Convenience stores, which first started out as providers of daily basics like milk, bread and eggs from local farms and dairies, have now grown with large storefronts, storing a host of fresh and canned products. The gradual growth of small convenience stores into larger formats was due to consumers who drove over in cars and preferred buying several things in one go. Besides storing ready-to-eat food items like ice creams, bakery goods, cheese and butter, convenience stores also have regular groceries, fresh vegetables and fruits. Stores that began as small outlets have now grown into chain stores with branches across the nation.
Some convenience store chains have tie-ups with well-known oil companies and gas stations like Chevron, British Petroleum and ExxonMobil. The C store chains coexist with these companies on busy highways or lonely deserts to provide travelers with gasoline and useful products like bottled water, snacks and batteries too. With the prolonged economic crisis, some of these C store chains are adopting new retail formats and going through acquisitions to improve business and financial health. The elaborate network of convenience stores in the United States comprises of more than 150,000 stores which generate a revenue of around $700 million every year and employ several thousand people.
List of convenience stores ranking from one to fifteen in the United States
- Seven Eleven – This has remained the topmost convenience store in the United States since 2012. Till date Seven Eleven has 59595 units spread across 7760 locations with a growth rate of 100 stores every year. Besides growing its network in metropolitan areas, Seven Eleven is also in the process of acquiring new stores. To expand its convenience store chain, Seven Eleven has recently bought 163 stores from Tetco Inc. in Utah and Texas, followed by 143 stores of C.L. Thomas Inc., both of which were among the top 100 C store chains in 2013.
- Shell Oil Products – Shell was among the earliest big oil companies to start convenience store chains next to their gas stations, which gained popularity over a period of time and was adopted by other oil firms like Chevron and ExxonMobil. Ranked as No.2 among convenience stores within US, it has presence in 4950 locations and will open around 16 new ones this year.
- BP North America – Even with the retraction of AMPM brand of BP from East Coast region and franchising it to Tesoro Corp in South west region, the oil major still retains 4504 stores and ranks third among list of convenience stores in United States. Though it closed down 187 stores in the past couple of years, it has managed to run a healthy business.
- Chevron Corp – This California-based oil major has 3985 stores across the United States which provide turnover of $ 10,789,792 in 2013. The group owns Texaco stores across West Coast and Mid-West and has suffered a dip in its fortunes due to closure of 72 stores.
- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.- It is regarded as the largest convenience store chains in the world with 13000 stores across North America, Europe and South East Asia. Within United States the store chain has 3701 stores with earnings of $13,903,188 during 2013.
- ExxonMobil Corp – It has retained the position since 2012 with current ownership of 3421 stores though it has closed down 25 stores since last year.
- Energy Transfer Partners LP – Previously referred to as Sunoco Inc, this convenience store chain was at number eight last year and has moved up the value chain with addition of 13 new stores to its chain. It owns stores under the names of A Plus, Coastal and Optima and earned turnover of $ 6966,700 last year.
- Casey’s General Stores – During 2012, this convenience store group was at number 11 and with addition of 42 new stores its total count has gone up to 1735 stores in 2014.
- CITGO Petroleum Corp – This Texas based Oil Company owns 1668 stores named under CITGO in its C store chains which have helped it earn $ 3,512,236 last year.
- The Pantry Inc – This popular convenience store chain owns popular store brands like Kangaroo Express, Presto and Petro Express which together account for 1568 stores.
- Speedway LLC 2 – The Ohio based Seedway has 1463 stores which are named after the brand and its last year’s turnover was at $5171637. This chain has fallen from last year’s 7th ranking to 11th position.
- Phillips 66 – Operator of the famous Conoco Phillips C store chains along with 76 and Phillips66. It has 1255 stores and annual turnover of $ 3,033,160.
- Hess Corp – This C store chain, based in Woodbridge New Jersey, follows a similar store format as big oil companies, and owns 1138 stores within the United States. Its total turnover in 2013 was at $4,870,640 and it operates stores under Wilco Food Mart, Hess Express, Wilco Travel Plaza and Hess brands.
- Getty Realty Corp – This Jericho-based real estate firm owns and leases convenience store chains of Getty, Kwik Farms and Lukoil to sell a mixed array of products. The group owns 1040 stores across United States with annual turnover of $ 2393721 last year.
- CST Brands Inc. – This San Antonio-based firm owns Corner Store range of C store chain has sales points in Canada and US with revenues of $12.8 billion in 2013. It is a listed company which employs 12000 people across its stores.
