Thursday, April 29, 2010

Knowing the Lingo Goes a Long Way to Retail Stores Taking you Seriously.

I feel like I’m learning something every day from the most amazing people.  I knew that Linda Lewis had an unbelievable and lifesaving invention with the Breast Chek Kit when I first met her, but I had no idea the wealth of knowledge and vision she possessed.  She is the type of person that doesn’t let anything stand in her way and learns by simply doing it herself.  I will have more information in future postings on hr nonprofit organization called the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation http://thebreastchekkit.com/about-nabcaf/ and will be showcasing her invention following this posting.  This article will be a nice introduction to the type of woman she is....someone wanting to help and support women whether it's through health issues or sharing her story and knowledge to entrepreneurs.

When presenting the Breast Chek Kit to numerous large retailers there were some common and very important questions that came up.  They loved her product, but she could tell that if she didn’t understand what they were asking she didn’t have a chance of getting her product in their stores.  One of these stores is the very well known Macy’s where through her tenacity and perseverance she was able to get her product showcased and is up for approval because she did her research.  It was terrifying, but she realized that she COULD do it herself and didn’t need to hire a so called “expert”.  Here are the most important items you need to have for your product if you plan on getting into stores:

You don't need  an RN Number, but it helps a lot!
A registered identification number or RN is a number issued by the Federal Trade Commission, upon request, to a business residing in the U.S. that is engaged in the manufacture, importing, distribution, or sale of textile, wool, or fur products. Such businesses are not required to have RNs. They may, however, use the RN in place of a name on the label or tag that is required to be affixed to these products.  Here is a link to where you can obtain this number: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/rn/index.shtml

You should get your own Bar Code
I had no idea that this is something that large retailers will ask you.  It is very important to not skimp on this and make the initial investment and be careful where you obtain your bar code.  Every style and size will need its own bar code, so this can get quite expensive depending on your product.  Here’s more information about what you will need to know about obtaining a bar code: http://www.gs1.org/productssolutions

You should also find a qualified EDI Provider...and there are many to choose from.  Linda  really likes Infocon Systems http://www.infoconn.com/ because they took the time to explain the entire process to her.

If you have apparel that you long to get into Macy’s and Bloomingdales, here is what you will need to know to get into their stores: http://www.macysnet.com/VS/

Though this process was intimidating, if you do the research and believe in yourself and your product you can relatively easily obtain the knowledge and items required to get your product in stores anywhere!  Linda is a try inspiration!
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