Author Archive

How a Rep Can Help a Retailer

June 14, 2012

It’s sometimes funny how, even though I work for a gift vendor in the gift industry, I still can’t avoid shopping for birthday gifts at the last minute.

Recently, I visited a favorite retailer of mine to get a last-minute gift when I literally tripped over a local sales rep. She was down on the floor with product spread all over as she was straightening out a display and helping the retailer check inventory for a reorder.

“Hi there,” she said to me. “What are you looking for? I’m actually a sales rep here, but maybe I can help you.

Retail StoreWow! Sometimes it takes literally tripping over them to realize just how much reps can do for retailers.

But I’ll save you the “trip” and share 5 of the ways that reps can help retailers on a regular basis:

1.)  Inventory Management: A sales rep’s success depends on your success, so it’s in their best interest to make sure you’re stocking the items that will sell. When you sell out of an item it’s hard to remember to reorder it – it’s out of sight out of mind. What product has become a top seller? What haven’t you even tried yet?  Take advantage of your rep’s expertise – ask them to help you identify what is missing from your product offering and what items you should add to your next reorder.

2.)  Customer Service: On a busy retail day, your sales rep is always an extra greeter for your customers. They also have a lot of product knowledge they can share with you and your customer.

3.)  Display/Merchandising: Reps have learned some great tricks from other retailers when it comes to displays. They know how to catch a customer’s attention. Next time you’re planning to update a window or product display, reach out to your local reps and pick their brains for creative ideas.

4.)  Trending up or trending down?  Sales reps can help be your eyes and ears to the retail world outside your doors.  They can help you identify which items are “hot” and which are NOT. Ask for their thoughts!

5.)  Specials? Sales? What’s New?  Always ask your reps about specials that are going on or that may be coming up. They’re a great resource for this information and can offer suggestions when your next buying season rolls around.

If you’re a retailer, your reps can be an invaluable resource. Don’t hesitate to contact them and ask for help next time you need it.

How do you feel a rep can best support you as a retailer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Get the Most Out of Early Buy

May 24, 2012

For Magnet Works retailers, it’s time to take advantage of our best promotion of the year – our Early Buy program. These are the biggest benefits of Early Buy:

  • $500+ order – Net 45 and free freight*
  • $1,500+ order – Net 60 and free freight*
  • $3,000+ order – Net 90 and free freight*
Full, but not over-stuffed display

A full, but not over-stuffed display is much easier for customers to shop.

But there are more ways to get a better return on your Early Buy investment, without necessarily spending more money!

1.) Break It Down into Multiple Shipments The amount of extended dating you qualify for is determined by the combined total of your Early Buy orders. That means you can break your Early Buy into multiple shipments! For example, you can write two $250 orders instead of one $500 order and still get Net 45 dating and FREE freight. This approach will keep new product arriving in intervals, instead of all at once. Your fixtures will stay full, rather than over-stuffed. And it will improve your cash flow because you have the potential to sell through your first batch of product before the next invoice comes due.

2.) Sync Your Shipments with the Seasons If properly planned, each of your shipments can help transition your store and your customers through the seasons. For example, you could start with a shipment of fall leaves and florals. Then follow that up with a Halloween shipment, and next, Thanksgiving. Then you could start bringing in Christmas designs and eventually birds and snowmen to finish out the winter. By taking the time now to plan out your inventory and purchases, you not only save money, but you free yourself up to focus on sales, marketing, and displays when the seasons arrive.

3.) Stock Up on Heavy Stuff Each Early Buy promo level includes FREE freight, so this is the best time to stock up on those heavier items like garden stakes, flag poles, yard stakes, and ornamental posts. I recommend that you add them to your first order AND to your last order, so you can maximize the savings without sacrificing too much storage space.

4.) Back Up the Hot Items If you love an item on our best sellers list, chances are it’s going to be a great seller for you. So back it up by adding it to your second or third Early Buy order as well, not just your first.

5.) Contact Your Local Sales Rep Not only will reps help you identify best sellers by design and category, but they come to your store armed with tons of helpful experience and resources. They can help you flesh out your Early Buy inventory plan or develop a sales and marketing strategy. As our reps would say, you can’t NOT do this! If ordering for Fall/Holiday will be on your To Do list eventually, it makes good business sense to order early and take advantage of all the great benefits.

Retailers, what did I leave out? What would you suggest to a retailer new to our Early Buy program? How do you break up your shipments? Please share your thoughts in a comment below and feel free to ask questions.


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