Rob Horricks shares top tips for getting into a retail space

By ATB Financial 20 March 2019 2 min read

Hey there, entrepreneur! You know you have an amazing product, we know you have an amazing product. So what’s next? Choosing where to sell this genius concept of yours is an important decision, one that can seem a little daunting. And getting your products onto the shelves of big name stores can seem even more unachievable. But trust us, it isn’t.

If you’re interested at getting your product into a retail space, you’re in luck. Rob Horricks—CEO of popular organic grocery store Blush Lane Organic Market and online grocer—gave us the inside scoop on the important things you need to know, and is giving you the chance to get your product onto Blush Lane’s shelves!


1. Create a finalized version of your product.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. So put in the work and come to the table with a polished product that’s been market tested and is ready for the shelf.


2. Realize that each retail location is unique and looking for different things.

Visiting their physical and digital locations will give you an idea of what’s important to them, what their values are and what types of products they stock. Once you have this information you can line it up against your company and products and see if there’s a fit.

For example at Blush Lane we look for:

  • Local products
  • Natural food
  • Unique dietary offerings (gluten free, for example)
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Trends in California & Australia


3. Work with a broker.

This is key. They can use their connections to get in and show the retailer multiple new products at once, which is much more efficient. A broker’s job is to know the market and the people, so they’ll use their contact list to get you in front of different buyers. They’ll also know what’s on trend and where there are gaps in stores to fill.

They help make sure that you have budget for advertising, free fills, demos, etc. If they successfully get you listed somewhere, then they’d manage your retailer-vendor relationship.


4. Give yourself a high-five and promote!

Once you get in a store and on the shelves, that’s a huge success. It’s significantly harder to get listed then get delisted since people aren’t analyzing it all the time‚—especially if it’s a local product.

Once you’re on the shelves you have some time to get your product moving, so make the most of it by promoting that you’re there on social media, and even attracting the attention of media outlets by playing the “local business” card. It’s also a good idea to come into the store to meet your potential customers and give out samples if possible. People like to try before they buy! So “wow” the customers, make sales, and then you’ll “wow” the retailer.


Bonus tips:

Be prepared that you’ll have to give some free product to test in the store and see if it moves. Once retailers see movement, they’ll order, but we want to make sure that our customers like it before we place an order.

You’ll also want to make sure that your business is well set up, as you’ll need enough cash flow to sustain you while your product is tested in the store, enough stock for the first order if all goes well, and a good invoicing system to hold it all together.

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