Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, we cover the basics of distribution, including defining what channels of distribution are, examining the key functions and parties within a distribution system, and evaluating the role distribution serves within the overall marketing strategy.  Also, we look at the major types of channel arrangements and the factors affecting the creation of effective distribution channels.  We conclude with a discussion of different distribution design options and look at the issues global marketers face when distributing beyond their home country.

Key Issues:

  • Importance of Distribution
  • Distribution Activities
  • Type of Channel Members
  • Why Distribution Help is Needed
  • Channel Arrangements
  • Factors in Creating Distribution Channels
  • Overall Distribution Design
  • Distribution in Global Markets

Links to Cited References:

  1. To learn more about industrial distributors and to see a listing of the top companies see: "MDM Market Leaders - Top 40 Industrial Distributors." Modern Distribution Management
  2. For more information on agents and brokers see Wholesale Formats in Chapter 10.
  3. While L.L. Bean offers free product shipment in the U.S., it may take several days for delivery to occur.  Delivery can be faster with their express shipping option though this will cost the customer.
  4. For more see: "Shipping and Handling to the US." L.L. Bean
  5. For an example of services and support offered by a wholesaler to independent retail customers see: "Services."  C&S Wholesale Grocers
  6. For more details on Walmart's requirements for potential suppliers see: "Suppliers." Walmart
  7. Potential channel conflict can be seen in this story in which existing automotive dealers are concerned with a manufacturer's plan to expand distribution by adding more dealers: Vellequette, Larry P. "FCA's Plan to Add Stores Riles Dealers." Automotive News,  February 6, 2017.
  8. For more on the identifying gray market goods and potential ramifications see: "Gray Market Goods." Better Business Bureau - New York



KnowThis: Marketing Basics Book


$30 for Print
(322 pages)

KTMB3 Front Book Cover 120x171KnowThis: Marketing Basics, 3rd Edition offers in-depth coverage of marketing and is ideal for the marketing novice, the marketing educator, the marketing professional and anyone else who needs to know about marketing.This book includes more than 60% new material not found on

For more information including taking a look inside, Click Here.