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Selling products to Wal-Mart

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Fyi...If you have ever wondered how to sell to Wal-Mart here is a short story I put together to help you out. Hope it helps someone.

Bentonville is a really long way from anywhere. Here in the south, business is still done the good- ole- boy country way. Most buyers are male. They pretty much fall into three categories, with the most experienced likely to be in their early 40's making $75,000 or more a year. Even a beginning buyer, at age 27 making as little as $30,000 a year, has power...lot's of power! The typical buyer is a "Child of the Ozarks" meaning "a local boy" but they also very smart and tough. These kids control millions and millions of dollars in purchasing power. Pitch rooms in which these buyers have you in operate usually reserved for no more than 45 minutes to an hour, vendors presentations better be short and sweet. If you don't get to the point quickly, then your done. They say, 'Don't like, move on. Don't like it move on'. So be very prepared when you go.

Why should they be expected to replace an established product having a proven track record for "zillions" of order cycles with a new product that has not been heard of before? In essence, what you are asking the buyer is to dilute that share of a proven and known value with an unproven and unknown value. New product failures are not how buyers keep their jobs.
Another consideration is the amount of open-to-buy the buyer has for his department. In other words, how many dollars does he have left in his budget to spend on product, whether new or old? Seasonal returns, advertising and sales promotions, departmental landed gross, interest on inventory purchased, and markdowns both current and year-to-date all play a factor in determining the amount of available open-to-buy the buyer has to spend.
Seasonal buying for an event during the forthcoming year begins during the same event in the current year, and perhaps as much as 40% of the buyer's annual budget is spent during the months following that season as it leads to the next. Juggling those dollars is a very complicated and formulated process!
Figure in the average turns per year, gross markup at retail versus landed gross, net profit budgeted versus actual profit due to markdowns, and a virtual plethora of other factors complicate the matter. Then figure how may square feet and the dollars per square feet (sometimes even dollars per square inch!) each known product will bring in to conform to a certain shelf profile or gondola modular layout that will maximize and enhance his department's sales in order to come in at or over budget in all of the above except inventory, and one can begin to readily see why a buyer may not really be interested in new products.
So again, your presentation and salesmanship better be good. If not hire someone!

Topic starter Posted : 19/02/2015 3:13 pm
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Re: Selling products to Wal-Mart

Thanks for sharing your information, it is really informative and helpful for those who are looking to start a business with the help of Wal-mart.

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Posted : 04/04/2015 5:22 am