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Retailers' Perspectives on Emerging Brands Part 2

Published on | RIA | Point of View

Shoes on wall at Naperville Running
Ladies apparel at Naperville Running

In the June RIA Pulse, three Running Industry Association members, who operate well-established companies in three different states, shared their observations and insights about what it takes for new brands to get traction in their stores. We continue the conversation in this second part with their expectations for support from brands.

Megan Searfoss of Ridgefield Running Company is a strong believer that good store-brand relationships go both ways. Not only does she expect her brand partners to work hard for space in her stores, but she is not going to bring in a new brand that competes with an existing one, unless the product is really unique and a breakthrough.

When it comes to brand support of stores, Nikki Benedict of Playmakers believes it is brand dependent. She would not ask for the same level of support from some small brands as from a larger brand.

Kris Hartner of Naperville Running Company sets clear goals and terms with brands to help meet expectations for in-store, technical and marketing support as well as other areas such as: the launch plan, shipping costs, online selling strategy, and exit plan.

Expectations of support from brands

  • Visit the store location in person.
  • Provide a contact person for store managers.
  • Stay in touch.
  • Create a social presence – as long as it is not driving sales to the brand’s website.
  • Offer selling technique demonstrations, as well as brand effectiveness presentations.
  • Seed staff with free or discounted product samples so they are familiar with how the products work best.
  • Support the store’s group runs to give customers opportunities to try products.

You can read Part 1 of this three-part series about factors in placing emerging brands in stores on the RIA website. Part 3 in the next Pulse edition will cover the topic of evaluating brand performance.

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