There are a number of factors that will play a part in your store’s success, but choosing the right wholesale food distributors in South Carolina has to be one of the key ingredients. If you don’t have an exceptional relationship with a reliable distributor, you could risk having the wrong product mix in your store. Even worse, you may run out of your most popular products at key times, creating a poor shopping experience for your customers. This could also have an impact on future potential customers if they hear or read negative comments about your store via word-of-mouth communication. In this day of social media and instant notifications, a bad experience from one or more customers is bound to spread rapidly. So, how do you find wholesale food distributors in South Carolina you can count on? The first thing you want to do is to make a list of the distributors available to you. This can be done through web searches, by talking to other local store owners, or by checking with industry trade publications or online sources. Once you’ve developed a list, start doing some research on what they have to offer in the following categories: – History: How long has the distributor been in business? A company with longevity in the industry demonstrates their customers have been satisfied with their products and services, and continue to utilize them for all their distribution needs. – Product: Does the distributor have established relationships with key manufacturers and suppliers, and do they offer a wide breadth and depth of products? When it comes to produce, do they offer options such as organic foods or other products that cater to people with food allergies or sensitivities. Don’t settle for the products the distributor wants to provide to you. Have the ability to choose and provide the options your customers want. Obviously, it would be most beneficial to your operations if you could rely on a single-source supplier instead of needing to recruit a variety of “niche” suppliers. – Delivery Options: Some distributors offer next-day delivery service so you won’t need to carry an extensive inventory of product at your store or on your shelves. That means you’ll have fresher products to offer your customers and you won’t need to buy or rent extra space to insure you have enough products to keep your shelves well-stocked at all times. You’ll also want to look for a supplier that keeps up with trends and is capable of getting you the products your customers and prospects desire. They can provide you with delivery options that will keep your shelves stocked with the right product mix without needing to manage your own inventory. For example, busy people who don’t have time to prepare full meals may want a pre-made option, but they also want a meal that is nutritious and delicious. Manufacturers are aware that people are looking for healthier options and are shifting their production accordingly. Find a distributor that partners with these kinds of progressive manufacturers.