Marketing pp 84-118 | Cite as

Channels of Distribution

  • Michael J. Baker
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Marketing Management book series (STMM)


The term ‘channel of distribution’ generally requires supplemen-tation in order to limit the meaning of the word to the type of activity or item being considered. In a commercial sense, the term ‘distribution’ covers the act and process of disposing, or sharing, commodities, so that they may yield benefits, or be made ready to yield benefits to those who give value for them. The salesman uses the term to refer to the wholesaler or the retailer who sells the type of merchandise he has to offer. The economist is concerned with ‘the distribution of the National Income among the various agents of production, in accordance with the quantity of each several agent, and the services which it renders’1. In his examination of distribution in this sense, Marshall linked the process of distribution with the act of exchange which brings together these ‘agents of production’. This act of exchange is central to the distribution process.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    A. Marshall, Economics of Industry, IV (London: Macmillan, 1898).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. Alderson and M. W. Martin, ‘Towards a Formal Theory of Transactions and Transvections’, Journal of Marketing Research (May 1965).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    W. Alderson, ‘Factors Governing the Development of Marketing Channels’, in Marketing Channels for Manufactured Products (Glencoe, Ill.: Irwin, 1954).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Alderson and Martin, ‘Towards a Formal Theory of Transactions and Transvections’.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    L. P. Bucklin, Theory of Distribution Channel Structures (Berkeley: Institute of Business and Economic Research, University of California, 1966) p. 107.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Smith, Retail Distribution (Oxford University Press, 1937) ch. VI.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P. Ford, ‘Excessive Competition in the Retail Trade, 1901–1931’, Economic Journal, vol. XLV (1935) pp. 501–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Marshall, Economics of Industry.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Hall and J. Knapp, ‘Gross Margins and Efficiency Measurement in the Retail Trade’, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 7 (1955) pp. 312–36.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    S. Pollard and J. D. Hughes, ‘Retailing Costs, Some Comments on the Census of Distribution 1950’, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 7 (1955) pp. 71–93.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    K. D. George and P. V. Hills, Productivity and Capital Expenditure in Retailing, Occasional Paper No. 16, University of Cambridge (1968).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    W. B. Reddaway, Effects of Selective Employment Tax. First Report: The Distributive Trades (London: H.M.S.O., 1970).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith, Retail Distribution, ch. IV.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    E. H. Chamberlain, Towards a more General Theory of Value (Oxford University Press, 1957) p. 47.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. P. McNair, Significant Trends and Developments in the Post War Period in Competitive Distribution in a High Level Economy (Pittsburgh University Press, 1958).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    The Distributive Trades in the Common Market (Distributive Trades, Economic Development Committee, 1973).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    L. P. Bucklin, Competition and Evolution in the Distributive Trades (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1972) pp. 123–5.Google Scholar
  19. 12.
    D. Metcalf, ‘Concentration in the Retail Grocery Industry in Great Britain’, Farm Economist, vol. 11 (1968) pp. 294–303.Google Scholar
  20. 13.
    B. C. McCammon, ‘Alternative Explanations of Institutional Change’, in Towards Scientific Marketing, ed. Stephen A. Greyser, Proceedings of The American Marketing Association (Chicago, 1963).Google Scholar
  21. 14.
    P. McAnally, Economics of the Distributive Trades (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971) p. 34.Google Scholar
  22. 15.
    W. J. Reilly, The Law of Retail Gravitation (New York: Putnam, 1931).Google Scholar
  23. 16.
    P. D. Converse, ‘New Laws of Retail Gravitation’, Journal of Marketing (Jan 1949).Google Scholar
  24. 17.
    D. L. Huff, ‘Defining and Estimating a Trading Area’, Journal of Marketing (July 1964).Google Scholar
  25. 18.
    T. R. Lakshamanan and W. G. Hansen, ‘A Retail Market Potential Model’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners (May 1965).Google Scholar
  26. 19.
