Important Message from Betsy – to Our Retailers
You might have heard that Droll Yankees has developed both a Private Label product as well as a line of basic entry level feeders that bear the Droll Yankees name. These feeders were designed to attract a more diverse consumer through larger retailers. Many of you are now aware that Walmart is stocking some bird feeders that are labeled with the Droll Yankees brand name. This decision was made with great regard and concern for you and your business, and was not made lightly.
The initial impetus was a period of several months when very few orders came in and I had to cut our warehouse and production departments’ hours. I recognize that many dedicated bird stores have gone out of business and our customer base has decreased. I had to consider the long term view and our ability to stay profitable, and the options available to me.
I didn’t want to export our production; I’m invested in the importance of U.S. jobs and feel personally responsible to my loyal employees. Walmart appeared to be an option that could turn into a benefit for all of us, including our long time retailers. We will continue to pursue new products and programs that provide value to our core customer base. I hope that you will continue to recognize the value we have always endeavored to weave into our offering for you.
Roger Boe of Backyard Station in Frazee, MN told me he expects that his sales of Droll Yankees products will increase as a result of our brand exposure in Walmart. Roger told me about his experience with Tervis Tumbler®. He did a nice business with them, but since Bed, Bath and Beyond has stocked them, his sales have doubled. Not only was the Tervis Tumbler name more recognized by consumers due to greater exposure, Roger carried a better selection than Bed, Bath and Beyond. The same applies to this situation. Walmart will carry only a minimal selection, and you have a far more expanded offering.
Roger also said that he would welcome any warranty repairs from Walmart customers to his store’s Service Center. Any new customer is a positive occurrence that has the potential to result in increased sales.
I can assure you that our primary goal continues to be to support the independent retailer with quality products and programs, including FAR and Shopatron. Droll Yankees’ 100+ product line is not represented at Walmart. Instead we have developed a basic model in Songbird, Finch and Woodpecker SKU’s. The exposure of the Droll Yankees brand to millions of Walmart shoppers a week will strengthen our brand recognition. We expect a percentage of those wild bird shoppers to search our website for other quality bird feeding products, where they will be able to find a local DY retailer to fulfill those needs.
We expect the overall impact of this move to be beneficial to our independent retailers by introducing a quality brand to consumers who are not known to frequent the independents. However, if you feel that any of the feeders offered in Walmart too closely resemble feeders you carry in your store, we would be happy to swap them out for other models.
Please feel free to call me at 800-352-9164, and I will do my best to answer any questions you have.