In other words, which retailers can you approach store by store first as opposed to having to go through the buyer at the corporate office? (Big box, convenience, supermarkets, sporting goods, pharmacies, gas stations...)
Without knowing exactly what your product is, the quick answer is "it depends."
Many regional and national retailers do allow for some portion of local discretion in their product mix, but they handle it in different ways. Some have local buyers, some have regional buyers and yes, some have you go through HQ-based buyers.
If you're just starting down this path, work the stores in your surrounding area:
* Walk the aisles to get a sense for whether they carry local items and how they display them
* Talk to the store manager to discuss how such relationships work
* If possible, talk to some consumers to gauge their interest in alternative products ("Excuse me, I notice you're buying X, do you try others?")
If you already have some traction in local stores, have a fresh conversation with the buyer you've connected with to determine how they handle other markets or the region. If they know and like you and your product they may be willing to make introductions.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Are you looking to connect specifically with franchises that have individual buying power? I found a lot of franchise locations would order my product whether or not they were allowed which I didn’t realize at the time. But then I formed relationships with those franchises and got in with them. Let’s chat more about this!