    D. Thorpe and T. C. Rhodes, The Shopping Centres of the Tyneside Urban Region’, Economic Geography, vol. 42 (1966).Google Scholar
  27. 20.
    G. Heald, “The Application of AID Programme and Multiple Regression Techniques to the Assessment of Store Performance and Site Selection’, Operation Research Quarterly, no. 20 (1972).Google Scholar
  28. 21.
    D. W. Greeno, M. S. Sommers and J. B. Kernan, ‘Personality and Implicit Behaviour Patterns’, Journal of Marketing Research (Feb 1973) pp. 63–9.Google Scholar
  29. 22.
    J. A. Lunn, ‘Psychological Classifications’, Commentary (July 1966).Google Scholar
  30. 23.
    D. Beazley, Shopping Styles and Strategies and their Relationship to In-Store Factors’, Management Information for Retail Organisations, Proceedings of ESOMAR seminar (Apr 1974).Google Scholar
  31. 24.
    A. Thabor, ‘Marketing Information and Simulation Systems for a French Retailers Chain’, in ibid.Google Scholar
  32. 25.
    Merchandising Characteristics of Grocery Store Commodities (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1929), General Foods Study (McKinsey, 1963); R. C. Curham, ‘Shelf Space Allocation and Profit Maximisation in Mass Retailing’, Journal of Marketing (July 1973).Google Scholar
  33. 26.
    ‘Towards a Formal Theory of Transactions and Tranvsections’.Google Scholar
  34. 27.
    L. P. Bucklin, ‘Postponement, Speculation and the Structure of Distribution Channels’, Journal of Marketing Research (Feb 1965).Google Scholar
  35. 28.
    See H. H. Baligh and L. E. Richartz, Vertical Market Structures (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1967).Google Scholar
  36. 29.
    See M. Hall, Distributive Trading (London: Hutchinson, 1950) ch. v, pp. 75–88.Google Scholar
  37. 30.
    See F. F. Balderston, ‘Communications Networks in Intermediate Markets’, Management Science, IV (Jan 1958).Google Scholar
  38. 31.
    Competition and Evolution in the Distributive Trades.Google Scholar
  39. 32.
  40. 33.
    See N. A. H. Stacey and A. Wilson, The Changing Pattern of Distribution (Oxford: Pergamon, 1965).Google Scholar
  41. 34.
    J. B. Jeffreys, The Distribution of Consumer Goods (Cambridge University Press, 1950).Google Scholar
  42. 35.
    R. Cox and C. S. Goodman, ‘Marketing of Housebuilding Materials’, Journal of Marketing (July 1956).Google Scholar
  43. 36.
    P. Rosson, ‘Changing Traditional Distribution Systems’, International Journal of Physical Distribution, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 305–16.Google Scholar
  44. 37.
    L. P. Bucklin, ‘The Classification of Channel Structures’, in Vertical Marketing Systems, ed. Bucklin (Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1970).Google Scholar
  45. 38.
    L. E. Gill, ‘A Graphic Interpretation of Distribution Channel Structures’, Ph.D. thesis (Ohio State University, 1968).Google Scholar
  46. 39.
    ‘The Classification of Channel Structures.’Google Scholar
  47. 40.
    See M. J. Baker and A. J. Brown, The Marketing of Meat in Europe (University of Strathclyde, 1974).Google Scholar
  48. 41.
    J. K. Galbraith and R. H. Holton, Marketing Efficiency in Puerto Rico (Harvard University Press, 1955).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 42.
    C. C. Slater, ‘Market Channel Co-ordination and Economic Development’, in Vertical Marketing Systems, ed. Bucklin.Google Scholar
  50. 43.
    L. E. Richartz, ‘A Game Theoretic Formulation of Vertical Market Structures’, in Vertical Marketing Systems, ed. Bucklin.Google Scholar
  51. 44.
