NEW YORK -- Second-tier brands need not be boxed out of trade partnering opportunities by the category leaders, said a consultant here. The important thing is to get started. "I'd say select that first or second partner, it doesn't necessarily have to be the largest retailer," said Richard Puccio, vice president of NEO Inc., a consulting firm based in Shelton, Conn. Beyond the 20 or so chains often cited as most advanced, he said, "there are probably another 50 trying to get there just ...

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