Big Box Retailers Need Not Apply

Since time immemorial, the business model for small manufacturers, like Hyperflite, has been to:

  1. Grow as fast as possible via sales to small retailers
  2. Get noticed by the Big Box retailers
  3. Begin selling to the Big Box retailers at the expense of your relationships with the companies that helped build your brand in the first place.

Basically, this time-honored approach to business requires that a small manufacturer essentially “dump on” the very folks who took a chance on the small manufacturer in the first place.

Now, we’ve certainly sinned in our hearts by flirting with a couple of medium-sized boxes, and we’ve even asked a few Big Boxes to the prom. But, on the drive home from a pitch to one of those Big Boxes, we caught ourselves dreading the possibility of having the Big Box as a customer. What if they say yes? As we began to consider what that really meant for us, we had an epiphany. We like to think of it as our Jerry Maguire moment. We decided that it’s OK not to sell our products to Big Box Chain stores and that the way we measure our success doesn’t have to fit the traditional model. The bottom line for Hyperflite is, we’re content to stay modestly sized, make our products in the U.S., and nurture the relationships we’ve developed with hundreds of smaller pet retailers who, like us, strive to deliver superior service to their customers. If that’s not success, then we don’t know what is.