Chapter 8: Distribution Decisions

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