Ring Up Retail Sales
Opportunities flourish in local retail establishments for a variety of products
WHEN DISTRIBUTORS think of lucrative vertical markets, retailers are rarely the first to pop into their minds. Retail is often overlooked, even as it remains right under the proverbial nose of the distributor sniffing out new opportunities. Although consolidation has squeezed the middle out of the market, niches still abound for the perceptive distributor.
"We produce a lot of retail signage," said Doug Marecek, sales manager for manufacturer Integrated Print & Graphics (IPG), South Elgin, Ill. One product that IPG sells, Teslin paper, which is "almost like plastic" and very durable, is produced in a variety of sizes and perforated so end-users can utilize it in multiple situations. Orders typically include preprinted logos customized by the end-user with a laser printer for use on a shelf or rack.
"For instance, a hardware store may want a sign for a sale on lawn seed," Marecek said. "Customers love it because they don't have to go to the sign store every time they want a sale sign printed up, and they can use it outdoors where they have sod, plants, mulch, etc."
Nancy Mantell, a distributor at Centurion, Buffalo Grove, Ill., agreed that retailers like the flexibility, but sometimes, they will ask for preprinted stock instead of blank sign stock. The sign stock is printed in an 8-1⁄2x11˝ format, either 1- 2- or 4-up to both fit indoor sign holders and be stapled to skids of products that are placed outside, such as ice melt.
Similarly, IPG will imprint a car dealer's company name on products preprinted with Chevrolet, Honda, Ford, etc. "We do that for continuous forms, unit sets and tags so it will say Bob's Chevy, for instance, instead of just Chevy," Marecek said.
Centurion also sells a pocket-sized receipt pad that can be hung up or placed on a shelf. Shoppers use the forms to fill in the SKU and price of a desired item, and then take the form to the cashier for payment and pickup. It's ideal for hardware, electronics and garden centers.