Wholesale Distributors Finding a New Retail Market on the Internet
Article by Aldene Fredenburg
Companies that traditionally wholesale their goods to commercial markets are finding a niche in retail sales, selling their wares to individuals over the Internet. Sales of goods ranging from designer jewelry to gourmet coffees are perfect for the Internet. Items that might not be able to support a brick and mortar store, with its need for regular hours, an ever-present sales staff, and lots of inventory, can easily be operated as a sideline by a wholesaler. Software that creates a retail website with online credit and debit card capability is easily accessible and not that expensive; predesigned templates make it easy to give the website a unique and professional look.
One jewelry wholesaler lives in rural New Hampshire and wholesales her jewelry to customers all over the Eastern Seaboard. She recently decided to start a website retailing selected pieces of her jewelry to individual customers via the Internet, and is pleased with the results. “I find that I am enjoying the creative process,” she said. “It’s fun to see what pieces will really sell and what won’t. And I’m finding that items that sell well on the Internet are often successful if I feature them to my wholesale customers.”
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont is primarily a wholesaler distributing gourmet coffees to supermarkets and convenience stores in the region. Their convenience store clients make up urns of several of their blends for sale by the cup to their own customers; the supermarkets offer the beans and ground coffees as well. Their unique blends and the availability of some organically grown coffees make them a popular product over a wide range of retail markets.
And they have their own presence on the Internet. Individuals can buy any of their blends by the bag, or in prepackaged K-cup portions that promise a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Also available, and especially popular for birthday, anniversary, or holiday gifts, are an elegant selection of samplers, gift baskets, and fine coffeemaking accessories.
The Internet has opened up a whole new set of options for wholesalers and let them into a consumer market that they might not have considered otherwise. For many wholesalers, the Internet has literally allowed regional companies to go global.
About the Author
Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, http://beyondagendas.blogspot.com.