How to Distribute to Houston
Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States. Houston is a city located in Texas. With a 2020 population of 2,340,890, it is the largest city in Texas and the 4th largest city in the United States. Houston is currently growing at a rate of 0.33% annually, and its population has increased by 11.50% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 2,099,450 in 2010. Spanning over 672 miles, Houston has a population density of 3,657 people per square mile.
This makes it one of the biggest and largest consumer markets in the United States. Due to low energy and housing costs, Houston is one of the United States cities that attracts more immigrants.
The flow of money in Houston is also not discouraging. The average household income in Houston is $81,995, with a poverty rate of 20.57%. This means that the retail market still has a lot to draw from the city regarding sales.
Distributing to a big city like Houston comes with its challenges. These can be numerous. When you consider that a lot of manufacturing goes on in Houston, you may be up against some tight competition. However, competition is an inevitable feature of a free market system.
To get products distributed into Houston, it will help to consider how to enter the areas within Houston.
Distributing to Greater Houston
Greater Houston is the fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States, encompassing nine counties along the Gulf Coast in Southeast Texas. With a population of 6,997,384 people as of 2018 census estimates and over 7 million in 2019, Greater Houston is the second-most populous area in Texas after the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
This makes the area one very suitable for trade. The large population makes it a perfect market for a lot of products. When introducing a product to a large area such as Greater Houston, it is smart to network within retailers associations. These are where you find most of the retailers in the area.
Unlike many areas, Greater Houston has its retailers association – The Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association (GHRA). This is not the only one operating in the area. There is also the Texas Retailers Association and the Texas branch of the National Retail Federation.
Through the associations, a manufacturer who is new to the area can network with retailers and make secure several distribution deals through this one-on-one approach. This will involve a lot of networking, however. And the market has to be aware of the products already.
But as a good side to this, with this direct approach, the middleman is cut out, which means better pricing and more profitability.
Distributing to Houston Heights
Houston Heights, also known as The Heights, is a community in northwest-central Houston, Texas. Houston Heights is fairly populated, with about 60,000 people. The area is still great for trade. However, it is important to study the laws of the area. Before 2017, alcoholic beverages could not be sold in any part 0f Houston Heights. Thankfully, the law was revoked.
Houston Heights does not have its indigenous retail associations. Thus, retailers here still fall under the retailers’ associations in Houston – the Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Texas Retailers Association, and the Texas branch of the National Retail Federation. A new manufacturer can network within these associations to get distribution deals with retailers directly.
Using a distributor can do a lot of good for a new product about to be introduced to Houston Heights. With about 60,000 people, it is still a sizable community for commodities and other products.
Distributing to The Woodlands
The Woodlands is in Montgomery County and is one of the best places to live in Texas. Living in The Woodlands offers residents a dense suburban feel, and most residents own their homes. In The Woodlands, there are a lot of restaurants and parks. Many families live in The Woodlands, and residents tend to lean conservative.
The Woodlands has a 2020 population of 109,843. The Woodlands’ population is currently facing no decline as its population has increased by 17.04% since the most recent census, which recorded 93,847 in 2010.
The economy in the area is good and attractive for trade. The average household income in The Woodlands is $167,144, with a poverty rate of 3.98%. This makes it welcoming to a large variety of products.
As with most areas, The Woodlands has no indigenous retailers’ associations. Manufacturers and distributors can, however, network through the Texas Retailers Association and the Texas branch of the National Retail Federation.
Distributors have also proven effective. They understand the patterns in the areas. It is beneficial to work with them. And this will be a lot helpful if the product is a new one.
What to Note When Distributing to Houston
Large Area: Variation in Laws
Houston is large. It is one of the largest cities in the United States. However, the same laws don’t apply everywhere. For instance, when it comes to alcohol, some areas are dry. You could be punished for possessing alcohol. So, it is crucial to understand the laws that apply in each community.
A lot of manufacturing goes on in Texas. Thus, some products may get to the market cheaper than those coming from other states. Thus, it is important to conduct market surveys to understand how things go.
Marketing accounts for 80% of a business’ success. Without a good marketing strategy, it may be hard to successfully infiltrate a market such as Houston. Both the internet and mass media should be employed in pushing the brand message to prospects.