MakerBot announced distribution partnerships with WYNIT, a New York-state based distributor and Sam’s Club.
WYNIT provides goods as a wholesaler to retailers in the United States, and now MakerBot’s products can flow through WYNIT’s network. They focus on a wide variety of electronics goods, including 3D printing gear. Sam’s Club is the membership-only big-box outlet operated by Walmart.
WYNIT had previously made arrangements with Matter and Form, a 3D scanner manufacturer, and BEEVERYCREATIVE, another 3D printer manufacturer. Now they’re carrying the entire MakerBot product line.
Sam’s Club has begun selling MakerBot’s “tiny” Replicator Mini at over 300 outlets across the United States. This is something near half of their outlets in the USA, as Sam’s Club operates over 640 warehouses, mostly in the USA, but a few in Brazil, China and Mexico.
What makes this interesting to us is that MakerBot is continually developing more enhanced ways to deliver their product to the public. They were the first 3D printer manufacturer to experiment with a retail storefront, which still exists today. They’re still experimenting and developing retail strategies.
By partnering with distributors and major retailers, they automatically gain access to potentially thousands of stores that could choose to sell MakerBot equipment. Every additional retail participant is more revenue for MakerBot and most importantly, more units sold.
As the number of units sold increases, MakerBot is able to leverage economies of scale in many ways, not the least of which is manufacturing costs. They’ll also gain revenue from sales of accessories and services, such as filament and extended warranties.
The other interesting aspect is that WYNIT sells more than just MakerBot: BEEVERYCREATIVE is also on their product shelf. We suspect the smart 3D printing companies will get into distributor arrangements, as it is a quick way to ramp up sales. It may be that those NOT in distributor relationships will soon be at a major disadvantage.