How To Get Into LOWES FOOD
North Carolina is very famous for various reasons. Starting from the fact that it is the 9thmost populous state in America, and is usually referred to as the “first in flight” to commemorate the 1903 incidence when the Wright Brothers had their first successful flight at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. It is also the home of two of the most popular soft drinks in America: Cheer wine and Pepsi-Cola- (the famous Cheer wine and the extremely famous Pepsi-Cola all from the Same state). But what attracts the world most to North Carolina are the beautiful beaches, the ancient mansions of Biltmore and the food.
Right on top of the Restaurant food chain is Lowe’s Foods. Lowe’s Food is a supermarket chain based I Winston Salem, North Carolina. It started in the late 1900s in the rural areas on Virginia but has geared expansion to the metropolitan areas of both North and South Carolina. For Lowe’s Food it isn’t just about food it is about bringing quality service at the doorstep of the consumer.This must be the rationale behind the plethora of services which they offer. Ranging from Baking to Catering services down to some unique convenience-oriented services such as the Lowe’s Food to Go.
The Lowes Food to Go is a platform through which customers can shop online at lowesfoods.com, place their order, select a convenient pick up time and can go pick up their groceries at the Lowe’s Food to Go pickup lane at the store where an attendant would load the groceries in the customer’s car. It even gets more interesting because with the Quick Reorder feature, automatically remembers your purchase history thereby making shopping easier with time.
Lowes Foods is quickly expanding with activities and stores being opened in South Carolina and Virginia. Currently Lowes Foods has 64 stores in North Carolina, 12 in South Carolina and 1 in Virginia giving a total of 77 stores with $1.6billion in revenue in 2007 alone.
Just in case you are a retailer who would love to take advantage of the large customer base of Lowe’s Foods in its over 70 stores, today is your lucky day. Lowes Foods use the RangeMe platform to help buyers discover new products. RangeMe is a CPG online platform that connects Consumers with retailers.
How does it work? It is quite simple. If you are desirous of being a Lowes Food supplier, simply log on to lowesfoods.com, Click on the Prospective Supplier option (usually at the bottom of the page). Create a free RangeMe profile an upload your product information. Once that is done your product is directed to the right category buyer and you are ready to connect and do business as a Lowes foods supplier. However, if you already have a RangeMe account, you don’t need to create a new account. Simply Log in to your account and upload your product information.
Waste no more, take advantage of the convenience with which Lowes Food does business.
How to get your product into Lowes Food
- Understand you client: Before you spend a lot of time and money creating a product, you should know if anyone will want to buy it. Learn more about Market Research
- Learn if it’s protectable: Know if you can defend your product against cheap copies if it gets knocked off. Learn more about Copyright and Patent your product
- Test your product: Make sure that there’s a demand for your product and the customer understands what you are selling when it’s on the shelf and nobody is there to explain it. Learn more about Product Testing
- Perfect your pitch: Before you speak to decision makers, know your numbers, know your retailer and know your logistics in and out. Learn more about Pitching Your Product
- Don’t do it alone: If you haven’t been successful in retail before, a secret of success is that you can’t do it alone. Having great sales staff, customer support and marketing partners can take you from zero to success faster than if you tried on your own. Learn more about Retail Partnerships
Contact Lowes Food Buyer
Do not trust any “list” of buyers.
Typically retail buyers change either companies or positions every few years. This strategy helps retailers know that their buyers are not taking “kick-backs” and are selecting the very best product for the very best position each time.
Buyers are typically held to a very rigorous standard of sell-through volume that they must hit and because of this they are risk averse. Your job as a supplier or vendor is to convince them that the buyers going into the stores not only know about what you’re selling but are actively seeking the product in the store currently.
Sometimes easier said than done, however you must get on Lowes Food radar.
Call the Lowes Food corporate phone number and ask for the names of the buyer and assistant buyers in your category.
Always leave voicemail with whomever the dispatch will connect you.
Use that information to connect with them on LinkedIn, RangeMe and any other professional social platform.
Ask your representative at your trade bureau to connect you to the Lowes Food buyers as they will potentially have a better history.
Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Lowes Food buyer through 3rd party websites & industry media sources.
Be everywhere that they look, the key is to position your brand as the obvious choice when Lowes Food is looking to either refill a slot or create a new category.
