What To Know About Convenience Store Distributors

Convenience Store keeper keeping an eye on the fruits

According to a report issued in December of 2020 by the NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count, there are over 150,000 convenience stores in the United States, serving an average of 1,100 customers per day. That’s not surprising given how C-stores seem to be on every corner. And all of them are on the lookout for exciting new products to carry.

If you have a product you think is perfect for convenience store shelves, your best bet is to work with experienced convenience store distributors. If you’re looking for convenience stores, dry food, or wholesale food distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, definitely choose Atlantic Dominion, known throughout the Southeast for its stellar reputation and top-of-the-line services.

A Big Benefit of Working with Convenience Store Distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

C-stores can get your product to customers more quickly. Convenience stores are known for offering speedy service to customers but a big advantage of starting with them is that they can also operate faster when it comes to getting your product on their shelves. That’s because many of them are owned by individuals, which gives them more autonomy than national chains.

Read on for helpful information about what you should know when working with wholesale food distributors.

New is always a draw. Convenience store owners love to offer the latest products to their customers. Many times, the newest version of convenience store items, for example, beverages, make their debut on C-store shelves before appearing in supermarkets and larger retailers.

Be able to explain your product’s unique selling proposition (USP) in a compelling way. This means describing to dry food and convenience store distributors how your product is different, more valuable, and will sell better than competing products. Keep your presentation simple and informative. You should be able to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” in several different ways.

Bring samples and if possible, testimonials from people who’ve tried your product and liked it. Make sure you’ve got a good price-point set – for convenience store items, the average profit margin is somewhere between 30-50%.

Know what C-Stores are looking for. Always put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re presenting to – in this case, everyone is there to earn a profit, and your product is a way to achieve that profit. However, distributors are constantly bombarded with proposals from manufacturers, so to stand out, you need to prove to them that what you’re offering is well worth the shelf space which leads us to Offer Incentives. Some attention-grabbing ideas include:

  • Offering gas cards to help pay for the gas spent delivering your product.
  • Offer a limited-time deal like “buy ___, get one” free.
  • Offering a discount on the first order.

Know your numbers inside and out. Getting your product to market requires a lot of calculations, but when meeting with potential distributors you’ll need a written, comprehensive plan that’s ready to implement as soon as you sign the contract. A promising new product isn’t enough – convenience store distributors want to work with someone business-savvy who can clearly explain the distributor pricing of the item you’d like them to carry.

Break everything down so it’s easy to understand how you’ve determined the final cost.

Your plan should include:

  • Minimum order pricing
  • Volume discounts
  • Wholesale and retail prices
  • Compensation for any c-store brokers
  • Pallets and truckload pricing
  • Price per unit, display, and case
  • Number of cases per pallet
  • Total pallet price

It’s also useful to have researched your competitors for the same information. Make sure you’ve chosen a reputable convenience store distributor that you can trust, like Atlantic Dominion. A good one will be consistent, delivering products on time and in any amount the C-store owner requests. Keeping up to date on supply and demand is an invaluable skill given the variable nature of convenience store item popularity. A product can be in smaller or larger demand at different times of the year or fluctuate depending on the brand’s popularity.

Good luck!

Looking for convenience store distributors, dry food distributors, or wholesale food distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina?

Atlantic Dominion, the 16th largest convenience store distributor in the country, is always looking for exciting new products to offer our customers. We’re proud to have been in business for nearly 150 years, offering top-of-the-line variety, distribution, and customer service that has earned us many repeat customers. We deliver food and grocery, beverages, tobacco products, and general merchandise throughout the Southeast.

Contact us today! We look forward to working with you.