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Tips to Charm Your Retail Partner – Part 1 of 2 |  February 17, 2022 (0 comments)


Los Angeles, CA--I spent most of my professional career in the jewelry retail sector, a little over eleven years to be exact.  I’ve had my hands on everything from internal data entry, custom design, special orders, product development, assortment planning, buying, visual merchandising, event planning, and marketing.  With this experience, I want to share a few tips on how suppliers can charm their retail partners and win them for life. 

Curate assortments to make sense for your retail partners. 

Just because you have every style under the sun doesn’t mean your retailer can turn every style under the sun.  Retailers are starting to figure this out.  Having more products doesn’t always translate to more sales.  As the Founder and CEO of Crabtree Consulting always said when she was a buyer, “I need more round halos in my inventory like I need holes in my head.”  This couldn’t be more accurate!  Buyers and consumers are already overwhelmed with too many choices.  Prior to meeting with your retail partners do your research on what they currently stock, at what price, and determine what pieces make sense for them to purchase.  If you provide a thorough and well-thought-out proposal based on your research, the buyers not only appreciate this but they will say yes easier.  The likelihood of a buyer not purchasing any product is high if you overwhelm them with too many decisions.  We always say a confused buyer never buys so stop pulling out trays of merchandise and prepare for your meetings. 

Build a relationship 

As a past buyer, I had a plethora of manufacturers to choose from.  Whether it was for private label bridal, fashion, or branded bridal, I always reached out to my most loyal manufacturers first.  I found that if I trusted the sales representative 9 times out of ten, they would find a way to deliver what I needed even if they didn’t have it in their current box of inventory.  Not only would they go above and beyond to deliver, but they also did it in a timely manner and with pleasure.  If you build the relationship, you can almost always guarantee a partnership for life.  

Customer Service

I can’t tell you how many times I had to climb the chain of command and call-in personal favors because the customer service team couldn’t deliver.  In my experience, you never say no, you simply say, “I’ll have to see what I can do.”   Knowing that the retailer is not always right, consider a compromise like sharing the cost on a remake. Whatever it may be, it adds value and further builds trust when the customer service team “services” their retail partners.  Simply stating “No refunds, exchanges, discounts, and all sales are final” no longer works in our industry.  Having a strong internal customer support team also eliminates the fires you have to put out.  I look at it as a give and take, a push and pull, a scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.  Eventually, it will come back around and when it does hopefully it’s in the form of a large purchase order. 

Now, I’m not telling you that these three tips will win every retail partner over, I’m only being candid with a few of my past experiences.  Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share additional tips on maintaining and wowing your retail partners.

Jackie Johnson is the Vice President of Crabtree Consulting. Prior to joining Crabtree Consulting, Jackie had a successful career at one of the largest independent chains on the West Coast, where she was the Designer bridal Buyer for over ten elite brands. Reach her at or visit where you can set up a live chat or a 30-minute free consultation

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