Woodland believes distributors should handle logistics and they should not try to be his support. "Those are two different roles," he notes. "And I think the smart companies will separate that out; the people who move your boxes for you can't be the people who help you choose a certain product to sell, or to help you deal with a customer that has an issue with a product."
Many retailers also expressed concern over dwindling participation from manufacturers at trade shows and other venues. "Several years ago we did our first big digital expo at a nearby Holiday Inn," recalls Woodland. "We had all the major camera companies there and they all had pretty healthy budgets for marketing and support. The last one we tried to put together," he laments. "The same manufacturers said they could maybe scrape up some co-op to use, but their market development funds were kind of dry."
Additionally, several major manufacturers have done away with popular in-store programs. One company, notes Woodland, used to have an actual packaged day where its sales rep, a technician and a spokes-model would come in to help sell, perform clean and checks and hand out promotional items. "We even got double co-op," he remembers. "We were hoping to do one mid-summer, but our rep said that program's pretty much gone."