(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). A new website and resource center is under construction with the goal of identifying and supporting those wholesalers which do not sell their products direct to consumers: http://www.retailersprotected.com/.
The site will first target the intimate apparel and ballet dance wear markets, but could well expand to other industries.
The aim, according to its founder, Rodrigo Cano, general manage of Julie France body shapers, is to emphasize the danger to the continued existence of retailers and others in the supply chain, created by wholesalers selling direct to consumers.
In addition, the website, which is already up but is still being expanded, will list all those wholesalers and retailers who oppose the practice of selling direct to consumers.
“When manufacturers sell directly to consumers, the retailers, sales representatives, trade shows, publications, magazines and many others in the supply chain risk elimination from the market,” declares Cano on the website, adding the website’s mission is “to provide and encourage education in areas of manufacturing/retailing, citizenship, character, responsibility and market awareness to retailers and manufacturers.”
The website offers a newly created “Retailers Protected” seal, which includes those words and a check mark on a gold medallion. Julie France has just begun including this seal in its own advertising and promotional materials, and the website encourages other wholesalers of like mind to use the seal as well. There is no charge to use the website tools or to use the “Retailers Protected” seal.
It is the desire of Cano to expand the website into a full fledged industry organization in the future.
“At Julie France we believe a strong retail community is important to the success of our business. We see great value in having retailers sell our products to consumers, and we want to do nothing to harm the relationship retailers have with their consumers. In fact, we have a system which sends all consumer sales leads directly to local retailers. And we have found that this system, as well as our loyalty to our retailers, has helped us grow as a brand. We are a living example of how not selling directly to consumers has proved good for a wholesaler as well as for its retailers,” said Cano.
Under the Julie France system, consumers visiting the Julie France wholesale website can initiate purchase of any of the company’s products. But instead of completing the sale itself, Julie France sends the request from the consumer directly to one of its nearby retailers. The retailer then has the opportunity of contacting the consumer directly and completing the sale. All proceeds from the sale go to the retailer; Julie France takes no commission on the sale and will even drop ship the order to the consumer (if the retailer does not have a particular item in stock).
“By not competing with the retailer, we have built very strong store loyalty, we preserve the lasting existence of retailers, and we have thereby helped grow our own brand,” said Cano. “It is a situation where everybody wins.”
Some of the momentum to create the “Retailers Protected” website, the seal of protection and the list of wholesalers and retailers came from a recent set of surveys Julie France conducted among its own retailers. It found that an overwhelming majority of retailers 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 the survey 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, according to Julie France. Furthermore, 73% of the retailers said they agreed with the statement that “there are ethical implications regarding manufacturers selling directly to the public.”
The new website already includes several analyses and charts created by Cano including “Traditional Retail Model,” “New Online Direct Sales Model” and one that explains the conflicts between the different paradigms.
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