By Dan Ochwat – 06/17/2020
In January, a new platform emerged with the sole purpose of serving private brand suppliers looking to connect with retailer partners and vice versa. Called Trade Beyond, the mobile app and website currently work with 30 retailers and 3,000 suppliers.
Trade Beyond, a CBX Software company, is headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in the United States, Europe and throughout Asia, so the network has a large international contingent of suppliers.
Among the platform’s differentiators is the fact that it only is looking to supply retailers with items to be sold under store brand labels or as an exclusive.
Though similar platforms exist, they have different purposes. FMI’s Food Industry Exchange is an outlet for retailers to source private brands and connect, but it was primarily created to help suppliers and retailers efficiently move product during the COVID-19 pandemic. ECRM’s RangeMe mainly connects major national brands and their umbrella brands, challenger brands, natural and organic companies, and others with retailers looking to buy cases of a certain product, for example, but also acts as a way for retailers to source private brand products.
Speaking with Tractor Supply, the hardware and rural lifestyle chain based in Brentwood, Tenn., one of the largest users of the new Trade Beyond network, the retailer is finding “quick-to-market, unique and new” products that they can run as an exclusive and make their own, said Brittany Snellen, product developer, pet and animal.
Snellen said Tractor Supply uses Trade Beyond along with its agent group in Shanghai, China. The group exclusively works with Tractor Supply and has access to the app, managing much the in-app communication with vendors, particularly those in China or overseas, Snellen said. The agent group manages the vendor pitches and reports back to the product developers like Snellen.
Tractor Supply leverages the app to help fill gaps in exclusive products that the retailer needs quickly for a promotional event or a “promo table” that’s in stores carrying one-time buy items, stuff the retailer doesn’t replenish. It’s very new products, quick turnover, Snellen said.
When developing a larger private brand rollout under one of its lines, Tractor Supply manages that the traditional route, using its in-house designers, sourcing it internally, working with marketing, and so on, she said. But Snellen said the app helps fill the gap on quick own brand products.