Mr. Checkout Distributors, a large network of independent jobbers and wholesalers that sells products into 25,000 small retail stores, has created a program called "Blitz" to help manufacturers launch new products at its convenience, liquor, gas, and independent grocery member stores.
Because Mr. Checkout regularly supplies these stores in the normal course of business, it is easy for the company to add a new product and point-of-purchase display to its usual deliveries. The Blitz program enables a manufacturer to place merchandise and displays with as wide a reach as desired. Without Blitz, the manufacturer might have to approach each store owner or manager separately, negotiating terms and putting its own goods in place. With Blitz, Mr. Checkout handles all that for the manufacturer, guaranteeing placement with no fuss.
According to Billy Lardizabal, Blitz project manager, the program is a great way to try out a product on a new market without major hassle or legwork. "The Mr. Checkout Blitz program is an excellent channel to efficiently get your product onto the checkout counter in thousands of stores," he says. "Stores love the program, because it gives them the opportunity to try new products with no upfront cost or risk. Distributors love Blitz because it allows them to test-market products, and bring hot-selling new items to their customers with no upfront cost or risk. It is a win-win-win program that promotes the opportunity for incremental profits for everybody."
Mr. Checkout is an umbrella company for the tens of thousands of small retailers it supplies, and the 155 local and regional distribution companies that serve them. The company was founded in 1989, to form the largest group of distributors serving independent convenience stores in the U.S., now reaching stores in 34 states. All Mr. Checkout affiliates are independently owned and operated. According to Lardizabal, "The Blitz program gives the best possible opportunity for suppliers to build relationships with the direct-store-delivery route distributors, who each serve 100 to 1,500 C-stores in their respective markets weekly."
The Blitz program has been refined and polished to offer better outcomes and to track results. Mr. Checkout places a POP display in stores at no cost to the store owner. The manufacturer pays a fee for the service, which varies with the number of stores used in the Blitz. That number can start at placement in 100 stores, and can reach as many as 15,000 stores.
Manufacturers can be sure that their displays are properly placed, because Mr. Checkout gives each Blitz manufacturer an Excel spreadsheet with a picture of the product at the counter, store name, address, phone number, and owner or manager name. With this information, manufacturers can call store owners directly to confirm that the product was placed, and to get more information from the field.
The goal of the Blitz program, according to the company website, is to make a product launch easy for a manufacturer. Instead of hiring a rep, spending months at trade shows and in the field, not to mention spending thousands of dollars on dead-end calls, this program offers an alternative.
For example, a Blitz campaign covers the number of stores the manufacturer wants, offering two to three week deployment, and sales and positioning results within 60 days. This system, offering manufacturers a high level of verification and accountability, stands as solid evidence that the program is worth the investment. According to Lardizabal, "We give manufacturers the opportunity and the podium to sell their product in the most productive spot, delivered by distributors that have serviced their stores for well over ten years."
The company is proud that it was used by the U.S. Census Bureau to reach out to 10,000 ethnic markets with an awareness program called the Independent Grocers Project. Mr. Checkout Distributors is an A+ rated, accredited business by the Better Business Bureau in Palm Beach County, FL.
For more information:
Mr. Checkout Distributors
1650 SW 22nd Ave. Cir.
Boca Raton, FL 33486
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