How would I get my product into Petroleum Marketing Group Inc.—E&C Enterprises QuickChek Corp.?
PMG are a fuel and convenience store retailer that were established in 2001 and who operate in the mid-Atlantic region of America. At more than 1,650 locations they stand as one of the biggest convenience store retailers in the business. Their stores are scattered from Maine to Florida, giving them some of the widest reach in the industry. One can only imagine that the logistics department attached to this firm really has its hands full!
PMG are committed to their customers – but today they have branched out into something a little different. As the head of a franchise, they now offer consultations and advice on how to grow your own branch. While they are a business that has their customers to thank for their continued success; the business is now more focused towards supporting and attracting new franchise members than it is towards customers. That being said, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to suggestions . In fact, although they have no online vendor application form, they do categorically state that, in their commitment to keeping prices down and people happy, they are actively seeking new suppliers all the time – and even encourage you to get in touch with whatever it is that you sell. Instead of an online form you need to apply via the contact page… a shame for a company who is so big.
You can find both fuel and food at their convenience stores, though they have all the main fuel brands covered that doesn’t mean to say that they would outright dismiss any fuel products you produce – particularly if they are more efficient or less costly. They will also buy the usual snack food in pre-packaged format, or fresh food that can be cooked on site. They are always on the lookout for ways to undercut their existing suppliers and – better still – because there are so many stores they can’t possibly use just one supplier as some stores do… their product line is just too vast. Take advantage of it, watch the news and pay attention. Go to their stores and ask what they are short of, or what products ar3e unreliable. This is the best way to get their attention and to start selling your products via their stores – all 1,300 of them!
If you want to sell your products with PMG then here are a few guidelines for you to bear in mind:
- You must make sure you have full public liability insurance before you submit your product.
- You should visit their stores and find out what they lack in/who their disappointing suppliers are.
- You can compare your product with things they already sell and be honest with yourself – is it better or could you improve upon it?
- All foodstuffs must meet FDA approval. They will test for it so don’t skip this step.
- You can only approach them as a member of a registered business.
- Choose a product that they struggle to keep up with demand for.
- Make sure you are in possession of all the required paperwork.
- You must have the legal right to production.
If you would like to contact PMG to advertise your product to them, you can do so here.
How to get your product into Petroleum Marketing Group
- 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group radar.
Call the Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group buyers as they will potentially have a better history.
Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group buyers meeting or trade show in the future.
Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group
There are several ways to get a product placed in Petroleum Marketing Group. 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 Petroleum Marketing Group, 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 Petroleum Marketing Group.
1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Petroleum Marketing Group, 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 Petroleum Marketing Group would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Petroleum Marketing Group, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Petroleum Marketing Group, 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 Petroleum Marketing Group? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Petroleum Marketing Group starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Petroleum Marketing Group already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group.
If your company is minority or women owned, check Petroleum Marketing Group website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.
4. Pitch your product to Petroleum Marketing Group.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Petroleum Marketing Group. 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 Petroleum Marketing Group, 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 Petroleum Marketing Group. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Petroleum Marketing Group.
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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group paperwork.) Often Petroleum Marketing Group will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Petroleum Marketing Group, you should contact a buyer at Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group 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, Petroleum Marketing Group 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 Petroleum Marketing Group, 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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