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How Wholesale in Different Industries is Making a Difference – ReadWrite

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Deanna Ritchie


Wholesale businesses have a lot going for them. They help keep the wheels of commerce greased and keep the supply chain functioning, barring global catastrophe. No matter the industry, wholesalers can help most companies save money and grow their businesses.

What is Wholesale?

Before we dive too deep into the topic at hand, let’s establish a definition of what we mean by the term “wholesale.” Generally speaking, wholesale refers to a type of business that sells goods in bulk to other businesses. As opposed to a retail business, wholesale businesses sell to other business entities, not directly to consumers.

Wholesalers often establish long-term, reputable relationships with particular retailers.

Thanks to these relationships, the wholesale market is booming. In June 2021 alone, total U.S. sales for the wholesale market topped $588 billion. After a sharp dip in earnings at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, wholesale businesses’ monthly sales have since been on a steady upward trajectory.

Wholesalers offer their customers greater ease of operations, diverse offerings, and — in most circumstances — access to products from across the globe.

As these increased sales demonstrate, more and more companies are choosing to conduct business with wholesalers. From apparel and lifestyle to food to medical and pharmaceutical supplies, wholesale businesses run the gamut.

However, in each of these industries, wholesalers are making a difference and bringing about real change in the world. Consider the three points listed below as a great starting point for learning why this is true.

1. Apparel Wholesale Platforms Are Helping Emerging Brands

The arrival of the coronavirus put a lot of pressure on local businesses. Visting tourists, shoppers, and regular customers stayed home either by mandate or by choice. Everything from coffee houses to flower shops to corner stores to independent bookstores took a hit during the onset of the pandemic.

Caught between local health restrictions and a temporarily foundering global supply chain, many small businesses brands were devastated in 2020.

Today, however, wholesale women’s apparel marketplaces are helping emerging brands make a comeback. Bridging the gap between local shops and independent brands worldwide, these marketplaces provide a way to bring emerging brands to retail shops everywhere.

These wholesale marketplaces also help provide retailers access to artisanal brands. This enables these brands’ unique products to get into shops they maybe wouldn’t have been able to before.

In many ways, apparel and lifestyle wholesale platforms establish a clear, direct path for entrepreneurial brands to make their way onto the shelves of independent, local stores. Newer brands have a chance to establish themselves despite the setbacks of the past 18 months.

These Wholesale Marketplaces are a Win-Win for Businesses — Especially Local

Considered more widely, these marketplaces provide a win-win situation all around. Apparel wholesale platforms give independent brands the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of retailers in a cost-effective way. And local boutiques — who often have to compete with chain stores such as Target and H&M — also get access to more unique, high-quality styles.

2. Food Wholesalers Are Helping Allergy-Friendly Businesses Thrive

Starting a new food company is no mean feat. Despite the considerable challenges of market penetration, more than 15,000 new food products are introduced each year. The failure rate of these new businesses is high, so any support these businesses can get from wholesale businesses is crucial to their success.

Niche Food Markets — Building Business and Meeting Consumer Demand

Many of these newer food businesses are homing in on niche or specific diet types as food allergy rates continue to climb. An increasing number of adults and children are dealing with allergies, mostly from offenders such as gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. As a result, food companies are reformulating their products and coming up with new allergy-friendly food lines to meet the rise in consumer demand.

This is all good news to food wholesalers focused on expanding their catalog of diet-specific or allergy-friendly offerings.

By allowing grocery store buyers to search for items based on diet type and/or food ingredients, wholesalers can reliably provide products they know consumers are regularly seeking in the aisles of their local grocery stores.

One wholesaler offering just this sort of expanded capability is Mabel. This online food wholesale ordering business goes one step further, however, offering products based on region, dietary need, and brand value. Mabel also includes women-owned, small-batch, and eco-friendly brands.

Food wholesalers focused on diet and allergy needs are changing the way niche food companies’ products make their way into consumers’ hands.

3. Medical Supply Wholesalers Working to Create More Streamlined Services

The medical supply wholesale industry is not to be overlooked, particularly when you consider its massive growth and size. Currently, the medical supplies wholesaling industry in the United States is worth over $268 billion and has seen 3.8% growth this year.

America’s Massive National Health Needs

These numbers perhaps aren’t that surprising given Americans’ burgeoning medical needs as a sizeable chunk of its population ages. In fact, the average American spent over $11,000 on medical expenses, and that number was announced before the pandemic struck.

Fortunately, medical supply distributors understand this growing need and are making changes for the better.

One such example is Cardinal Health, one of the United States’ top medical supply distributors. Cardinal Health provides specialized medical products and pharmaceutical drugs to more than 85% of U.S. hospitals. Cardinal Health recently announced a partnership with Chronicled, a blockchain-powered network in the life sciences industry.

Partnerships such as the one with Chronicled and Cardinal Health will streamline processes and operations across the supply chain, thereby better connecting pharmacy suppliers with customers.

This certainly isn’t the first large-scale partnership in the medical supply wholesale industry. Nonetheless, it provides a high-visibility example of how wholesalers can grow their business by working with partners toward a common goal.

Consider, for example, the pandemic-fueled demand over the course of the past 18 months for personal protective equipment (PPE). This dilemma, faced by nearly every hospital system around the world, could potentially have been avoided or fixed more quickly with a more streamlined, technology-driven process.

The Takeaway

The wholesale market offers businesses of all sizes a tremendous number of advantages. Buying wholesale can be more cost-effective, of course. It can also assist businesses looking to expand their merchandise offerings, appeal to more consumers, and increase their overall sales.

Because wholesalers typically only sell to retailers and not directly to consumers, they enable those retailers to be the source of specialized goods.

The leaders of the wholesale market are impacting the sales model worldwide and shouldn’t be ignored. As the savvy intermediaries between the producer and seller, these three examples show how wholesalers can make a notable difference in how consumers gain access to the goods they want and need.

Image Credit: tiger lily; pexels; thank you!

 

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Politics

Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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