How to Select Suppliers

Selecting Merchandise Suppliers

There are many factors to consider when selecting a merchandise supplier. Although getting merchandise at a great price is important, price should not be your only consideration when making purchasing decisions. Take into account the reliability and accuracy of deliveries as well as how easy it is to work with their customer service department if an order is late, incorrect, or damaged.

Others Factors to Consider

  • How long has the supplier been in business?
  • What are their billing terms?
  • What shipping options do they offer?
  • Where are they located and what are their business hours?
  • What are their return policies?

Shop the Competition

Before you select products for your new store, you may want to visit local competitors to get an idea of what products and pricing strategies they are currently utilizing. By doing this, you will be able to make note of what type of products, brand names, and quantities they carry. You will also be able to determine what products are on sale, clearance, or otherwise discounted. If you are able to travel outside of the local region, you may be able to find a retailer who is willing to share this information with you.

Trade Shows

There are many types of suppliers of merchandise for retailers such as wholesale distributors, importers, and manufacturers. Trade shows can also be a good source of information on merchandise suppliers. These events give you the opportunity to meet multiple suppliers and view product at one venue. Making the right decision on who you select as suppliers can be time consuming. However, take your time, deciding what products and suppliers to partner with can make or break your business.

Selecting Retail Store Fixtures and a Display Supplier

Your decision on store fixtures and displays will define the look and feel of your new store. If you determine that your store needs custom displays and fixtures, expect to pay more for that customization. Visit their online stores and request catalogs. If they have a local showroom, visit them in person to see product. Remember, your decision on store fixtures and displays will define the look and feel of your new store. Do you want your store to look more modern or is a traditional feel better suited? Consider visiting other stores in your area to get a feel for what type of store displays and fixtures they are utilizing. Walk through their store; do you like their layout?

When shopping for new fixtures or displays, retailers should be focused on three primary principles: space, image, and pricing.

  • Does the fixture or display fit into your store layout?
  • Does it promote the image you have in mind for your new store?
  • Is it being sold at a reasonable price point?

Deciding which fixtures should be part of your new store can be difficult. Take into account the following purchasing advice:


Opaque shelving can hide the merchandise in large displays. Consider using glass shelving so that customers can view all of your merchandise. Also, display merchandise at eye level.


Ensure the size of the displays and fixtures purchased will not create narrow aisles.


When opening a new store you will probably need to purchase multiple store fixtures and displays. Make sure the pieces you purchase match. How a product is presented is a vital part in determining if it will be purchased.

Taking the time to select the proper fixtures for your store is an important decision that can ensure you successfully move merchandise.

Check out these store fixtures and supplies as you begin to plan your store!

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