Trends special Alternative distribution channels
Imports into the European market for home decoration and home textiles traditionally take place through wholesale importers and larger retailers, or retail chains. Increasing numbers of smaller retailers are also interested in buying directly from producers in developing countries. This document explains what the pros and cons are of supplying directly to these retailers.
Smaller, independent European retailers purchase mainly from domestic wholesalers/importers. However, like in other sectors in the European market, such as food or clothing, independent retailers in home decoration and home textiles are struggling to compete with retail chains and need to differentiate on value-added service, as well as specialised offers and authenticity. Where products would otherwise be unavailable, buying them directly from producers in developing countries is a way to achieve that.