How to Distribute to Memphis
Memphis is a city along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. With a 2020 population of 647,374, it is the 2nd largest city in Tennessee (after Nashville) and the 28th largest city in the United States. Memphis is currently declining at -0.25% annually, but its population has increased by 0.07% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 646,889 in 2010. Spanning over 326 miles, Memphis has a population density of 2,040 people per square mile.
Memphis is a regional center for commerce, education, media, art, and entertainment. And as such, it draws a large crowd for its events. One of which is the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which attracts over 100,000 visitors to the city annually.
The crime rate in Memphis is quite high, and it’s almost unsurprising that the average income and poverty rate are not very attractive. The average household income in Memphis is $59,730, with a poverty rate of 26.81%.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of potentials for sales in the country. A lot of products rake in millions of dollars in sales daily in the city. It may not be the perfect market for upscale items, but many commodities gather many sales.
A manufacturer could get products into Memphis directly to the retailers. She could also go indirectly by using distributors. These methods will be discussed when looking at the areas within Memphis.
To fully understand how to distribute to Memphis, it will help to look at how the distribution of products can work in the areas within Memphis.
Distributing to Downtown Memphis
Downtown comprises Central Business District, Edge District, Harbor Town, Linden, Medical District, Pinch District, South Forum, South Main Arts District, Speedway Terrace, Uptown/Greenlaw, Victorian Village, Warehouse District, and Winchester Park.
Looking at the large areas to cover, a manufacturer may decide to work with retailers in the area. This is the direct method of distribution in which the manufacturer gets the products directly to the retailer. To get to retailers, the manufacturer can work within retail associations.
Retail associations present the opportunity to meet with retailers within a particular geographical area and work out the possibilities of getting products into their stores. Some of these retail associations are industry-based. But the overall advantage is that you can target those in a particular area.
Some of the retail associations in Memphis are Beale Street Merchants Associations, Tennessee Retail Association, Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Stores Association, and Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association.
Distributing to Midtown
Midtown comprises areas such as Annesdale, Belleair, Central Gardens, Chickasaw Gardens, Cooper-Young, Crosstown, Evergreen, Hein Park, Idlewild, Lea’s Woods, Lenox, Rozelle, Tucker-Jefferson, and Vollintine-Evergreen.
A manufacturer may use distributors to penetrate Midtown. Distributors take the stress off the neck of the manufacturer. They ensure that the products get to stores in the designated areas.
As with every city, experienced distributors would have mapped out the distribution networks and know which products fit and where to put each item. Thus, a new manufacturer just entering the Memphis market may want to work with them.
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.
Distributing to South Memphis
South Memphis comprises areas such as Alcy-Ball, Barton Heights, Boxtown, Bunker Hill, Coro Lake, Diamond Estates, Dixie Heights, Dukestown, Elliston Heights, Emerald Estates, French Fort, Gaslight Square, Handy Holiday, Indian Hills, Lakeview Gardens, Lauderdale Sub, Longview, Mallory Heights, Nehemiah, Pine Hill, Prospect Park, Riverside, Ruby Estates, Southern Heights, Soulsville, Walker Homes, West Junction, Westwood, Whitehaven, and Wilbert Heights.
The manufacturer can employ any of the distribution methods to sell in this city. It must be noted that there is no perfect distribution method, and a lot of factors determine which distribution method would bring the highest ROI on a particular product. It could even be the full control of the entire distribution.
For instance, Tesla decided to take full control of the entire distribution system – down to sales and servicing. And this has proven to be highly helpful and profitable for the company. They can follow the quality of customer experience, get reviews, easily install updates, and keep track of other essentials. Many manufacturers cannot get these. All the data get lost in the distribution chain.
Things to Note When Distributing to Memphis
There are a lot of communities and neighborhoods in Memphis – this makes it a large market. Moreover, it is the 28th largest city in the United States. This means the competition is bigger than normal. You should look for ways to distinguish your brand from others. This will be your unique selling point.
This is as essential as the product itself. Marketing accounts for 80% of a business’ success. Without a good marketing strategy, it may be hard to successfully infiltrate a market such as that in Memphis. Both the internet and mass media should be employed in pushing the brand message to prospects.
Tourism brings millions of dollars into the city annually. This means that you should find a way to target the tourism market. You can find a way to align your offers with the interests of the visitors to the city.