I’ve just returned from the HD Expo in Las Vegas, dedicated to what hotels, restaurants and anyone else in the hospitality industry may need. Wardrobes, floorings, bath and spa accessories, beds, electronic accessories, furniture fabrics, interior and exterior furniture, lighting, etc. It is the industry’s most important trade fair in the USA. In fact, on the second day it was necessary to confirm our participation for the 2018 edition, choose the space (according to the credits that each company has matured over time) and pay all the fees – in full! Many Italian companies were present.
The first thing I was asked by visitors interested in our product (mostly architectural studios) was: what delivery times do you have? and, do you have a US warehouse? This latter question was dictated, obviously, due to the distances on the North American continent, affecting delivery times and, of course, shipping costs. Having one or more warehouses between America and Canada is very important when taking your first steps in this market. Luckily, our distributor has a warehouse. He selected some of the many products from our catalog and for many of these (usually the best sellers) he has stock available. Furthermore, next to each item in the catalogue he includes – in addition to the technical information – the initials: QS (Quick-Ship) when the item is in stock in the warehouse.
Generally, offering fast delivery is a rule that applies to many products. Larger companies have their own networks; the smaller ones rely on a distributor. A well-organized distributor will then have his own network of agents covering the US and Canada.
Having a warehouse is a necessary condition but, obviously, it’s not enough. It takes choosing the right product for North America and much salesmanship to present the company and its products to the market. But that is another story.