Textile Distribution: An Introduction
In today’s post. we’re going to start exploring some of the key concepts underpinning textile distribution.
What is Textile Distribution?
The concept of textile distribution involves the creation and marketing of a particular product, which then needs to be passed through a process that allows people to buy the commodity. That process involves “middlemen” in the form of wholesale distributors and retailers who facilitate the transportation, logistics, and selling of the product. Brand owners are always on the lookout for partners to distribute their textile products to the relevant retail outlets. The distribution process means that the textile goods are bought to be sold again at a profit to the retailer. It’s almost exactly the same concept of retail, with the difference that product distribution is entirely business to business and relies much more on an understanding of price points than marketing buzzwords. In essence, textile distribution is the system that takes a product, for instance a rug or duvet, from the point of origin and all the way to the shop and finally in people’s homes.
According to research by Dr. Adam J. Fein, textile distribution, as well as product distribution generally, is doing very well globally in terms of top line revenue growth as total sales seen by distributors continue to increase.
The trend for textile distributors in Europe and the US is increasing the efficiency and efficacy of their operations, both of which are crucial to remaining ahead of the competition and seeing growth. To achieve this, distributors are choosing to align themselves more closely with suppliers who also share the responsibility of the supply chain. Recently, successful distributors have also started deploying “just-in-time” inventory systems, so they can order goods based on requests from retailers, thus keeping their inventory costs down.
Textile and product distributors play a very important role as service providers in the supply chain and benefiting more and more from technology-led productivity improvements. The wholesale distribution industry continues to make a significant distribution to the European economy.
The Supply Chain Players
The supply chain for textiles is a process that includes and affects four major players who depend on each other and interact regularly to the benefit of all:
- Brand: they create the product and it’s marketing
- Distributor: they make sure sure the product gets in the shops
- Retailer: the provide the consumers a place to buy what they need
- Consumer: anyone who shops for a commodity in a shop or online
Textile suppliers who invest a lot of capital in creating unique products can create brands that are highly requested by both retailers and consumers. The brand works with the distributor, who purchases large amounts of the textile commodities supplied and then provides retailers with the requisite quantities at the optimum price. This is an extremely important service for smaller retailer with limited order quantities as it makes the operation profitable.
Starting a Textile Distribution Business
Starting a successful textile distribution business means you will play an important role in getting the textile products that the brand supplies from the point of origin (the factory) to the points of purchase provided by the retailers, where people can actually try the textile and take it home with them.You will need to choose what type of retailers you will be servicing and research what their needs are in order to satisfy their demands. On a more practical point of view, you will also need storage space for large amounts of products, so start looking at warehousing options.
Running a textile distribution business also means developing a broad portfolio of skills, from researching, to customer care to sales skills. For instance, you need to intimately understand the financials and logistical aspects of the operation, including knowledge of how to set up a warehouse. In essence this means that any distribution business that aims to grow beyond a narrow local region will need to hire a team of people with those skills.
Being in the textile distribution business is an extremely important position which requires you to understand both consumer trends, product availability, as well as how to optimise your purchase-selling pricing ratio to maximise profit. Textiles might seem like a very narrow area but in reality is quite vast, including everything from bedding to carpets to clothes. This means that as a textile distributor you retain the ability to maximise your profit by introducing product diversity and then focusing on those elements that sell most.
Did you like this article? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and share on your social networks!