At Retailbound, our product clients have the fortune of working with over 200+ rep groups and 40+ distributors here in North America. This month, we sat down with Todd Smits, the Director of Business Development & Merchandising at Englewood Marketing Group to ask him a couple of questions.
1) Tell us more about Englewood Marketing Group (EMG)? What is your role at EMG?
We are a Logistics “Plus” company that has been in business for nearly 90 years. We specialize in providing a customized Sales and Logistics solution to our brand partners by understanding their go to market strategy for their product line. We offer warehousing solutions from 3PL to a Distribution model as well a combination of both while shipping from our 3 Amazon Prime Certified facilities. We are true specialists in knowing how to ship to all the major retailers in the North America market in addition to meeting the highest requirements for dropship fulfilling for all the major e-tailers.
My role with EMG is twofold. As Director of New Business Development, I help identify and onboard new client partners with EMG. I work with each client on a solution that best optimizes their go to market strategy for the U.S. and North America. My other responsibilities are as Director of Merchandising where I oversee the purchasing, merchandising and demand planning efforts for all our client partners. We work with perfecting the proper assortments, purchasing plans and marketing materials needed to support our distribution and sales efforts on behalf of our clients.
2) When reviewing potential product suppliers for EMG, what are the key things you look for? What are the red flags that cause you to turn down a potential supplier?
We are looking for a couple of key indicators for any new clients we are onboarding. These include the following-
- Is the product unique and innovative.. not “me too”, and not an overlap of lines we current distribute.
- What is the clients marketing plan to help drive the Sales?
- What products are in the pipeline for future growth?
- What is the margin and pricing structure?
- How do we fit into the overall supply chain for this client in the North America market? Are we one of multiple distributors? Are they only looking for us to manage a small account base?
3) With COVID-19, how do you see the retail industry changing? What advice would you give to a product start-up who is thinking about entering the retail market today?
What we are seeing short term I think will continue long term which is a higher shift in the online shopping by consumers versus the traditional in-store purchases. The Department Store channel will be hit the hardest as I do not see the consumers returning back to those stores at the same levels they previously were visiting. The other concern for many new product brands is trying to get in front of retail buyers that are working remotely and not in the office. It’s appearing most retail buyers are taking appointments with existing lines which makes it hard for smaller product brands to get in front of retail buyers now more than ever.
I would advise new start-ups to partner with a channel marketing & sales agency like Retailbound and/or distribution partner that can get new product brands a voice with key retailers based on connections already established.
4) What do you like working with Retailbound? How is Retailbound different from other agencies (i.e. consultants, reps, brokers) that you have worked with before?
What I enjoy most about working with Retailbound is the variety of services and solutions they can offer their client partners. They truly can be a one-stop resource to get manufacturers “Retail Ready” and to help accelerate their efforts where these manufacturers could not achieve the same results on their own.
I’ve been very impressed with Retailbound’s professional, talented team and I find them very complimentary to the services that my organization can provide our mutual clients. We’ve developed a good synergy with their organization and consider them a true partner.
For more information about EMG and the distribution & logistics services they offer, contact Todd Smits at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Retailbound and how their team can get your product/brand retail-ready, placed in front of various retailers in North America, and assist with driving sell-through, email Yohan Jacob at email@example.com.