One of the assumptions many who are opening a dollar store make is that it takes only four or five good suppliers to provide all of the dollar store merchandise required to open and grow a successful store. Little do these new entrepreneurs know how many merchandise suppliers are really required to support a thriving store. Contrary to what most general suppliers will tell you, you will likely never reach the full potential of your store if you don’t continually add and replace suppliers as new, more reliable suppliers that provide high quality merchandise at very competitive prices are located.
Tip #1) Hang on to your core suppliers once they have proven themselves to you. You need these companies to achieve the success you seek. Be sure to routinely order merchandise from them to keep them focused on your business. This will also serve to build and strengthen your relationship with your sales representative.
Tip #2) Many suppliers will treat you as if you owe them something. Don’t ever forget that you are the customer in the relationship. Not only do your suppliers need to have the right dollar store merchandise, but they also need to recognize the relationship with you. While some companies may be difficult to replace, there is always a company out there that really wants your business and will treat you properly. Keep looking until you find that company.
Tip #3) General merchandise dollar store suppliers are very important. These companies can be the one-stop provider for much of the day to day merchandise your customers really want. Be sure you identify and use two or three of these companies for the majority of your buying.
Tip #4) While general suppliers may carry a little of everything, it is often better to focus buying for key departments in companies specializing in those items. You can always use the general suppliers to fill in for gaps and to add some depth in areas of those departments.
Tip #5) Don’t ever stop looking for better suppliers. In fact after opening a dollar store make it your practice to invest an hour or so each week in searching for the next great suppliers for your business. This is also one of the most important reasons to attend one or two dollar store merchandise trade shows each year.
To your dollar store success!
By Nathan Dean