Craft Business: Tell us the history of your company:
Brad Krieger, vice president of Checker Distributors: My grandparents, Bob and Del Krieger, started the business in 1948 supplying zippers, thread, yarn and ribbon to stores in Ohio, USA. The business grew slowly until 1971 when my father, Rob Krieger returned from the army and joined the business. In 1984, fabrics were added and the growth continued with the addition of sales representatives. The year 2000 marked the year Checker entered the world market and became known as the world’s leading supplier of quilting and sewing products. With the development of our website in 2006, retailers now had access to our vast inventory of over 140,000 items.
CB: You recently launched a new shipping program to the EU tell us more:
BK: We are very excited to offer a shipping solution to our existing and future customers in the EU. Their purchases will be a consolidated shipment via FedEx, with no weight requirements. Our customers will not be charged VAT and it is a three-business day transit from Checker to their store. VAT Funds will not be collected at time of delivery and the shipments are trackable from when they leave Checker until FedEx delivers to their door. Freight is currently (June 2016) charged at $1.85 per lb. with no minimum weight requirement. Our unparalleled selection of quilting products is now very affordable and fast to the EU.
CB: What are your top-selling brands?
BK: Our top-selling brands are the ‘must have’ notions and fabrics that quilters use. We have more than 1,200 vendors including very popular brands such as OmniGrid, Olfa and Clover notions; Hobbs and Bosal batting; Aurifil and Mettler thread; Benartex, Free Spirit, and Michael Miller fabric; C&T Publishing, Atkinson, and Martingale patterns and books. We encourage customers to browse the thousands of different vendors on our
website conveniently sorted by product category.
CB: Who is your target audience and what appeals to them most?
BK: The independent shop owner is our target customer. Shop owners are very busy running their store, teaching classes, etc. Checker offers them a true one-stop shopping experience with the thousands of brands we carry. Our website offers them all the tools to check stock availability, status of backorders, review old invoices and much more. We even offer online chat and an international customer service team who are always available via email.
CB: Does Checker help the independent shop owner with class and demonstration ideas?
BK: Yes, our website has about a thousand demonstration and class videos. They provide quick kit ideas and training forshop owners and their staff, and the make-and-take classes include an outline and downloadable flyer too.
CB: In this competitive world we live in, what sets Checker Distributors apart from other suppliers?
BK: We are family owned and just real people helping independent shop owners to be successful. Our incredible selection and the customer experience through our website and customer service reps, plus the new consolidated shipping program to the EU can’t be beat. Try us you’ll be hooked!
CB: How can a new customer open an account?
BK: Our experienced and knowledgeable customer service representatives are available Monday- Friday, 8am-5pm. EST via phone 001-419-893-3636,
online chat at www.checkerdist.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org