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