How retailer-producers can adapt and profit

Change can be challenging for any business, for smaller businesses, agility can come at a significant cost. Javier Lopez explores the steps producer-retailers can take to build their brand and drive profitability quickly and cost effectively while adapting to changing consumer demands
There are many advantages to becoming a retailer-producer that both creates and sells products. Retailers that create their own products can take control of the end-to-end production and supply, cutting out lead times and the costs of manufacturing and shipping that are dictated by manufacturers and suppliers. Similarly, small producers that have traditionally supplied products to retailers can profit from direct access to customers by opening their own self-managed retail channels.
From craft brewers, coffee roasters and winemakers, to small retailers producing and selling delicious jams, cheeses and baked goods, there are many growing opportunities for artisanal creators to gain exposure and increase sales. Social media and e-commerce have made it easy for retailer-producers to connect with consumers often looking for unique, small-batch produce. However, challenges can arise when it comes to other elements of the business such as creating packaging and labelling for products professionally and affordably in small volumes, particularly when meeting the growing trend for personalisation and customisation. 

Embracing change, whether expected or not

It can also be challenging for retailer-producers to react quickly and flexibly to sudden changes, whether they have identified a new product or trend that they want to profit from, or they’re reacting to unexpected challenges such as those that the pandemic has inflicted on the retail sector.  
Two-thirds of businesses say their sectors are characterised by rapid change1, according to McKinsey. The increasingly complex and volatile times we currently find ourselves in are a stark reminder of how quickly things can and will shift, highlighting the need for flexibility across businesses of all sizes. 
Independent businesses such as retailer-producers will inevitably have a tougher time reacting to changes that threaten the business compared to larger, more established retailers that usually have more cash reserves and resources to fall back on. 

Building a brand from the product to the package

On-demand print solutions can provide retailer-producers the flexibility to create, customise and print labels, packaging, marketing materials and other collateral, quickly, easily and affordably, on-demand to help promote their produce. 
Printing in-house can be instrumental in helping retailer-producers to adapt and diversify in the face of unanticipated change and adversity. By investing in a media-flexible digital production printer, retailer-producers can create everything they need to promote their produce to new and existing customers. Furthermore, with personalised products commanding a 20% premium2, retailer-producers can profit from this growing customer expectation without relying on the minimum print volumes and long lead times expected by third party print suppliers, enabling them to operate more sustainably and proactively adapting to changing consumer and market demands.  

Helping retailer-producers to add a personal touch

As well as major European retailers, OKI has been empowering retailer-producers to confidently navigate change and use print to drive profit for their business.

OKI hand Tea Club make the perfect blend

OKI customer Tea Club runs a successful chain of boutique tea and coffee shops and produces its own personalised blends of teas and coffees and sells them directly to customers.

The family-run business is able to create and print all its label designs in-house using OKI’s label printer which allows it to be as flexible as it needs to be, whether printing a last-minute personalised order, or to support the quick launch of a new blend. 

Craft brewery Zion raises a glass to OKI

Boutique brewery Zion not only produces its own craft beers, it also markets and sells them directly to consumers and runs corporate beer tasting events. Competing against established and well-loved beer brands, Zion understands the power of professional quality printed collateral when it comes to engaging customers and increasing sales. However, being able to quickly personalise its products as well as supporting its events with customised collateral is a large part of attracting consumers to the brand and converting them into customers. 
Using a single compact OKI printer with unrivalled media flexibility, Zion produces eye-catching, personalised marketing assets instantly in-house. This empowers the brand to react quickly to changing sales environments and other challenges such as emerging social trends. When faced with unexpected hurdles, print has the power to help retailer-producers react, adapt and even pivot to new operational models faster and more effectively. 


  1. Mckinsey - how-to-create-an-agile-organization
  2. The Deloitte Consumer review 
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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