Is moving from online retail to strictly wholesale a smart move?
We offer hand-painted home decor on our website, Primitive Art Deco. All of our work is done by one artist. We started receiving wholesale inquiries as soon as we announced that we would wholesale our product, and have several wholesale accounts. We also have reps in 12 states, and orders are starting to come in from them as well. Should we phase out of the retail market and go strictly wholesale? I have been told by several retailers that they aren't comfortable with companies who sell wholesale and retail with the same product line. If we do commit to the wholesale only market, how long should we take to make the change??
I would sell via both distribution channels. You might want to change the marketing name for one of the channels so there is not a conflict. This is easy to do by creating a "DBA" (doing business as) for each. All the sales would be under your one company but you would invoice on the DBA name for each channel.
I am concerned about your capacity to fulfill commitments. You state you only have one artist but twelve sales reps. You should start looking for additional artists who can produce the style and quality of product you want to provide. It doesn't do any good to over sell and under produce. If demand is strong, you may want to review your pricing strategy ... especially if production capacity is limited.