The ability to offer a wide range of high quality merchandise can be the means to sales, especially in today’s economy. Independent retailers expect value and smart wholesalers provide product and pricing options that promote high profit margins, stimulate consumer interest and enable retailers to offer goods at bargain prices. Adam Dawe, president and CEO of American Distribution Company LLC, founded the company in 2004 and aims to provide the newest, most unique products and designs in the marketplace at the best possible prices. In 2005, Craig Raines, VP and business partner, joined Dawe in his mission to serve wholesale distributors and retail stores throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “We carry a wide range of products including toys, knives, biker gear, TV products, head gear, and hunting and fishing equipment,” explains Raines, “and we fully cover the four major seasons, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter and Halloween. We manufacture many of our products ourselves and everything we have is unique,” Raines continues. “We’re based in Mobile, Alabama, and we have a representative in our warehouse in China sourcing products every five to six weeks.”
American Distribution Company develops and test markets more than 40 items a month. “Some items we launch without testing them if we see a trend or we have a gut feeling that a product is going to do well,” Raines points out. “The hunting and fishing category is huge for us.” In this category, Raines says he is confident the new Survival and Emergency Preparedness Bracelet will be a big seller. The bracelet unravels to 16 feet of 550 pound test military parachute cord. “We test marketed the bracelet with our customers and we got an unbelievable amount of pre-bookings. A lot of outdoorsman use this but it is also a trendy item among high school and college students.” The suggested retail price is up to $19.99. Another popular item is Hot Socks Foot Therapy, Raines says. Hot socks are made of a polar fleece material that when heated in the microwave soothes tired feet. “Nearly all of our customers pre-book this item because it’s an excellent holiday gift,” he notes. The suggested retail price ranges from $16.99 to $19.99.
Jewelry and Cell Phone Accessories Big Sellers
“The religious and spiritual and jewelry categories have grown tremendously for us,” Raines continues. “The Shamballa bracelet, one of those Hollywood items, is extremely popular now. A lot of stars are having diamonds and gems put into their Shamballa bracelets and I think this item is going to be a hot trend for the next year.” The suggested retail price ranges from $6.99 to $7.99. American Distribution Company has a licensing agreement with Apple Inc. to use the iPod, iPad, and iPhone icons on its products and marketing materials. The iPad Screen Guarder, which retails for $14.99, is very hot right now. But even great products can fail without proper packaging, Raines stresses. American Distribution packages all its products, even those it does not manufacture. “You can put a great item in a horrible package and it won’t sell. We have a full time staff and our own warehouse facility in China where we do all of our own packaging and printing,” Raines explains. “As a result, very seldom have people tried to copy our items. We also can custom package items for people.”
American Distribution sells its products at three price points. Master distributor is the company’s lowest pricing; pricing for six or more displays is a little more than that of the master distributor; and pricing for retailers that purchase just one display is a little higher still. Whatever the product and quantities desired, American Distribution works with its customers to offer the best possible pricing, Raines assures. “The company was built on being customer driven and we take care of our customers.”
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