Do you have a product that is perfect to sell to Safeway stores?
Are you a product company looking to get your products sold at Safeway? Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA, has some advice for you. In this segment, Karen explains the advantages of private label products and how to become a Safeway vendor.
(For those of you who prefer to read this content, transcription is included below!)
Selling to Safeway Stores – Private Label!
Private label essentially means that Safeway has their own brand and works with manufacturers or people who create products to sell their products in their stores under Safeway’s brand name. If you have a product that’s perfect for Safeway and you’ve tried to approach grocery stores and they’re not buying, you might want to consider reaching out to them on a private label basis.
Private label is a huge business and a lot of retailers are going that route. The advantages for you to consider not having a branded product in their store is that if you sold through their brand and Safeway approved you, they buy major volume for their stores because it’s under their brand name. It’s always on store shelves and you’re not always competing with some of the other products.
The Benefits of Private Label Selling to Safeway Stores
Private label products tend to be cheaper than what’s actually in stores and Safeway buys in volume, so you make that up in the volume. Additionally, if you are willing to do a private label option for one retailer, it could pay for you to be able to work with lots of other retailers.
How to Become a Safeway Vendor
If you’d like to learn more about the exact steps from start to finish on how to sell a product a Safeway, please take a look at our Retail MBA programs. Additionally, if you like this content, please be on the lookout for additional content that Karen is creating.
Transcript of This Training…
Learn everything you need to know to become a Safeway vendor
Hey everyone, my name is Karen Waksman and I’m the founder of a company called Retail MBA, and today I want to talk about how to become a Safeway vendor. Now, the reason I decided to create this particular segment is because I teach thousands of product companies across the country on the subject of selling to retailers and Safeway comes up all the time, especially for people who have food products and are trying to get their food products into grocery stores.
Why you should sell to Safeway
So let’s talk about Safeway. Well, there are lots of things I can share with you on this subject, but let me give you one thing to think about. Safeway is very big on something called ‘Private Label’ products. Most grocery chains are, but today we are going to mention Private Label in regards to Safeway stores.
There are many advantages once you become a Safeway vendor
What does that mean? Well, if you walk into a Safeway store, you’re not only going to see branded products on their store shelves, but you’ll also see products that are called ‘Safeway Select,’ which is Safeway’s brand name. They have other names of Safeway brands at their store, but ‘Safeway Select’ is one of the common ones that you will see in their stores. Bottom line – Safeway has their own brand of products called ‘Safeway Select’ in their stores.
What you can sell to Safeway
But what that really means is that they are doing something called ‘Private Label.’ And what is private label? Private label essentially means that Safeway has their own brand of products, and how they obtain most of those Private Label’ products is by working with manufacturers who are willing to sell their products in their stores under Safeway’s brand name utilizing Safeway’s packaging, etc.
So if you have a product that’s perfect for Safeway and you’ve tried to approach their stores and they’re not buying your products for some reason, you might want to consider selling to them via Private Label!
Once you become a Safeway vendor they will buy more types of products from you
Here are some benefits to selling your product Private Label to grocery stores such as Safeway:
- If Safeway is not interested in your product, Private Label is another potential way to sell to them
- Companies make a ton of money off of Private Label because retailers tend to buy this type of product in larger volume
- You can sell your product as Private Label at one chain store and sell the branded version of your product at other chain stores – you are not ‘stuck’ as a Private Label product
- You utilize Safeway’s packaging – could be easier for you if packaging has been a challenge
- You can financially help support your business by going the Private Label route while growing your branded business, too!
Learn how to approach, pitch & sell to Safeway stores
Anyhow, if you want to learn more on exactly how to Private Label your product to chain stores OR how to just sell your products to Safeway, please check out my Retail MBA program. It is the most comprehensive training/mentoring program available today on how to get your products sold at retailers Safeway & become a Safeway Vendor.
With that said, the following information should help you get started today!
