A manufacturer is a company that produces items for use or resale. Manufacturers may sometimes be willing to deal with the retailers, but usually only for very high minimum order quantities. Usually, manufacturers sell direct to suppliers such as light and bulk wholesalers and liquidators.
Because manufacturers are the first cog in the chain of supply, they can offer very low prices on items. However, as stated above, their minimum orders are often very high and therefore, most retailers find that manufacturers are unreachable, in terms of product sourcing. However, keep in mind that some smaller manufacturers including boutique operations will work direct with retailers, so it never hurts to ask.