(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). A recent survey by one shapewear maker shows that while many wholesalers are now selling directly to consumers, an overwhelming majority of the retailers questioned believe emphatically that it is important that wholesalers do not sell directly to consumers and that the practice negatively affects their businesses.
94% of the retailers responding to a survey by Julie France said it was “very important” that the brands they carry in their stores “do not sell directly to consumers” and 92% said the practice has a “negative impact” on their business. Furthermore, 73% of the retailers said they agreed with the statement that “there are ethical implications regarding manufacturers selling directly to the public.”
The first results of the survey, which is still in progress, were supplied by Julie France and represent the responses of over 60 retailers.
One respondent, Tamara Ivey at June’s Dancewear in Arlington, Texas commented, “If something does not change with manufacturers selling to the public, it will most likely kill the small business and personal service market. Retail stores support the local community.” Another, Jeffrey Bernstein at LuvMyUndies in Palm Springs, California wrote, “When my suppliers directly compete with me it has a STRONG negative impact.” He added, “I don’t trust a manufacturer that will compete with me for the same customer’s dollar.”
In early October, Julie France, an Atlanta-based shapewear manufacturer, emailed its retailer customers notifying them that they could save up to 12% on online orders by completing and returning the survey. The offer expires at the start of November. Under the headline, “Save Your Stores! Keep Your Customers!,” the wholesaler stated in the email, “Before the days of laptops, smart phones, tablets and eCommerce websites, the retail world was fairly simple. Manufacturers would make a product, retailers would purchase that product from the manufacturer, and the consumer would purchase the product from the retailer. In this day and age, it seems that the once clear line in the sand has sadly been washed away. We are proud to say that Julie France does NOT sell directly to the public. Julie France’s goal is and always has been to support our retail stores.”
The wholesaler also reminded its retailers that “When a consumer places an order through the Julie France website, that order is automatically routed at NO COST to a local retail store for processing. You can get more customers, and more profits!”
The email also included a link to a policy statement from Julie France entitled, “When Manufacturers Sell Directly to Consumers, Retailers Risk Elimination From the Market.” The document included the comment, “Simply stated, manufacturers who are selling directly to consumers as well as retail stores are positioning themselves to receive higher proﬁt margins at the retailer’s expense. This business activity forces many retailers to close their stores.”
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