If you are looking for a full list of all the convenience and grocery store chains in the U.S. please visit www.cstoredirectory.com.
The growth of convenience stores has largely been aided by the increase of new housing colonies and demand for both fresh and prepared food. With the availability of these chain stores across the nation, most customers will drive past a competitor’s store if they know that their favorite one is in the vicinity. A recent survey has stated that nearly 80 percent of customers will buy from their preferred convenience store chain even if a competitor offers the same product at a discount. Among fast growing C store chains in current market are QuickTrip, Tulsa and WaWa all of which are extremely popular among shoppers across a wide demographic level.
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Your Product’s Journey From Home to the Shelves Of Convenience Store Chains
Congratulations on your new product. You’ve invested a lot of time and resources in the development phase. You have also spent a lot of sweat in getting the product ready and you know it is ready to hit the shelves now.
It looks good and you know it will deliver great value – that’s why you developed it in the first place. You’re sure that the new product has what it takes to become a huge hit. After it secures a place on retailers’ shelves, that is.
Now, if only convenience store buyers could understand the beauty of your new product just as easily and as profoundly as you do. Life would be great then, wouldn’t it? The problem is, convenience store buyers can be a tough lot to please. Especially, for first-time product developers and first-time business owners.
Here are seven quick tips to help you in the process
Know your product. Thoroughly
Agreed the product is your brainchild – your baby, and you are sure you know everything about it, but how thoroughly are you prepared to answer questions related to the product? You have the features and benefits memorized. You know your USP, but how well can you justify them? What will your reply to “why should I buy this?” be?
A good idea in this regard is to think of all product-related questions convenience store buyers can ask you and write down their answers in a notebook. Practice answering the questions so that you do not stutter or rattle unnecessarily when meeting potential buyers.
Ensure that you know all answers related to features and benefits, costs and specifications, payment terms, return policies, minimum order quantity, retail/wholesale price as well as expiry, without having to look into your notes. Retailers may want to know which other convenience store chains carry your product (if applicable) and you must be in a position to answer how many units from each store have been sold.
Know your convenience store buyers
Research, research, research. You want to contact retailers from your niche who will be a good fit for the product. While you can always turn to the good old yellow pages for making a list of suitable convenience store chains and small retailers, turning to the Internet will be easier and less time-consuming. Online directories provide industry-wide listings and you can easily download a C store list, grocery store list and list of convenience store chains at www.cstoredirectory.com. Attend conferences, convenience store trade shows and other industry related events to make direct, in-person contacts with buyers. Home Depot and Walmart for example, host events where you can pitch your products to a targeted audience.
Such events provide opportunity to make personal connections and learn about the needs of the buyer. Understand the different tiers of distribution in your niche. Do big retailers buy from distributors only? What is their approach to smaller businesses? You’ll find that most convenience store chains use a softer approach with smaller businesses than they do with multinationals. So don’t be intimidated. If you have a great product, which can offer value to the market segment they target, go ahead and contact them.
Dress your product for the buyers
After obtaining a C store list, dress your product to suit the buyers in your list. Visit the stores to see how items for sale are placed. Know which aisles on which floors carry products similar to yours. How are they placed? Are they stacked? Do they hang? Dress your product accordingly. Show them that your product will be a good fit.
A good rule of thumb is to package the product such that it takes up as little floor/shelf space as possible. Further, see if you can offer any promotional items. Point of purchase posters and displays that attract consumers will be appreciated by convenience store buyers since they have to spend less time in selling your products.
Prepare your pitch
You want to use the time you have wisely, when pitching. Prepare a pitch in advance and practice, practice, practice before pitching in front of a potential buyer. It is important to stay on topic, talk about the benefits, the USP, and what the buyer has in it for him, from storing your products.
Don’t forget to make it personal. Add a quick, interesting story of how the product came to be . Load your pitch with brag-worthy stuff – testimonials, press releases, industry awards and so on. Include points related to category management and competitive pricing.
Make an offer they can’t refuse
When pitching the product, make an offer that is difficult to refuse. Ensure that you know all details of the product and its placement, when making an offer. This will help you answer buyers’ questions and tackle their objections on the go, increasing your chances of being accepted.
When it’s time to bring an offer to the table, put your best foot forward. “Risk-free trials” where they can return unsold products to you, or consignment deals minimize risks for buyers and make them more open to accepting your offer.
