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Marketing Made Simple by Geoff Lancaster, Paul Reynolds

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9

Channels and logistics

9.1 The nature of distribution

A distribution system refers to that complex of agents, wholesalers and retailers through which manufacturers move products to their markets. Marketing channels are made up of independent firms who are in business to make a profit. These are known as marketing intermediaries or middlemen. Distribution outlets can include combinations of owned and independent outlets or franchises. In designing a distribution system, a manufacturer must make a policy choice between selling direct to customers by employing salespeople or using intermediaries, i.e. selling through agents, wholesalers and retailers. The decision is usually based on cost factors that are a function of:

  The number of ...

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