Online store is the way to go. You can contact with the distributor for a region and get the products with them. You can also tie up with the retail shop keepers.
I've been a member of this site for more than a month now.. I'm not into posting comments but I have read a lot of helpful articles, that's why I love it here..
Ok here is the deal, you do not want to deal with the retailer. The retailer is not interested in helping at all. What you want to do is to find their vendors and that is where the rubber meets the road. Its hard and its an individual affair. One of the best ways to find vendors is to go to a trade show in that demographic. The key to online success is not to carry the same thing as everyone else BUT to establish yourself as an authority on a specific category. Tradeshows allow you to find vendors that are looking for YOU. It makes finding product easier. After you make a long term plan to zone in on finding the premium brands with a strategy. I have found product vendors in strange ways. One way was ordering something for a separate project and noticing that the retailer I bought it from left the original product vendor decal with information on it. Its like shooting fish in a barrel if you have your eyes open and are prepared. I create what I call a "master biz info sheet". This contains a resume like sheet of data that i can reference that proves I am legit. Such as my sales tax reseller info, my fed ID number, my mailing address and banking info. People can weed out the rookies pretty fast so i like to stack the odds. The first one os always the hardest.
I'm in the developmental stages of building my online store, but one problem I'm running into is how I would go about formulating a relationship with retail distributors. I'd like to sell brand name products on my site in the outdoor sporting goods category. My question is, how do I go about selling items from, The North Face, Columbia and Spyder?? just to name a few. I guess this question shows my inexperience in the retail sales world but that's ok, gotta learn somewhere.
I appreciate your input, looking forward to hearing from everyone.