Know your true cost per unit. It will help you bargain better. True cost per unit includes all expenses related to production, packaging, shipping and so on. Further, have your universal product code (UPC) number and related details acquired beforehand. The UPC is a unique 12-digit number assigned to different variations of any product and big buyers look for products that have their own UPC numbers. You can join GS1 US or have a broker sell you a code.
Be prepared to deliver asap
Have products handy, so that you can ship them as and when asked. Keep order forms, catalogs and shipment supplies ready. You do not want to be given a chance only to fail. Before approaching large convenience store chains, ensure that you have the money and inventory to complete as well as finish bulk orders on time. If you don’t, strike off such stores from your C store list and get back to them when you have scaled up.
Build a network
Buzz. A social circle will get you into places, which simple pitching won’t be able to. Set up social media profiles, talk about the product on your personal profile, get friends to talk about it. Find bloggers and reviewers who can sample the product and discuss it online. The buzz you create will help you make a strong case in front of buyers. It will also help you gain connections with industry insiders and take your business forward.
All seven steps should be a part of your monthly or weekly, retail marketing plan. Begin with signing up for online directories, make a list of the buyers you’d want to target first and get started on your product’s journey to retail shelves.
Grocery Stores in the U.S. Do you have a product for grocery stores?
There are so many things to consider when getting ready to get your idea for a product from your head to the shelves. If you’re new to the game, then making a lot of choices that have to do with placing your item on specific store shelves if very difficult. For example, the first thing you need to decide is what kind of venue you’re looking to have your product occupy. Is it best meant for a grocery store shelf, or a convenience store shelf? Once you figure this out, then you’ll narrow down the window of possible routes to take.
If grocery store shelves is where you think you’ll have the most success, then you have a lot of choices for where to go. For example, you could find your idea next to other staples at places like Kroger, Walmart and Publix. The hard part is figuring out how to get to that stage. Before you can do that, you’ll need to decide if you’d like to focus on going through a broker, here is a good blog about finding grocery store brokers.
Many people are mistaken about the difference between these two routes. While they both end with you finding financial success through your product sales, they go about it in a slightly different ways. A broker is paid for by the grocery store and sent out to look for items that would do well in their stores. You can market to a broker, but they’re on a mission to secure items they’ve been set to find.
Distributors work for the people selling items. To acquire a distributor, you have to appeal to them and market your item. While this sounds like more work than going with a broker, once a distributor picks up your product, they will do all the selling for you. This is great because they know the market well enough to understand exactly where your product should end up in order to bring in the most sales—a distributor wants their clients to be successful because it in turn reflects on them. This differs from a broker, who won’t work as hard for an individual product because their sights are set on granting success to the stores who pay them.
This means that if you go through a broker and your product doesn’t do well, then you’ll face changing loyalties and the possibility that you won’t be featured on anyone’s shelves. However, a distributor is all about getting you success, so if you find your product not doing well in a particular store, then they’ll just move their sights in order to ensure that you do find what you’re looking for. The difference in the dynamics is important, because distributors offer a security that may be worth the effort it takes to acquire one.
After deciding on where to set your focus, you now have to find ways to gather the contact information you need to get in touch with the people who will help you continue down your road. You have the option of finding this information yourself, which will cost you no money up front, but will cost you a great deal of time and effort. Usually that means your dream of selling your idea will be put off because of how long you’ll need to find the resources and information necessary to continue.
Instead of wasting all that time and effort on groping blindly in the dark, or attending countless trade shows with nothing to show for it, you could be doing something easier and more useful for your product. There are ways of acquiring the information you desire without wasting any time or efforts. Please read blogs above.
The best part of using a previously existing directory is that someone else is using their resources to find updates and add them to your list. All you have to do is pay an annual fee to subscribe to the directory and you’ll automatically be set to go. More than anything else, you’ll also have access to a place that is made up of people who have been in the business for a long time. They know what to look for and what information you’ll need to accomplish what you want. This means that you won’t also be wasting your time with a long list of information. It’s arranged in an easy-to-use format, and updated twice a year, ensuring you’re not behind in the market.
If you’re serious about getting your product out onto a grocery store shelf, then you’ll need help finding people who will bridge the gap between you and the store. You can try to approach them yourself, but just like with book publishing, having an agent is really the only way to ensure success. Why not take advantage of an already established directory that brings you literally all the contact information you need? You’ll need your time and effort for other things that require your attention, such as getting your product set up and ready to be defended to a distributor.
Don’t let your dreams get away from you because of your pride or the fear of investing in this directory—resources are priceless, and the only people who win at the game in the end is those who didn’t take unnecessary risks before having the tools to bounce back from them. Claim your victory—and let the experts help you get there!
