Which large US retailers leave the franchisee or store manager the possibility to list new products for the store they're in charge of?

In other words, which retailers can you approach store by store first as opposed to having to go through the buyer at the corporate office? (Big box, convenience, supermarkets, sporting goods, pharmacies, gas stations...)


Without knowing exactly what your product is, the quick answer is "it depends."
Many regional and national retailers do allow for some portion of local discretion in their product mix, but they handle it in different ways. Some have local buyers, some have regional buyers and yes, some have you go through HQ-based buyers.
If you're just starting down this path, work the stores in your surrounding area:
* Walk the aisles to get a sense for whether they carry local items and how they display them
* Talk to the store manager to discuss how such relationships work
* If possible, talk to some consumers to gauge their interest in alternative products ("Excuse me, I notice you're buying X, do you try others?")
If you already have some traction in local stores, have a fresh conversation with the buyer you've connected with to determine how they handle other markets or the region. If they know and like you and your product they may be willing to make introductions.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.

Answered 5 years ago

Are you looking to connect specifically with franchises that have individual buying power? I found a lot of franchise locations would order my product whether or not they were allowed which I didn’t realize at the time. But then I formed relationships with those franchises and got in with them. Let’s chat more about this!

Answered 5 years ago

Here are some large US retailers that allow individual store managers or franchisees some autonomy in deciding which new products to carry in their specific store:

Walmart: Store managers have discretionary budgets to purchase new local and regional products, especially groceries and consumables. You need to get manager buy-in first before approaching corporate.

CVS: Individual store managers can request to carry new products, especially in beauty, snacks, and drinks. Test new items first at store level before a wider rollout.

7-Eleven: Franchisees have independence in selecting products within their categories (snacks, drinks, and food) to meet local demands. Meet with the store manager.

Ace Hardware: Individual independently owned stores under the Ace brand can choose to add new products that fit their market. Pitch to store owners.

Rite Aid: Store managers can propose new items, especially for limited test runs in categories like grocery. Meet them first.

AutoZone: Franchisees pick products for their specific automotive and maintenance needs. Approach the local store manager.

Family Dollar: Individual store managers have some say over select product assortments, often local or seasonal items. Meet them directly.

Sherwin-Williams Independent dealers that own Sherwin-Williams paint stores can choose to carry new paints, supplies, and tools. Meet dealer-owners first.

The key is working directly with individual store managers as a first step at these larger retailers rather than going straight to corporate buyers.

Answered 5 months ago

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