Selling to mass merchants

Many of the large chains such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Office Depot and many others, have standardized the manner in which potential new vendors submit new products for review. I don’t want to depress anyone before even getting started but in the overwhelming majority of cases, a rejection letter will arrive so fast that you’ll think they sent it out before even looking at your proposal. We recently presented a really great product to Walgreens. This product has a solid track record of sales in other large chains, is strong financially and is really very innovative, but the Walgreens team flat out rejected it and wasn’t interested. However, when went another route through a regional office–they just loved it and set the company up as a new vendor right away. The product will be hitting the shelves in about 200 Walgreens stores later this month. Usually, there are lots of different ways in which one can get a product listed with the major chains so if you get rejected the first time but really believe in the potential of your product, don’t get discouraged and look for other ways to get past the gatekeepers.