Who are the Largest Convenience Store Distributors in the U.S.?
When it comes to marketing your product to people who will get your idea out from your head and onto the shelves, not many know where to begin. It’s very difficult to navigate a system if you’ve never had any experience in the field, and most of it can seem very daunting. The first thing to know is that there are a great deal of resources available to you, and that there are people who you can network with that will help you get started and follow the tried and true route to becoming successful.
After forming an idea, there’s a great deal of things that need to be prepared before you can go any further. Once you’ve figured out an appropriate spreadsheet for your product, you can then try to find either a convenience store broker or a convenience store distributor. The difference between the two are that a broker works for the stores and scouts for products that would do well in those individual chains, where as a convenience store distributor is approached by you with a product you want to market to them for sale. They then go to the stores and try to appeal to them, and get your product on the shelves. There are a few major distributors, but most people have never heard of them. While they do most of the work to connect products to the shelves, their names aren’t household-known.
Below are a few of the largest Convenience Store Distributors:
• Core-Mark – Core-Mark is one of the largest market distributors in North America. They started in 1888, and service over 29.000 stores and markets across the United States and Canada. With their long history of dealing in this field, they are one of the strongest distributors across the country. They boast about their competitive pricing, on-time deliveries and full service marketing solutions. They have 28 distribution centers spread across the United States, most concentrated towards the west coast, but enough to make their services extremely reliable and secure.
They focus on purchasing a great deal of general merchandise, beauty and health products, and frozen products. Their careful planning and experience allows them to offer competitive pricing and quality services. They offer a great deal of marketer programs for those looking to work with them, including a great deal of different kind of promotional offers. With all these resources available to them, it’s clear why they’re a top distributor in the country, and across Canada.
To access their website, visit here: http://www.core-mark.com/
• HT Hackney – Started in 1891, this distribution company focuses on offering extremely competitive prices, and quality services. Rather than forcing their stores to have to turn to a great deal of people in order to stock their shelves, this distributor believes in being the kind of company that stores can turn to completely in order to stock their entire store without having to depend on any other distributor. They service over 30,000 stores and markets with over 25,000 products for their shelves. Their distribution centers are cleverly placed across the country and span 22 states, most concentrated on the east side of the United States. This allows them to virtually access any area quickly and efficiently.
This distribution company believes in being more than just a supplier—they also believe in providing community outreach and other additional services. They boast about their ability to form connections and close relationships with all of the stores they supply, and keep that bond nurtured through outreach and offering a great deal of packages and bonus services.
You can read more about them by visiting their website here: http://www.hthackney.com/
• McLane – Founded in 1894, this company boasts that it is one of the largest and most popular distributors in the country. They focus on grocery and drug store distribution, as well as food services and alcohol supplies. This range is one of the benefits of this company—they service convenience stores, as well as chain restaurants and places that sell alcoholic beverages. This is a large area of expertise, leading them to know a lot about how to market and promote a wide variety of ideas.
This company is by far the largest, boasting 80 distribution centers across the country, and sending out over 50,000 products to over 90,000 locations. Even with the high volume of costumers, this company can still over great prices and on-time delivery. On top of all this, they offer a great deal of different kinds of programs and services that go beyond basic distribution. They do outreach to their communities, and provide their employees with a great deal of different kinds of training and support. There is a great deal of resources and services can be seen on their website, which is accessed by visiting: https://www.mclaneco.com/content/mclane/en/home.html
These three distributors, while they say many of the same things, provide a great deal of support and services in different ways. All three have been around for a large amount of time, and so the experience and understanding that comes from that kind of long term hold in the field is invaluable. When looking for distributors and comparing them to one another, keep in mind how these successful companies operate, and which qualities are important to them. Also, remember to keep your audience and desired region in mind, since some distributors focus on one part of the country over others. Regardless, finding a distributor that fits your product is important, and researching them before you get started on your quest to create a partnership.
Here is a great resource where you can find over 1,000 convenience store distributors www.cstoredistributors.com. It is the convenience store distributors directory and it is a great resource to have if you are looking to sell your product to convenience store distributors.
The Convenience store distributors List has distributors in the following states: Alabama AL, Arizona AZ, Arkansas AR, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Hawaii HI, Idaho ID, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Iowa IA, Kansas KS, Kentucky KY, Louisiana LA, Maine ME, Maryland MD, Massachusetts MA, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, Mississippi MS, Missouri MO, Montana MT, Nebraska NE, Nevada NV, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New Mexico NM, New York NY, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Vermont VT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wisconsin WI, Wyoming WY
Where to find convenience store wholesale distributors and who are they?
