Avoiding Repetitive Products: Salter’s Distributing

Today, we’re focusing on a critical aspect of retail success: avoiding overwhelming your customers with repetitive products. We’ll explore strategies for finding new and unique inventory items to keep your customer base engaged. Plus, we have a special guest, David Salter, the owner of Salter’s Distribution, who will share his journey and insights.

Meet David Salter

David Salter is the owner and operator of Salter Distributing, located in Chowchilla, California. His company supplies over 2200 grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, and resorts from Sacramento to Bakersfield and from San Jose to Santa Maria. They offer thousands of different items, from toys and batteries to flashlights and gloves.

David Robertson, owner of Salter's Distributing in Chowchilla, CA talking about avoiding repetitive products in order to keep your customers engaged.
David Robertson, owner of Salter’s Distributing in Chowchilla, CA talking about avoiding repetitive products in order to keep your customers engaged.

Early Beginnings

David’s journey began in high school when he became a father and subsequently dropped out. He started working for a toy company, which laid the foundation for his future business. Over the years, he expanded from selling toys to offering a wide range of non-food items.

Growth and Expansion

David’s business grew from a van to a garage to a 30,000-square-foot warehouse. He now employs 70 people, with half of them working on the road. His company thrives on the principle of understanding and meeting customer needs by keeping inventory fresh and unique to avoid repetitive products.

Avoiding Repetitive Products

One of the critical aspects of David’s success is his ability to avoid overwhelming customers with repetitive products. Here’s how he does it:

Rotating Inventory

David started with a limited range of toys, which he rotated frequently to prevent market saturation. By continually introducing new items, he ensured customers always had something different to look forward to. Today, Salter Distributing carries about 500 different toys, so each visit to the store offers something new and exciting.

Diverse Product Range

In addition to toys, David ventured into selling work gloves, starting with existing brands and eventually creating his own line, El Toro gloves. This move allowed him to offer a superior product at a competitive price, while also adding variety to his inventory. By expanding into different product categories, he could cater to a broader customer base without becoming repetitive.

Customer-Centric Approach

Understanding and meeting customer needs is at the core of Salter Distributing’s strategy. David listens to his customers and tracks market trends to identify new and unique items to appeal to them. This customer-centric approach helps him avoid the pitfall of repetitive products.

Lessons in Business Expansion

David shared some key lessons on business expansion while avoiding product redundancy:

Investing in the Right Businesses

David suggests buying established businesses with a solid foundation and unique offerings. For example, he acquired a successful mop and broom business, leveraging their expertise to expand his own operations without duplicating products.

Learning from Mistakes

David also shared a cautionary tale about trying to run a car lot, which ended up being a significant loss. This experience taught him to stick to what he knows best.

Successful Gambles

One of David’s most successful ventures was investing in fidget spinners. By acting quickly and securing a steady supply, he capitalized on the craze before the market became saturated, demonstrating the importance of timely and unique product offerings.

Custom Hat Business

Another exciting venture for Salter Distributing is the custom hat business. They source high-quality hats from Vietnam and offer unique designs for different markets. This diversification adds variety to their product range, avoiding the trap of repetitiveness.

Advice for Struggling Business Owners

David emphasizes how challenges also bring opportunities. By staying resilient and looking for new possibilities, business owners can turn adversity into success. He points out how the retirement of Baby Boomers is opening up new opportunities to buy well-established businesses with unique offerings. This is a great strategy for the entrepreneur who wants to go into business but does not want to start from scratch.


David Salter’s journey from a high school dropout to a successful business owner is inspiring. His ability to adapt, learn, and innovate has been key to his success. For anyone looking to grow their business or find new investment opportunities, his insights on avoiding repetitive products are invaluable.

Keep pushing forward Visioneers! Seize opportunities, and remember variety and uniqueness can lead to great success in keeping your customers engaged and coming back for more.

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Reach out to our guest: Salter’s Distributing