Stationery Business: Research Tips for Finding New Wholesale Accounts
GETTING YOUR GOODS INTO MORE STORES
If you want to grow your company, it's imperative that you take the initiative. Find shops you'd like to be carried in and reach out to them. Make sure you only contact those shops that would be a good match. Try to find interior shots of the store. What other lines do they carry?
Here are some of the ways we find new shops...
Our favorite way to research is by traveling. We've never taken a trip for this purpose alone (although we would love to!) but whenever we are traveling, we make sure and set aside some time to check out new shops.
Find the cool shopping areas and take notes of the shops that would match your aesthetic. Follow up your visit with a letter and some samples. Try to remember one or two details about your visit to include in your letter. Send the samples that would interest them the most.
So many great stores have huge social media accounts. See which stores are following those accounts. Which stores does your favorite rep follow on IG? Who’s following the “National Stationery Show” account?
Not the best for higher end retail research, but can give you some ideas on general gift and stationery stores.
BLOGS & WEBSITES
“City Guides” on blogs can be a great resource. Design Sponge, Trotter Mag, This is Glamorous, The Glitter Guide, NY Times travel section, etc...
Of course. Check out the “stockist” page on other companies sites. Try to look at complementary (non-stationery) products stockist pages as well. (A company that makes jewelry or bags, for example.) The stores that stock those products may not receive as many cold calls from stationery companies.
Best of luck growing your list of wholesale stockists! For more in depth information about starting and growing your wholesale stationery business, sign up for our online class: Stationery Biz 200: Wholesale.
You might also like reading: Stationery Business: Tips For Finding Stationery Suppliers & Manufacturers, Stationery Business: Tips for Assembling Stationery, & Stationery Business: Tips for Sending Mailers.
Due to popular demand, we’re working on a brand new class called Shop Biz 100: Online, Pop-Ups + Bricks and Mortar. To stay in the loop, sign up for our Creative Business newsletter here.