Many of us walk into stores every day, never knowing the process that happens to get items onto the shelf. There’s a magic that happens almost instantly that brings us products, and usually products we want and use often. If you want a snack, you know where to go to get it—and this is especially true when you’re on the road and you stop into a store that has every item you could have ever asked for in that moment. Every one of us has been in that situation, and not one of us has ever questioned how items get from a creator into our hands.
If you’ve ever been plagued with a great idea, though, you know all too well the long and hard process to get your idea from your head to the point where it is on the shelves. For most, this process is so hard that they never get through it, but for those with the drive to continue and those who know where to find the resources that will help them the most, they’re future is lined in success. So how exactly does the process work? First you need to have an idea that is original and will make money when brought to convenience store wholesale distributors. The best way to make sure that your idea is original and strong enough to withstand the competition, you can create a spreadsheet of information on your product. After that, it’s time for you to market to convenience store wholesale distributors.
Many aren’t sure what the difference is between many of the people who are around to help you market your product. There are convenience store brokers and convenience store wholesale distributors, which while they might sound the same, work in two very different ways. Convenience store brokers are paid by the sales they bring in from the manufacturer (you) and work by scouting for products that would best benefit the stores, while convenience store wholesale distributors work for themselves by purchasing your product and bringing your product to market. This difference in who they are working for is important to understanding how to best interact with each in order to get the most for your product. In this case, when it comes to your product, a convenience store broker will be actively looking for a very specific products, where as you can approach any wholesale distributor and market your product to them—they will them do their best to place your idea onto the appropriate shelves.
A convenience store wholesale distributor will more than likely require you to market your product to them before they take it on as something they advertise and place on shelves across the country. This means that you will have to explain to them what makes your product special and why they should work to get it sold. Here is where having a strong argument in favor of your idea will come in handy. Once you have successfully caught the attention of a distributor, then they will work to get your product out there, and once that results in securing shelf space, you will finally start to see the revenue you were hoping for when you started this journey.
Now the question becomes: How do you get yourself to a distributor? There are a few ways. The first is to purchase a directory of convenience store wholesale distributors www.cstoredistributors.com. This usually works by paying a once-a-year fee in exchange for a directory of names and contact information. With that in your arsenal, you can then contact whoever you’d like to make an appointment with them. This is a great option because it means you can go at your own pace and find distributors that are realistic to get to and cost little money in terms of travel and supplies.
The other way of reaching out to convenience store wholesale distributors is to go to convenience store tradeshows and market yourself directly to any wholesale distributors there. This is the best option for those who are both new to marketing themselves and those who don’t have the funds or ability to travel far. By going to convenience store tradeshows, you guarantee that you are going to be near a great deal of people who are directly related to your business without the time and effort of contacting each one of them separately. The drawback of going this route is that it costs money to go to these tradeshows, and sometimes the big shows are no where your home base, meaning you’ll need to travel a great distance to attend a show that may not yield any success for you.
Going through a wholesale distributor is extremely helpful for those who aren’t already established in the convenience store field because it allows you to form a partnership with someone who is both more experienced with selling products to convenience stores and getting ideas to the shelves. It also allows you to access resources that you would otherwise not have access to—especially in terms of networking and knowledge of how things get done. As time passes and you experience more success in marketing your products, you can take more control over how your products are placed in stores. In the beginning though, it’s in your best interest to connect with as many people as possible, especially those who have more connections than you do. The important thing to remember when starting out is that it is important to create a strong product and equally important to network well and connect with a strong alliance of knowledgeable veterans.
Convenience Store Distributors Directory
There’s an easy process to follow when you find you have a product to sell. Many believe that in order to achieve great success, you need to suffer and struggle for a long amount of time—to put your blood, sweat and tears into what you’re doing, and to have a great deal of hardship thrust onto your shoulders, but none of that is necessary if you know where to find the resources you need, and how to use the things you find.
If you find that you have a product that you know will sell well in a convenience store, then you’re well on your way to getting your idea out there and making you money. The next step, after you’ve thought of the idea and planned out all the details is to promote it to those individuals who are going to get your idea from your brain, to the shelves. That’s where a convenience store distributors directory comes in.
