How to Distribute to Baltimore
Baltimore is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland. With a 2020 population of 590,479, it is the largest city in Maryland and the 30th largest city in the United States. Baltimore is currently declining at -1.01% annually, and its population has decreased by -4.91% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 620,961 in 2010. Spanning over 92 miles, Baltimore has a population density of 7,295 people per square mile.
The cost of living in Baltimore is 15% above the national average, and this is due to the high cost of rent – which is 47% above the national average. However, there is still some form of relative prosperity in the area. The average household income in Baltimore is $71,259, with a poverty rate of 21.76%.
Distribution to Baltimore can be done through distributors. It can also be done directly by networking with retailers. A third option is to take control of the entire distribution system. These will be discussed below.
To fully understand how to distribute products to Baltimore, it will help to look at the areas within the city and assess how one can distribute effectively.
Distributing to Central Baltimore
This is the city’s main commercial area and business district; it includes Baltimore’s sports complexes: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium, and the Royal Farms Arena; and the shops and attractions in the Inner Harbor: Harborplace, the Baltimore Convention Center, the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Pier Six Pavilion, and Power Plant Live.
It is less residential and more of a commercial area. It also has a lot of retail centers. To get products into this area, it may help to work with a distributor.
Distributors take the stress off manufacturers. They have the resources and expertise to enter remote areas manufacturers can’t. With this, the manufacturer does not have to worry about inventory and logistics. Those become major points of concern for the distributor. And the distributor ensures that all these are catered for.
Manufacturers focus on product development while distributors focus on distribution networks. They understand well enough to know which area is most fitting for certain types of products. As an advantage, distributors forge long-term relationships with retailers. This makes it easy to introduce new products and follow up sales. With these data, they know which products and brands sell better in a particular area. Thus, they can concentrate effort and resources in the right places.
It is important to note that an experienced and established distributor is needed for the job – especially if the product is new to Baltimore.
Distributing to North Baltimore
North Baltimore lies directly north of Central Baltimore and is bounded on the east by The Alameda and on the west by Pimlico Road. Loyola University Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, St. Mary’s Seminary and University and Notre Dame of Maryland University are located in this district. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute high school for mathematics, science, and engineering, and adjacent Western High School, the oldest remaining public girls secondary school in America, share a joint campus at West Cold Spring Lane and Falls Road.
This is an area that draws a lot of attention and gets a lot of visits. To distribute this community, it may help to work directly with the retailers in the area. To do this, the manufacturer can network within retailers’ associations.
Retail associations have retailers as members. The advantage of these associations is that they are mostly geographically-based. Thus, if you’re looking for hardware stores in Baltimore, you can easily narrow your search to retail associations in the city. More, there are niche-retail associations. These are based on products. Thus, you may end up finding a hardware retailers’ association in the city.
Some of the retail associations within the city include Maryland Retailers Association, Hampden Village Merchants Association, and the Maryland branch of the National Retail Federation.
Distributing Products to South Baltimore
South Baltimore is a mixed industrial and residential area. It is a culturally, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse waterfront area with neighborhoods such as Locust Point and Riverside around a large park of the same name.
To distribute products to this area, any of the distribution methods discussed above is great. However, the manufacturer can decide to take total control of the entire distribution process.
Taking full control of the entire distribution process is when the manufacturer handles everything – down to retail. This means that the retailer has her stores and shopping centers. This will take a lot of resources, time, and effort.
This method is highly beneficial as it brings the manufacturer closer to the consumer, and it helps the manufacturer know what the consumer wants. Tesla uses this method, and it has proven highly beneficial for the brand.
It must be noted that the distribution method to be employed depends on the type of product to be distributed and the resources available.
Things to Note When Distributing to Baltimore
The market in Baltimore is quite large, with areas and neighborhoods stretching very wide. And as expected, competition is a thing a manufacturer will have to deal with in a large area like this. It will help to set a brand apart by focusing on the unique selling point. This will help it build a sustainable brand following.
The benefit of this cannot be overstated. It is what gets your brand messages out to prospects. You should work to make your marketing well-targeted to your prospects. Being a diverse community of students, elderly people, and the middle class, you may want to do more research to learn what works for each group.