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Retailers are always on the lookout for exciting new brands to stock, and there is no better feeling than nabbing a hot brand for your store. With tradeshow season approaching again we asked successful retailers how they went about discovering new product, and the results might surprise you.

  1. Tradeshows! The most obvious of all the ways to find new brands is to attend tradeshows. At a tradeshow, retailers are able to meet and connect with a brands designer, touch and feel products, browse the upcoming range and place an order on the spot. Conversely, tradeshows are expensive they cost retailers in time and money. Flights, accommodation, transport, time away from your store, are all factors that a savvy retailer takes into consideration. Also, many brands are now avoiding trade shows for much the same reason. The benefits of attending are often outweighed by the cost. Which could mean the unicorn brand you were hoping to discover isn’t even at the tradeshow.

  2. The Pop-In – Some times a designer or brand will simply pop into your shop. This can be a great way to get your very own mini tradeshow, where you can touch and feel the products, get to know the designer/brand and if they are the right fit for your store, and see the latest wholesale catalog. The pop in however isn’t always super convenient for retailers. If a brand rep arrives at an unscheduled time, with an arm full of samples you can almost guarantee that 5 new customers will walk in the door. The pop-in can also be a little awkward, what if the brand just isn’t for you? Unlike a trade show, you can’t politely walk past the brands that don’t fit your store because they are IN YOUR STORE! (Brands take note! MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!)

  3. The Email Catalog – Lots of brands love to email retailers their wholesale catalog. Retailers enjoy being able to peruse the catalog at their leisure if they DO in fact remember to read the email. The cons with email catalogs are that it often gets swallowed up in the hundreds of other emails that bombard retailers every day. It can also be very hit and miss as to whether or not a brand will fit your store style, ethos, or aesthetic. And if you’ve received a ‘cold’ email, there is a good chance every other store in your area or niche could have gotten the same email, so you aren’t exactly nabbing a hidden gem.

  4. Visit other retail stores – Many retailers go on recon missions to other stores. This helps spark inspiration on how to merchandise, what is popular in the market right now and what brands are selling well. It can be a hindrance if you’re simply copying what’s popular in the market and not curating a store that reflects you and your unique taste and style. It can also lead to oversaturation in the market of popular products, which overall brings every store down.

  5. Online/Apps – By far the most popular way for retailers to discover new brands was online using apps like Instagram. Instagram is a convenient and visual way for retailers to search out new products. It’s free and you can search any time of the day or night. There are a few cons to using Instagram. It can be hard to know from a brands feed if they offer wholesale, and it is rare that a brand would be showcasing their upcoming wholesale catalog on Instagram as it is direct to the public platform. Plus if you don’t get hashtags or how to search Instagram, you only ever get to see the brands that you already follow.  If you do find a brand that you want to stock, getting in contact can be an issue. DM’s get missed or lost, and finding a brands email can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

We know that retailers want an easy, low cost, high value, online, way to discover new brands and connect with ones that they love. They want a direct connection to wholesale ONLY brands who are ready to be stocked in their stores. That’s why we created Indirectory. All the beauty and curation of Instagram, combined with the discovery of a dating app Indirectory was created by the wholesale industry for the wholesale industry.
With your free profile retailers can curate the types of bands that they see in their discovery, play around with different categories and markets to see new brands you may never have found before. Simply swipe right on brands you love and want to hear more from. Then connect via our messaging system and stay in the loop as brands drop their upcoming wholesale catalogs. 

Sound like something you’re interested in? Join us on Indirectory here.