How can I verify that the Co-op received my samples?
Ship your samples with a carrier who offers delivery verification or drop them off at our Administrative office.
I’ve sent samples and I have not heard back, why?
Due to the sheer volume of new item submissions, the Co-op cannot respond directly to every vendor submitting their products. If we feel your product is something our customers would like to purchase in our stores, we will contact you to proceed with the next steps in the process. Please be sure to include a valid email address.
Should I resubmit?
Yes, six months following the original submission, unless you have received other instructions from one of the Co-op’s Merchandisers. Please do not resubmit before the six month period.
How does the product review process work?
The Co-op has several Category Merchandisers. As buyers for our members, these individuals choose the products that best fit the the needs of our customers. Our Category Merchandisers evaluate potential new items using several factors. These can include the product’s cost and probable retail price and margin, the seasonality of a product, anticipated volume of sales, industry trends, etc, and whether the product would be unique to our current offerings or very similar to products we already carry. Our Merchandisers also must consider if existing products need to be discontinued to make room for new ones; we do this based on scan data from our stores and feedback from our staff and customers.
Why does the Co-op recommend products be delivered through a distributor vs. direct shipping or delivery to the stores?
We prefer receiving products through a wholesale distributor, as this allows for greater efficiency in ordering and receiving the products and processing invoices and payment. However, we understand that wholesale distribution is not the best fit for everyone, and the need to deliver or ship direct to us does not disqualify your product from consideration.
Please note that we are unable to receive product delivered to our stores through the mail (USPS)
Which distributors does the Co-op recommend?
Each of these distributors is unique in their size, scope of product, and ability to work with specific producers. The Co-op’s Merchandisers would be happy to recommend which of them would be more likely to consider your product. Please note that a recommendation from the Co-op does not guarantee that the distributor will consider or authorize your product.
How do I get my products authorized at one of these distributors?
Each distributor has its own criteria that the Co-op is not involved in. Contacting them directly is best.
I’m not sure which department is the right one for my item; what should I do?
Send your new item packet to our office and we’ll make sure it goes to the right Merchandiser.
Can I just take my items to the store and see if the personnel like them?
No. Store level personnel are not responsible for new item authorization. Our Merchandisers make all new item decisions and approved items are communicated to our stores through a systematic process. Please submit new items to our Administrative Office to ensure our Merchandisers see the products.
Why does the Co-op require vendors to use email?
Electronic communication is the most effective way for the Co-op’s Merchandisers to communicate and receive pertinent information. The Co-op’s Merchandisers update the vendor community through email and receive pricing documents electronically.