With 20-plus years of experience selling products on television, global distributor Northern Response is embracing a flea-market-centered strategy that sees vendors as a gateway to customers with whom they want to connect. Corporate development manager Mark Schneider has a clear vision of that strategy, which he said includes a new focus on the flea market channel: “We are a company that has worldwide reach, sells great products, and possesses a multi-channel approach.”
“We are one of the largest distributors of as-seen-on-TV products in the world,” says Schneider. “We are the largest international distributor for both infomercials and as-seen-on-TV products. Our goal is to sell our products in every viable channel of distribution.”
That includes flea markets and swap meets. “This is likely an underserved market,” says Schneider, referring to the flea market retail channel, “and we want to ensure that we capitalize on that. Distribution is a service, so if we can move additional volume through a channel that is underserved, that will be of benefit to all parties involved.”
He adds, “There are different customers at flea markets that we want to reach.”
The company offers a varied range of items. “We’re a distributor of as-seen-on-TV products. We also distribute items in categories that are related to as seen on TV: fitness, health and beauty, housewares,” says Schneider. “We want to be a resource for our partners for interesting and successful products.”
According to Schneider, there are clear advantages to buying from Northern Response, from the size and longevity of the company to the marketing dollars the firm puts into its products. For some items, that means hundreds of thousands of dollars in promotion; for others, millions. “We run television shows to sell our products all over the world,” he says, “which in turn promotes the products that we are looking to place into specialty channels like flea markets.”
Some of the products of particular interest to flea market vendors include:
- Hoopnotica TravelHoop, a fitness hoop that comes with dancercise videos.
- A proprietary line of yoga kits and gyms in a box for users of all fitness levels and ages.
- Around-the-house items, including The Folding Bucket and The House of Herbs, a herb garden in a box.
- Focus Factor, a memory-boosting nutritional supplement.
The hottest of these is the Ab Circle Pro, says Schneider. “Right now we’re selling the Ab Circle Pro into the channel. It’s been a top-ten infomercial product on all the ranking charts for more than a year now. It remains a powerful and consistent seller in every channel of distribution that it has been placed.”
The company sells products by the “master pack,” but ideally a number of these will make up a complete order, says Schneider. “Our goal is to generate enough volume from one customer that we can build a pallet comprised of multiple skus that we can ship from our warehouse.”