Latch on to the news of the day and any trend that will make your product fill that niche whether that be Non-GMO or Vegan Leather for example.
Investing in your brand can only benefit your opportunities in the future. As being “top of mind” will have a ripple effect when you physically present your product at a Lowes Food buyers meeting or trade show in the future.
Lowes Food buyers typically got to their position by picking “winners” and know how to see through the fluff.
Focus on the numbers, know your bottom dollar during a negotiation and how fees and chargebacks may cut into your position.
Know that long term success may outweigh short term sales, however financing large purchase orders from Lowes Food when the net result is negative is not sustainable.
Understand the playing field and the other brands that are in your space, what they are offering as promotion and pricing and how you can stand out against them.
By knowing that each buyer at Lowes Food probably knows more than you do, take an active listening approach to sales and understand that no is a perfectly acceptable answer that may have saved you millions of dollars on the backend.
How to Submit a Product to Lowes Food
There are several ways to get a product placed in Lowes Food. However, most entrepreneurs only dream about getting their product distributed to major retailers, few actually do it. We have experienced a significant rise in interest since the show Shark Tank started airing on NBC. Mr. Checkout has had the pleasure of working with a few Shark Tank success stories such as KISStixx and 180 Party Cups which are now currently being distributed around the country to stores like Walmart, Target, Kroger, 7-Eleven and more.
If you envision your product would be a good fit for Lowes Food, we have a few steps to help you get your product on their shelves.
Here are the 6 steps you need to take to have your product placed in Lowes Food.
1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Lowes Food, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Do you need to build demand for your product, or is there already a demand for it? Do you know that Lowes Food would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Lowes Food, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Lowes Food, or do you want to license your product to a manufacturer that will handle distribution?
2. Be prepared to profit.) Does your product offer enough of a profit margin for Lowes Food? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Lowes Food guidelines for other fees that you will have to build into the cost of your product in order for you to be able to turn enough of a profit to make the effort worth your while. If you work with a discount retailer, they will try to strip your profits down to zero in order to keep their prices as low as possible.
The typical breakdown of margins are: If a products costs $1 to produce, that product will retail for $4. That product that retails for $4 will wholesale for $2 to distributors and stores that purchase direct. Big box retailers like Lowes Food may offer to pay $1.25 to the manufacturer if the product costs $1 to produce. That is the typical profit margin.
3. Determine if Lowes Food is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Lowes Food starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Lowes Food already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Lowes Food to see what kind of products they are selling, speak to the manager and see if he thinks your product will sell well in their store. Picture in which zone your product would best fit on the shelf and keep in mind that the most precious asset that these big box stores value are their shelf space. Keep this information in mind when you are preparing your presentation to Lowes Food.
If your company is minority or women owned, check Lowes Food website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.
4. Pitch your product to Lowes Food.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Lowes Food. Your presentation depends heavily on your strengths as a businessperson as they will most likely ask financial questions and logistics questions.
It’s common for companies to hire a broker to pitch their product to Lowes Food, as it will be more likely that your product will make it to the next stage if the individual pitching your product has industry knowledge or a personal relationship with Lowes Food. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Lowes Food.
We at Mr. Checkout have experience dealing with brokers and know that there are several retail brokers that have poor business practices that can potentially damage your brand. If you are seeking a legitimate Lowes Food broker, please give us a call for a recommendation. It could save you a huge headache and a lot of money.
5. Complete the required Lowes Food paperwork.) Often Lowes Food will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Lowes Food, you should contact a buyer at Lowes Food and let them know your intentions. Having a contact inside of the company will potentially move your application more smoothly through the process.
6. Anticipate the need for increased volume.) Having Lowes Food agree to stock your product will most likely mean a significant increase in volume. You should be prepared to ramp up your production and informing your manufacturer of this opportunity.
Having production, logistics and distribution to sync is not only difficult, it requires a significant amount of time invested in customer relations. Also, Lowes Food may have stipulations in the contract that may penalize you for delays in shipping and production. Have an attorney explain all contracts to you if you don’t understand the terms.
If you’re looking to sell your product to Lowes Food, be sure to thoroughly assess the marketplace, carefully prepare for production growth, and take full advantage of resources available to help you grow your business.
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