The convenience store distributors directory is a comprehensive list of distributors and convenience store brokers that you can access once you purchase the list. This includes all sorts of contact information and resources you need in order to market yourself to those who can be vital to getting your idea out there. One great example of a directory is found here: http://www.cstoredistributors.com/
This directory has nearly everything you need in order to get your product on the road to bringing in a great deal of money. It features over one thousand distributors, and even includes the top one hundred convenience stores chains, and over two thousand convenience store brokers. All these contain complete contact information, so that once you have access to this list, you have free reign to contact who you will and begin marketing your product to them.
While this doesn’t sound overly impressive, breaking down the information provided here really shows just how much you’re getting for your money. First of all, having access to all this contact information is enough to purchase the list. The time and effort it takes to collect this kind of database is incredible, and when you think of all the time it would take you to do the same, it’s mind blowing. Depending on which route you want to take with your product—either contacting the chains yourself or going to a broker—all that information is available to you. This is extremely helpful because depending on your product and how aggressively you want to work to market it, you’ll have literally all the information you need to pursue it. If you want to have someone market your product for you, then you can access the list of brokers, but if you want to have more control and do more of the heavy lifting, then you can settle for the list of convenience store chains and convenience store distributors.
So how do you go about accessing this intense directory? The cost of the directory is a one time annual payment of $399. This includes every single contact within the list, and full access to the resources provided. It also give you access to the updated list. This directory is updated twice a year, which means that twice during your subscription, you are going to have the latest and most accurate information of those ready to help you get your product out there.
Another benefit of using this directory is how easy it is. Once you are a directory subscriber, you will be emailed in an excel spreadsheet, which is an incredibly easy format to use when it comes to sorting and separating information. With all this information already provided for you, and given to you in a way that’s very easy to use and to sort through (see sample here), you’ll find that a lot of your time will be saved. One of the most important things for you to remember is that during this part of the process, you’re going to want to spend most of your time on fixing your idea and making it ready and presentable to distributors who will then go on to market your idea to stores. Many people worry about expending that kind of money on a directory when they think that simply using an online keyword search will yield similar results, which is FALSE. Using your precious time on trying to find contact information on your own, or trying to understand a complicated directory system is a waste and will result only in delaying your dreams.
Instead of settling for a cheaper, less reliable system, or deciding it’s better to do it on your own because it’s free, purchase this directory and experience what it’s like to have experts handing you the information you need to succeed. With that time saved, you have more time to focus your energy and resources into creating a strong case for your product and working towards something tangible.
Convenience Store Tradeshows-Get your product into convenience stores
When you’re trying to get your idea to become something that will sustain you financially, it’s important to get your name out there. This part of the process is the most difficult because if you’re new to the scene, you may not know much about how to go about properly getting your product out on the market to such a degree that it continues to fill as many shelves as possible. Some methods of getting your idea out into the world cost a lot of money, or are extremely time consuming. However, there are a ton of other options open to you that will ensure your product gets the attention it deserves, and that you make the money you need to continue bringing ideas into reality.
One thing that will significantly help you get your idea onto convenience store shelves is going to convenience store tradeshows or linking yourself of with brokers like the www.checkstandprogram.com. Tradeshows like NACS http://www.cstoredistributors.com/nacs-show/ are very helpful for those trying to connect and network with others. Usually they involve people with a product displaying their wares for those who are interested in buying or investing in them. From comic books to dogs to nail polish to antiques, most conventions have tradeshow floors where manufacturers get together to advertise their products to distributors and convenience stores that are interested in either seeing new and upcoming projects, or want to purchase on the spot.
Convenience store tradeshows are the same in that regard. They feature a great deal of convenience store distributors and wholesalers and allow for convenience store owners and representatives to come around and look at the kinds of products they’re interested in adding to their shelves. This is a great chance for them to see what is out there, which products are currently the most popular, and it allows stores and companies to quickly see competitors and their products. A lot of times this also is a great time for convenience stores to buy stock in products they’re interested in. Convenience store distributors will often buy bulk deals. Because of all the incentive for stores to buy at the tradeshows, they often come with the intention of buying a great deal of product for their stores. Sometimes they go back to known distributors and save the bulk of their purchases for when they know they’ll get a discount, and sometimes they will try new venues.
Tradeshows provide the potential to make a great deal of money because the premise and understanding of the purpose is to network and sell stock of items. These two things are extremely helpful for anyone who wants to build a relationship with stores or wants to sell a great deal of product in a short amount of time. The potential for things to work in favor of the distributor are very high if they can get in with a few stores, and so participating in a tradeshow is highly recommended.
