How to connect with new retailers

As a brand there are many ways to reach out to new retailers but most of them require a lot of effort, time and oftentimes even personal connections. Emerging brands struggle to get their name known and their collections in stores. Some opt for selling under their own brand name yet others seek a close relationship with a chain retailer.

For new and expanding brands, what are the ways to reach new retailers?

Connect with new retailers on trade shows

Meeting new retailers through a trade show is probably the oldest of all options. Grouped around mainly two periods throughout the year, exhibitors such as brands, retailers, distributors and agents gather in one place to do business. It’s the time of year to introduce new collections for brands and for retailers to stock their stores for the coming season.
In Europe the most famous trade shows are Fashion Week in Paris and Milan but other than general fashion trade shows you will find more specialized shows, grouping parties interested in a special segment of the fashion market. This month of January for example will be filled with shows in the children’s fashion segment: We will be present at Kleine Fabriek, a show for children’s brands in the Benelux market held in Amsterdam, Cookies Show for children’s lifestyle brands held in Berlin parallel to the Fashion week, at Pitti Bimbo in Florence, Italy and in the following week at Playtime, Paris and Bubble in London.

Connect with new retailers through agents

If you as the brand do not have the capacity and contacts to reach out to retailers one by one a good option is to call on the service of fashion agents. These agents, often specialized in segments like children’s fashion or organic textile, then establish the contact between you, the brand, and the retailer as middlemen. To find a good agent is hard and sometimes the collaboration is costly, both in money and in time, but once a good partner is found your brand will have an additional representative. You can find inspiration in other brands and look at how they are working in their distribution or how they chose their agents.
In the children’s fashion market in Europe for example we have seen almost one thousand different agents, trading brands from hundreds of different countries and working with retailers from all sizes, small corner store to big retail chains. Since there are so many different parties involved it because hard to keep an overview and to be sure that you have the same interest at heart.

Connect with new retailers through online platforms

A new emerging way to connect with retailers is to recur to online marketplaces or platform like FashionTrade. In a transparent way you can choose your retailers, find information about them like the different store locations, the size or even the brands on display. You can then directly contact them through the platform. The contact is made easily and the relationship is in your hand. There are no more middlemen that take additional commissions and time and the occasion to sell your collection is no more limited to two times a year. FashionTrade will be an invaluable accessory to your sales team, find out more here: FashionTrade for brands.

We think that this third form of establishing a contact to retailers is the future. As consumers we are already used to shop online 24/7 from any place in the world and access to various stores – Why should that be different for B2B? On FashionTrade we offer an accessible platform for brands and retailers to connect and do business easily: All around the year and all around the globe. Just like any other ecommerce store that you use as a end-consumer, you can thus offer your own collections and items on your store, reach out to your customers and once an order is made deliver when you have agreed on. Your retailers browse, shop and you deliver. Why not just give it a try and request for a demonstration?

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