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RikaKazak

Meeting with a grocery store chain...tips?

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A local grocery store chain put up signs asking for change, and I brought a bunch in.  The manager asked how I got so much change, and I explained I own a vending company.  He was so grateful for me bringing in the change, that he set up a meeting with the guy who's in charge of who does their vending.

The store is 17 locations, and they're pretty big (3rd largest store in the area other then walmart/costco).

I know NOTHING about grocery store chain vending.  How do they do it?  (I heard most bid out their contracts?  is that accurate?)  Basically any advice/input would be GREATLY appreciated.

I understand it's a long shot, but I have the money, I'm assuming they'd be A+ locations, so I might as well shoot my shot.

edited to add:  I used to work for this chain 18 years ago and still have really good relationships with some of the managers/checkers etc.  Maybe I should pitch that angle too?

Edited by RikaKazak

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:37 PM, RikaKazak said:

A local grocery store chain put up signs asking for change, and I brought a bunch in.  The manager asked how I got so much change, and I explained I own a vending company.  He was so grateful for me bringing in the change, that he set up a meeting with the guy who's in charge of who does their vending.

The store is 17 locations, and they're pretty big (3rd largest store in the area other then walmart/costco).

I know NOTHING about grocery store chain vending.  How do they do it?  (I heard most bid out their contracts?  is that accurate?)  Basically any advice/input would be GREATLY appreciated.

I understand it's a long shot, but I have the money, I'm assuming they'd be A+ locations, so I might as well shoot my shot.

edited to add:  I used to work for this chain 18 years ago and still have really good relationships with some of the managers/checkers etc.  Maybe I should pitch that angle too?

Have you met with them yet?

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16 hours ago, gumball guy said:

Have you met with them yet?

Nope, any advice is appreciated :D

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On 9/24/2020 at 10:23 AM, RikaKazak said:

Nope, any advice is appreciated :D

Lots of things to consider here. Do they already have a bulk vendor? I would expect a 17 store chain to already have a vendor but based on what you are saying maybe not. Grocery stores are great for racks (candy, toys, stickers/tats). If you are not operating racks you have to ask yourself if you want to go down that road (investing in new equipment). If you do want to add that type of equipment search out used. If you are basically operating singles, doubles & triples that will work fine as well. Most chain retailers are getting a commission of at least 30- 40 percent of gross. You start getting higher than 40 percent and it is tough to make a decent profit. You then use a standard vending vending contract (maybe one in the downloads area here) that states commission, when/how it's paid, exclusivity clause so you don't have 5 other vendors showing up and sitting on you, contract length and stipulations on how the contract can be terminated.  You can also go in and pitch your charity vending to them from the get go if you prefer that. Just make sure you have all of your paperwork and be able to verify that you have been paying the charity. Most of the time charity vending doesn't give you the protections that a commission based contract does for obvious reasons so if you are going to do racks you really need to have a contract.  If they already have a vendor then they may tell you no dice for the front end but you could still ask to place machines in all of their break rooms. I have had pretty good luck in grocery store break rooms over the years and those would be strictly under a charity. The key is going in knowing what vending you want to put in there and being prepared to answer questions like what product you would offer, the price point, what will the equipment look like/dimensions etc... .  Be prepared to pivot to break rooms if they have already have a vendor for the front end. 

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