Distribution includes the various activities the company undertakes to make the product accessible and available to target customer.Distribution of products constitutes an important element of the marketing mix of a firm.Distribution includes two components. They are channels of distribution and physical distribution.There are several channels of distribution for the consumer and the industrial products.
There are three types of channel members. They are:Agents,Wholesaler,Retailer.The retailer is one whose business is to sell to consumers a wide variety of goods which are assembled at his premises as per the needs of final users.Wholesaler buys and resale the merchandise to retailers and other merchants and to industrial, institutional and commercial users but do not sell in significant amounts to ultimate consumers.Wholesaling activities are just variations of the basic marketing functions- gathering and providing information, buying and selling, grading, storing, transporting, financing and risk taking.
A retailer may be defined as a dealer in goods and services who purchases from manufacturers and wholesalers and sells to the ultimate consumers.The term retailing does not cover sale by producer of industrial goods and industrial supply houses or by retailers, to industrial buyers for use in the conduct of their business. It is also important to point out that retailing may be done by any other institution in addition to retail stores.Retailer is one whose business is to sell to consumers a wide variety of goods which are assembled at his premises as per the needs of final users.Retailer does have various roles and the functions which are mentioned below:
-Buying and Selling
-Grading and packing
-Supply of market information
Types of retailers
-Consumers cooperative store
-Mail order business