When you need groceries, toiletries, or a quick snack, you expect them to be at your local grocery, convenience, or drug store. If you see a new product advertised on TV or in magazines, you want to be able to find it on these stores’ shelves, too. But, have you ever thought about the work that goes into getting them there? One man has completely transformed the process of finding new products, partnering with retailers, and getting these items in front of the customer as quickly as possible.
Joel Goldstein, President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, oversees a network of more than 1,000 independent distributors, wagon-jobbers and full-line grocery distributors. His team services over 35,000 retailers who are all looking for the next big thing to hit store shelves. How does Goldstein determine which products will be a hit with today’s consumers? Twice a month through a Mr. Checkout review process held in Oviedo, Florida.
“We conduct review sessions as a team every other week to discuss the marketability and predicted demand for new products,” Goldstein says. But it’s not just about the product. “A product won’t be successful unless the supplier is ready for an increase in demand, so this is also discussed in great detail during our bi-monthly reviews.”
This unique approach to discovering new products and bringing them to market has been well received by both retailers and suppliers. “Retailers appreciate the fact that we won’t work with a supplier who isn’t ready to meet consumer demand,” Goldstein continues. “And suppliers have the benefit of hearing feedback directly from our team about how they can improve before they enter the market so they can avoid common mistakes.”
These reviews do not take place behind a closed curtain. In fact, Goldstein often speaks with the suppliers immediately following the review to go over any issues that were raised during the session. Both the executive and distributor teams are invited to attend reviews, so suppliers will hear feedback from two different viewpoints. Because Mr. Checkout Distributors has a reputation of being able to predict consumer trends six months before the demand is seen by retailers, suppliers find the feedback obtained through the review process invaluable to their company’s growth.
Part of what makes Mr. Checkout Distributors so successful is their openness to new ideas and products, regardless of how unusual they may seem to people outside of the business. Goldstein and his team welcome interesting products, and in fact, have seen a great deal of success with strange products.
Joel Goldstein says “We often work as a big box broker for some of these trending products that do well with our independent distributors. Through the sales in independent stores we are able to promote the products to major retailers a lot easier than a rep that walks in off the street as we have thousands of boots on the ground.”
If you ever see a new and exciting product on the shelves of your favorite grocery, convenience, or drug store, there’s a good chance that product was hand-selected and delivered by the insightful and innovative team at Mr. Checkout Distributors.