However, there is a lot of risk that also comes with attending a tradeshow. Sometimes, the shows cost a great deal of money. The problem with this is if you don’t make that money back in sales, you’ll end up at a loss. There’s also other costs to take into consideration when going to tradeshows. Sometimes these shows are far away, so transportation costs need to be calculated. There’s also the cost of transporting all the stock of product to the tradeshow.
All of these things could result in a lot of financial loses for those coming to tradeshows in order to get their product out there. When thinking about whether or not to attend, you have to consider the potential gains against the potential losses. Sometimes it’d better to wait for the bigger shows to lessen financial costs, but if they’re far away, it may be in your best interest to consider attending a great deal of smaller, close-by tradeshows. If you’re nervous about the potential of not doing well at a show, it may be in your best interest to start small by contacting convenience store distributors and convenience store chains buyers. You should take a look at www.cstoredistributors.com and www.cstoredirectory.com.
Regardless of how you decide to jump into this world of advertising and networking, once you gain friends within the convenience store industry, your product will begin to spread and take off. There’s nothing that will top the benefit of making friends that will help you get your name out there, and hopefully forge long-lasting relationships with stores that will take your idea and bring it to the audience you always dreamed of.
Grocery Store Chains-Get Your Product Into Grocery Store Chains
When you have a product that would be perfect for grocery store shelves, the hardest thing is actually getting it on the shelves. There are a ton of ways of going from having an idea that is now a real product to something that you can actually see on shelves, something that others will demand and buy.
Some ways of getting your product out there involves you advertising for yourself, and marketing your product through shows and smaller markets. The only real way that this takes off is if you gain fame by having a product so wanted, that sales explode and your name is passed around by your customers. When this happens, usually you’ll be approached by stores interested in selling your product or a company who wants to buy the rights to produce your product. Regardless, the amount of time and energy it takes to maintain that kind of marketing is exhausting, and most often, you’ll find your savings are wasted on a venture that never came to fruition.
When your spending is limited, and you are holding a main job outside of creating products to be sold, you’re forced to look for alternative options in marketing your idea to a grocery store. Fortunately, there are significantly easier and better options available to you. If you think you’ve got a strong product, you can attend tradeshows or find a broker, but when you’re just starting out and haven’t had a lot of time or experience networking, the best thing to do is find a directory of grocery store chains.
Usually, after paying some kind of fee, you have access to a huge list of grocery store chains, and you also have access to the buyer’s who can bring your product in. Sometimes, having the option to present your product to grocery store chains is all you need for success.
One great directory that will help you get your product on the shelf is: http://www.cstoredirectory.com/. Our directory of convenience stores and grocery store chains, as well as a network of experts www.checkstandprogram.com, that can help you get your product where it needs to go. To have access to over 13,000 contacts, there is a one-time payment of $499, which gives you an incredible amount of resources. For example, our list of convenience and grocery store chains is extensive, and extremely impressive. Anything you’re trying to find will be there, as will the access to view and contact people who can help you get to the stage of selling your products.
Our directory cuts out the process of waiting for opportunity to strike, or having to fight to be recognized. You have access to the names of grocery store chains, buyers and can then begin the process of appealing to them to gain shelf space. A huge characteristic of a good directory is that it’s updated regularly. Our directory is updated twice a year, meaning the information you’re getting is current and up-to-date. Before you begin contacting stores though, it’s assumed that you’ve already compiled a great deal of marketable information about your product—after that, the rest all depends on how well you’re able to convince these buyers that you’re worth the space and time it’ll take to sell your idea.
If you click here http://www.cstoredirectory.com/free-sample/ you can request a free sample. With our sample, you can really tell if this is something that you want to invest in and as a means of getting your products in grocery chain stores. In addition to allowing you request a free sample, we also provide you with the opportunity to read a free blog detailing suggestions and tips for those trying to market their products. Just with these tools alone, you can expand your ability to sell you product across a great deal of shelves nation-wide.
If you’re pressed for time or simply don’t want to do the tedious work it takes to go through the directory and market your idea yourself, there’s an even simpler option available through this site. It’s called “checkstand program” and essentially what happens is you pay another fee, and you are guaranteed placement in anywhere from 200-5,000 convenience stores. If you’re completely sure of your product, then this is the option for you, because once you prove how valuable you are to a store, they will keep coming back for more.
The key to any success in this field is maintaining a good attitude and having a strong product. If you are able to market what you have to others, then most of the work is already done for you. If your idea is not something that people want to invest in, then no amount of work will get you reorders. After purchasing our directory, the best thing to do is to ask for as much advice as you can to ensure that your product is as strong as possible, and in a state that people can’t resist. If your idea is desired, then people will fight to get it in their stores, and customers will flock to purchase it. From there, you’ll be in a position to negotiate and choose where your products are sold. Before that point, however, information is your best weapon, and gathering as much of it as possible is the key to success.