Top 10 Tips for Selling into Grocery Chains Such as Safeway Stores
1. You are wanted by top retail buyers at grocery chains such as Safeway Stores
The majority of people are unaware of how crucial it is for a major retail shopper to purchase innovative and intriguing innovations. It plays a significant role in their buying strategy. At the end of the day, prominent merchants must contend with intense competition and picky customers who demand the newest, coolest item in the store. Since they are constantly shopping for new things, retail customers are aware of this. The opportunity to get your goods into a chain store is now better than ever. Simply knowing how to prepare your product will convince a customer to buy.
Being a retail consulting company, we collaborate with brands across all product categories! See what we are doing here: https://www.retailmba.com
2. A small business can sell to huge stores such as Safeway just as well as a large one.
In actuality, the majority of the businesses I have represented throughout the years were just fledgling startups. It’s a fact that customers are more concerned with discovering the ideal product than they are with the size of your business. You can count on them caring more than anything if you have a wonderful product that they think will bring in money for their business.
They don’t care if you’re a large or little business; all they care about is that you’re set up properly to be able to deliver goods to them (I discuss this in my genuine Retail MBA Training and Coaching System, which you can get at https://www.retailmba.com). Just be aware that you are not required to be a large organization to sell to significant merchants. I am aware of this since I have experience working with newly established businesses, among others, and because I routinely impart this knowledge to students of all sizes.
3. Successful packaging is crucial at Safeway Stores when selling to them
If there’s one piece of advise I can give you about selling to big-box stores, it’s to always put extra time, money, and effort into your packaging. The explanation behind this is because when you enter a store, you aren’t looking at your goods; rather, you are looking at the thing as it is packaged. Customers won’t purchase your goods based just on its features; packaging is crucial. Hence, a person needs to ensure that the packaging for whatever product they have is on point because, in the end, a consumer will pay attention to it because they are aware that the packaging promotes sales. And purchasers are concerned with that. So, packaging is crucial to your success.
4. You must conduct the essential study and homework to support your victory!
Most individuals are unaware of the wealth of information they may get by just entering a store and perusing the product aisles. The truth is that by observing what customers place on store shelves, you can determine exactly what they want to buy. You can find out everything you need to know about pricing, packaging, and more from a store shelf. In other words, if you look at it from the buyer’s perspective, they choose one of your rivals. The fact that they bought the products of your rival, which are currently on the store’s shelves, indicates that the customer approves of the product’s current setup, including the price, packaging, and pricing. You can eventually learn how to get your products into stores just by walking into a store and performing the necessary preparation and investigation.
5. Steer clear of vendor departments at Safeway Stores
That essentially means that you shouldn’t call a chain store’s front desk to inquire about how to get your goods inside their establishments. In essence, you should refrain from doing what everyone else does, which is to complete the online forms that are provided to you. Thus, the majority of customers who phone a big retailer to try to get their products into stores dial the front desk, which then leads them to a department, such as a page on their website or an 800 number, or something similar.
Additionally, they want that you send your products to them along with a number of documents. That, in my opinion, is the worst way to get your products into stores because you can’t set yourself apart from the competition; instead, you follow the same procedures as everyone else and essentially leave it up to chance and whoever processes orders online to decide whether or not your products will be sold in stores. I instruct them to contact the purchasers directly, which is what retail industry specialists do. I also show you how to speak to buyers in order to persuade them to make a purchase, but tip number five is to bypass vendor departments and approach buyers directly. Do not adhere to protocol and do not pursue chasers. by dialing the front desk and completing paperwork at 4:34. There are additional methods for getting your goods into retailers.
6. Discover the correct buyer’s name and contact details at Safeway stores to sell to them
Most individuals are unaware of the locations you can visit to obtain a buyer’s contact information and finally determine which buyer is in charge of your particular product category. There are businesses that sell lists of buyers’ names, such as RetailBuyerLists.com, to give you an example. It is one instance. With my program, I really have a thorough lesson on this. You can also see what the customer must purchase by looking at their contact details.
There are businesses that sell the content you can utilize, so if you have a consumer or retail product, you can discover the exact buyer who will purchase it. It’s crucial to identify the proper buyer for your product type. Again, I go over everything in my program in length, but it’s still vital to note.
