Independent Hardware Store Distribution
Distributing to independent hardware stores is all about satisfying the store’s needs in what type of products their customers demand. Independent hardware stores want a product that has been established and will sell quickly. Contacting local independent hardware stores is a good first step to get a feel for what products do well in that market.
Finding a distributor who already has an established relationship with independent hardware retailers is essential. The distributor and retailer relationship is important in product placement in independent hardware stores. If a distributor has a good reputation with an independent hardware retailer the process of getting products into the store is a lot smoother.
Building a relationship and a positive track record is a very important part for the distributor. It is important for the distributor to do some research on what kind of hardware products do well in each hardware store, which can be dependent on where they are located. If a product does well in one independent hardware store the likeliness the distributor will put it in other stores is high. In independent hardware stores and independent stores in general it is all about shelf space and what sells well will claim that shelf space. Products that do not, will be given less space or no space in order to move in a new product that sells well.
Independent hardware stores look for products that are innovative and will set them apart from competitors. So, new products have a better chance of making it into an independent hardware store vs. a big box retailer. An independent hardware store will have a stronger personal relationship and knowledge with products compared to big box stores as well. This is beneficial to everyone involved because having knowledge about the product in stores will improve sales.
In order to get a product into an independent hardware market contacting the correct distributor is the first step. The next step would be sending samples and other pertinent information to that distributor if requested. They like to see proof of sales and selling points of that product. Communicating about price points and minimum order quantities is very important. If the distributor likes the product and thinks it would be a good fit for their route they will purchase the product.
If the product does well in stores, the distributor will continually order more. Proof of sales will bring more orders and getting in contact with other distributors in other parts of the country is the next step. A product with proven sales in a few independent hardware stores will make its way to independent hardware stores all across the nation through different distribution channels. Establishing and building relationships with distributors is the best way to get products into independent hardware stores.