Creating a Sales Sheet to Present to Convenience Store Chains and C-Store Distributors
Many of us have come up with ideas for great products we’ve wanted to sell, but most of us don’t get any farther than that. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of hard work to get your product from idea to reality. Opportunities can come at any time, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible so you never miss one. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you have an easier time going through the process of moving your product from simple idea to something that will occupy a shelf.
One thing that will definitely help you is Creating a Sales Sheet for Convenience Store Distributors that details everything there is to know about your product so that you can successfully market your ideas to a manufacturer, a distributor, and finally a convenience store looking to add your product to their shelves. When creating your spreadsheet, there are some important things you should include in order to show that your product is fully fleshed out and something that is not only realistic but that you’re also serious about.
1. Product Description – It’s in your best interest to describe your product thoroughly, but also keep it brief and short enough for someone to read. It’s important to include the most valuable information, especially what would be important to a distributor. Using bullet points is the best way to accomplish this because they’re easy to see and the broken text spaces are more appealing to the eye. Many of us want to use this space to really flesh out our product and show how skilled and knowledgeable we are as inventors and innovators. Putting too much information may make your proposal less appealing, so try to stick to the basics for now.
2. Why is your product unique? It’s extremely crucial that you include all the reasons that your product is one of kind. If it seems that your product can easily be replaced by another easier, or cheaper version, it will lack the demand needed to keep sales going and eventually, lead to it coming off the shelves. If a distributor thinks that sales won’t be what they crave, you won’t get farther than an idea. Half of the battle of becoming successful is securing a support from distributors, and being a favorable product in the convenience store. This is the only way you will be a popular find across the nation.
3. Packaging – You need to carefully think of the logistics of how your product will be packaged. This will determine a great deal of the appeal of your product, as well as how it will keep on the shelf, and how much it will cost. When packaging is elaborate, it’s sometimes a deterrent to shoppers, and if it’s too bulky, it might take up more shelf space than it’s worth. Make sure to think carefully about this part to make sure it’s realistic, useful, and appealing.
The best way to approach this step is to come up with a prototype, or a sketch of what it will look like, and what materials it will be made from. If you have a logo, it would be in your best interest to include that on the product as well. Finding some books on the science of color will help to ease some of the stress of designing the packaging. Make sure to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes—what would catch your eye the most? What would be the most appealing? Aim for that and you will definitely hit success.
4. Images – It’s a great idea to include a lot of images, even if these are created before the product is a reality. Make sure the photos are detailed, clear, and that there are enough for the viewer to really get an idea of the size of the product. If the product comes in pieces, show those as well. It’s always better to have at least a prototype to take photos of—these will be significantly more appealing than sketches of a potential product. If the product is something that is worn, or used in a specific way, it’s also okay to feature models or people posed in positions that describe and emphasize the product’s usefulness.
5. UPC – UPC stands for Universal Product Code and is used for tracking items in stores. Like a ISBN, which is a unique number at the back of books and other media, every item sold in the stores has a specific number associated with it. Even different editions of the same novel will have different ISBNs. Likewise, no two items have the same number. This is so that people can identify your product very easily. Including this code is extremely important—don’t forget it! Without including it, there’s really no way for people to safely and securely identify your exact object. This should be easy for them to see and understand—avoid any confusion here.
6. Special details – What else can you say about your product that will make it more appealing? Is it designed to be sold in bundles for a more appealing price? Does it come in a set? These are things that could make it a more desirable product in the marketplace, thus making what you’re trying to sell more appealing. Don’t bother to bog it down with potential scenarios for your product—stick to the facts and keep it simple. The easier it is for others to understand what your idea is, the better it will be to sell it to others.
Remember that these distributors and convenience stores are reading a massive amount of these proposals and so keeping it short, but informative is key to being noticed. If your product is unique and something that people will want to buy, it’s important that you both explain this thoroughly, and completely, but also thoughtfully and simply. If your descriptions are too long, more than likely you’ll be skipped.
Finally, remember to check your work and your writing. Others will judge you by what you product looks like on paper, and there’s nothing worse than having someone think you’re less than capable just because you had mistakes in your grammar and syntax. Have someone look over your spreadsheet and edit any unnoticed mistakes before attempting to share it with the people you are trying to impress.