7. Be kind with the assisting customers
Why does this matter? Well, the majority of people are unaware that assistant buyers typically begin their careers as buying. In essence, they are saying that assistant buyers turn into purchasers extremely quickly. So, all buyers begin their careers as assistants before transitioning into buyers. Most people view assistant buyers as being akin to secretaries; those who are assistants, etc. But, I believe it’s a terrible concept since assistant buyers will soon become actual buyers, and if you treat them well, you will eventually be able to get your products into stores.
You have no clue how many times I was able to convince a store manager to stock a product because I was cordial with the assistant buying. Because I understood their potential value in the long term and that they would eventually become customers for that product category, I was unique to them compared to everyone else. I therefore always treat the assistant buyer nicely, and that should also be taken into account.
8. Learn about vendor day at Safeway Stores
What is vendor day, then? A buyer allows vendors – potential vendors, persons with products – to visit their corporate headquarters on a specific day of the week, month, or year to essentially pitch them. It’s a single day where the buyer actually travels and permits perhaps 10 merchants to travel and effectively promote their goods. Typically, you get 15 to 30 minutes with the customer, so take use of this opportunity to wow them. That concludes vendor day. Because they are continually shopping for new things, consumers do this all the time.
Nonetheless, I think it’s crucial that you understand that vendor day is a fantastic method to meet a chain store buyer. Since I prefer to meet with buyers one-on-one and don’t like having my competitors there on the same day as me, I have a ton of other strategies to get my products into stores that are definitely unrelated to vendor day. As there is no other method to get a product into a store, I will always try to get that buyer alone, but if it doesn’t work, vendor day will be my last resort.
To get a meeting with the buyer for that vendor day, phone their assistant and say, “I would like to be a part of your next vendor day.” This is a fast advice on how to do it. So that you can meet with the buyer on vendor day, their assistant buyer can assist you. So that’s something to think about, but then again, there are a ton of other ways to get products into stores, and I often use vendor day as my last resort. Nevertheless, it’s unquestionably a way to get in front of a meeting with a buyer. Again, you only have around 15 minutes before back-to-back meetings with zero time in between, and the buyer is meeting with vendors all day long with the possibility of a purchase if they like your product, but that is what vendor day is like and it’s important to be aware of.
9. It’s a game of numbers when selling to grocery chains such as Safeway Stores
I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my students have called me when they began targeting chain businesses because they simply didn’t comprehend how many merchants they needed to target in order to score that one hit. Selling to retailers also has the advantage that you only need one large chain store to approve your product before you can put it in their store, test the market, and change the course of your entire company. One significant retail order that is also successful can dramatically transform your company. The good news is that you only need one chain store buyer to purchase your goods for it to be successful in order for you to succeed; therefore, it is a numbers game. You must approach many of these chain stores since you will receive a lot of no’s; it is a part of selling to chain stores.
Just keep in mind that it’s a numbers game, never give up, and that if you believe in your product, you will eventually be able to get it into stores. I will also teach you exactly how to do this, but keep in mind that it’s a numbers game in the sense that you must contact numerous chain stores. Ultimately, though, all you really need is that one shot, and when people get that one shot, their lives are changed. And for that reason, I think selling to chain stores is really fantastic.
10. Just keep trying when selling into retailers such as Safeway Stores!
Selling your goods to big-box stores may sound intimidating, but I assure you that it’s not that difficult; all it needs is some time, work, attention, and motivation. If you genuinely believe that your product belongs in stores, you keep trying until you succeed in getting it there. It might be incredibly depressing and difficult for students to contact numerous potential purchasers, but eventually, when they hear “yes,” their entire lives are transformed, and the effort was well worth it. Thus, if I could offer you any advice, it would be to keep trying.
I hope these top 10 suggestions for getting your goods into big-box retailers will at least give you a taste of the process. In my Retail MBA class (https://www.retailmba.com), I obviously go over the complete process of getting a product into shops, including how to sell buyers, but I thought this was a really fantastic place to start.
Step-by-step training on how to sell to major retailers
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In this training, I will discuss some of the things to think about when approaching a retailer to sell your products and become a vendor. Hope it helps! 🙂
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