then need to prepare for them……..