KEVIN: In terms of product mix, you always want to try and have something for everyone. Maybe you don’t carry clothing or some specific thing but it is good to have home accents, jewelry, accessories, bath and both, food, music, cards & stationary, kids clothing and toys, books, etc. Keeping things fresh is not so much a matter of scope of products as it is doing ongoing inventory control. Remember that 1/3 of your SKU’s will likely not make the cut on an annual basis. If you are evaluating new items as they enter your inventory (2-3 months review to set accurate min/max levels) then you will know right then if it makes it or not. If not move it through and make space for new items. Plus if you are doing item eval 2X’s year (which you should be) you will be eliminating a lot of items thereby leaving room for new items to refresh the look of your shop. For a 1000 sq ft shop you should be bringing in 500-600 new items a year!
(2) That’s part of the challenge and fun to find new products!
(3) I find it extremely challenging to keep finding new item. I have my favorite suppliers, but they don’t always come out with enough new items. I feel like I’m always looking for new suppliers.
KEVIN: There are SO many new items all the time- my wife kept folders by department of new items she wanted so when we did item eval and old items came out she just pulled the folders and generated new orders from those (great way to keep your SKU count down)
It is not unreasonable to have 40-60 vendors to choose from- so many good ones out there!
(6) Ahhh…I need to bump up my vendor base. Got it.
KEVIN: Contact me and I can get you a good list to work from!
(8) Much of our popularity as a wholesaler rests in our wide variety.
(9) We have some niche vendors from whom we get just a few items, but we’ve also got two or three biggees from whom we get a bunch of different things. Ganesh is at the top of the list!
(10) Ganesh Himal is one of our best/biggest vendors after villages too grin emoticon Love it. And more importantly, the customers love it!
(11) We can’t order from Villages. At first that seemed like a real handicap but in the end I think it sets us apart, so it’s all good.
(12) will also be emailing for your vendor list! Always looking for new groups to ‘keep in the wings’ so to speak (we’re a villages contract store so we’ve got a whole different sent of parameters and random complications in terms of working within their POS system and getting sent ‘new items’ that we may or may not always want. What do you have to do to sell TTV product by the way? I don’t even know)
(13) You have to be in the US. The Canadian branch isn’t taking on new wholesale customers.
KEVIN: You CAN easily do a FT shop w/o TTV!
Yes, please, Kevin – would love a copy of that vendor list as well!
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get it to you