Developing Products for Retail Success: Product Hunters

by IvyLee Rosario

LuvaLampsProduct Hunters has been at the forefront of producing unique, multipurpose items that are sure to be conversation starters for you and your customers.  Each piece released to retailers from Product Hunters has been through a rigorous testing process to ensure maximum sales and profit. Exactly how does the company accomplish this? President Jon Scheerz says the formula for producing new merchandise is the same every time. “We start by selling to niche operators, such as carts and kiosks, in order to test these new products into the retail market.”

Scheerz notes that by testing products in targeted venues, like a few select malls, the company is able to spend time understanding how each new item is received by a smaller test audience, before being put into larger production. “It’s a good starting point because it gives us the opportunity to customize and demonstrate the product,” he says.  Once the piece has been vetted in smaller markets, Product Hunters is ready to expand into larger retail arenas.

Take the case of one of the company’s most successful products, LuvaLamps, a self assembled lighting system made up of interlocking translucent plastic puzzle pieces. This product, together with similar items known as Candle Litez, handcrafted glass candle holders, and Buddy Litez, lamps in the shape of various animals, all began with a small test that led to a popular rollout in retail.

LuvaLampsProduct Hunters is unique, much like their product lines, because they redevelop past ideas — in addition to developing their own — and shape them to bring appeal back to something that may have been forgotten. “The LuvaLamps used to be all white. Now we offer 17 different colors and over 76 print designs,” notes Scheerz. “We are always looking for the next great product that will have large appeal. It must be something that isn’t gender or age specific and can have multiple functions to it – items that you won’t see at every store and can speak to customers in more than one way.”

The product testing road can sometimes be a long one. Scheerz notes that 2.5 million units of LuvaLamps were sold in the test phase before even reaching retail rollout. “Our greatest accomplishment has been the opportunity to have such a sustainable business in which we can expand our company and hire more employees, and really grow with one another,” shares Scheerz. “We are not just a lighting company, but focus on product developing. We want to make sure that whatever merchandise we work on will be well received across different merchants and ultimately become a success for our buyers.”

Looking to the future, Product Hunters plans to unveil a new line of soap and body care products in 2016, in addition to adding new designs for the Candle Litez and Buddy Litez. Suggested retail prices range between $20-40 per unit and wholesale prices range between $12.50 – $18. For first time buyers there is a start up minimum of $250, with free freight available for purchases over $500. For more information on all the Product Hunter products, please visit www.luvalamps.com.

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