It may be hard to believe that fleece did not hit the consumer market until 1981. This cozy, soft, lightweight and warm material is used everywhere, from athletic clothing to bedding. It’s something consumers commonly buy, not only when the weather is chilly, but when they seek additional comfort in their home. The selection is vast, both at the wholesale level, so distinguishing between top fleece blanket suppliers often poses a challenge for retail buyers.

It is possible to find the right supplier to help you maintain your brand’s standing in the home bedding market. Here are just a few criteria you may want to use to assess your wholesaler options before entering into a new business relationship that will ultimately affect your store’s overall success.

1. Know What the Customer Seeks

The process of finding and distributing home decor products seems straightforward. The wholesalers who do it right, however, go even further to ensure that the consumer-facing retail is able to achieve high-volume sales.

Anyone can find everyday fleece blankets and stock a store. A specialized wholesaler can provide information about consumer trends and desires, and in the process, help merchandisers strategically choose what to stock in-store and online.

2. In-Depth Understanding of Sourcing

Fleece may seem like a basic material to the casual observer. This fabric, however, was created in a lab and therefore can invoke consumer inquiries about ethical sourcing and environmental impact. In 2018, bedding trends overall lean towards more natural, artisan-style goods, reflecting the growing consumer desire to put environmental concerns into action, particularly in the textile industry.

The top fleece blanket suppliers are in step with these issues, knowing that although most people still buy synthetic products, retailers are still being pressed about where their stock comes from.

3. Excellent Customer Service

Retailers rely heavily on their wholesalers to fulfill promises to customers. It is never just a matter of clicking a few buttons and hoping the right product arrives at the store or gets into the hands of customers. When working with suppliers, it’s essential to have customer service that’s readily available in the event of last minute changes or to investigate potential glitches in the distribution process.

Of course, workers involved in product fulfillment spend many hours a week on their jobs, trying to get it right. Excellent customer service just makes the retailer-wholesaler relationship more pleasant for everyone.

4. Responsive Production Team

In the competitive home decor industry, many retailers seek a partner who can give them an edge. Among the top fleece blanket suppliers are those who can create custom home decor items to supplement your overall inventory. When a retailer is putting time and effort into developing a unique line, it needs the wholesaler to be especially reliable.

A responsive production team that offers quick turnaround is one aspect of that wholesale partner a retailer seeks. It’s not just nice to know that your wholesaler cares about your order; when you have to resell every item, your business depends on that open communication.

5. Boutique Style Operation

Ultimately, retail is a human business. With all the talk of e-commerce making the sales industry one-click, impersonal process, people are still behind all of retail. A person decides what to offer to customers, a person decides what to buy, and a person packages and ships that item.

At all stages, the retailer should understand the wholesaler’s process. A small, high-capacity wholesaler can give them the access and transparency they want. Don’t let the “mom and pop” image fool you: boutique means high quality, efficiency and accessibility to the business partner.

6. Interested in Ongoing Partnership

Retailers know that customer acquisition is always a significant cost. It not only expends money but time and energy that could be better spent tending to the needs of existing clients. The top fleece blanket suppliers feel the same way, seeking an ongoing partnership with a retailer.

For wholesalers, the retail partnership is essential, and the best ones will nurture that relationship to build long-term success for both parties. The supplier wants the retailer to stick with them, so there’s significant incentive to keep that retailer satisfied with the quality and availability of product.

7. Dropship Capabilities

While retail is certainly a people-focused business, more and more shoppers are looking to e-commerce sites for product selections. Retailers often want to give their customers several choices but can’t stock everything.

When choosing the right wholesale partner, they want to find someone who can say they will ship it to the store in bulk, or ship it straight to the customer after they make a purchase online. Dropshipping is increasingly important in home decor, and your partner should have the operational capacity to manage it.

Focus on Positive Customer Experience

At the end of the day, deciding amongst top fleece blanket suppliers comes down to who is going to provide you with the best overall experience that helps you serve your customer. That supplier should be knowledgeable, invested in your retail brand’s success, and operationally superior to other wholesalers. That way, when the time comes for you to make promises to your customer, you can do so without hesitation.

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