    See F. M. Jones, ‘A New Interpretation of Marketing Functions’, Journal of Marketing (Jan 1943); and H. Bund and Carroll, ‘The Changing Role of the Marketing Function’, Journal of Marketing (Jan 1957).Google Scholar
  52. 45.
    Vertical Market Structures.Google Scholar
  53. 46.
    See F. Wentworth (ed.), Physical Distribution Management (Gower Press, 1970); and G. Brice (ed.), The International Journal of Physical Distribution Bibliography 1965–73 for Institute of Scientific Business.Google Scholar
  54. 47.
    J. C. Heskitt, ‘Sweeping Changes in Distribution’, Harvard Business Review (Mar-Apr 1973) p. 123.Google Scholar
  55. 48.
    See B. T. Bayliss and S. L. Edwards, Industrial Demand for Transport (Ministry of Transport, 1970); and A. J. Brown, ‘Variables affecting the choice of Distribution Channels’, in International Journal of Physical Distribution, no. 5, (1974).Google Scholar
  56. 49.
    See Department of Trade and Industry, The Costing of Handling and Storage in Warehouses (H.M.S.O., 1970).Google Scholar
  57. 50.
    See R. Artle and S. Berglund, ‘A Note on Manufacturer’s Choice of Distribution Channels’, Management Science (July 1959).Google Scholar
  58. 51.
    Vertical Market Structures.Google Scholar
  59. 52.
    See D. Moore, Costing for Marketing Managers. Industrial and Commercial Techniques.Google Scholar
  60. 53.
    K. Polanyi, The Great Transformation (New York: Beacon Press, 1951).Google Scholar
  61. 54.
    J. Boddewyn, Comparative Management and Marketing (Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1969) p. 42.Google Scholar
  62. 55.
    L. Kriesberg, ‘Occupational Controls among Steel Distributors’, American Journal of Sociology (Nov 1955).Google Scholar
  63. 56.
    See L. E. Gill and L. W. Stem, ‘Role and Role Theory in Distribution Channels Systems’, in Distribution Channels, Behavioral Dimensions, ed. Stem (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969) p. 28.Google Scholar
  64. 57.
    See R. K. Merton, ‘The Role Set; Problems in Sociological Theory’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 8 (1957).Google Scholar
  65. 58.
    V. F. Ridgway, ‘Administration of Manufacturer-Dealer Systems’, Administrative Science Quarterly (Mar 1957).Google Scholar
  66. 59.
    See W. M. Evan, ‘Towards a Theory of Inter-organisational Relations’, Management Science, series B (Aug 1965).Google Scholar
  67. 60.
  68. 61.
    J. C. Palamountain, The Politics of Distribution (Harvard University Press, 1955).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 62.
    See L. W. Stem and R. H. Gorman, ‘Conflict in Distribution Channels’, in Distribution Channels, Behavioral Dimensions.Google Scholar
  70. 63.
    I. F. Wilkinson, ‘Distribution Channel Management’, International Journal of Physical Distribution, no. 1 (1973).Google Scholar
  71. 64.
    L. P. Bucklin, ‘A Theory of Channel Control’, Journal of Marketing (Jan 1973).Google Scholar
  72. 65.
    El-Ansary and Robicheaux, ‘A Theory of Channel Control Revisited’, Journal of Marketing (Jan 1974) pp. 2–7.Google Scholar
  73. 66.
    W. J. Wittreich, ‘Misunderstanding the Retailer’, Harvard Business Review (May-June 1962).Google Scholar
  74. 67.
    Galbraith and Holton, Marketing Efficiency in Puerto Rico.Google Scholar
  75. 68.
    See L. G. Erickson, ‘Analysing Brazilian Consumer Markets’, Business Topics (Summer 1963).Google Scholar
  76. 69.
    See D. Carson, International Marketing: a Comparative Approach (New York: Wiley, 1967).Google Scholar
  77. 70.
    See J. R. Grabner and L. J. Rosenberg, ‘Communication in Distribution Channel Systems’, in Distribution Channels, Behavioral Dimensions.Google Scholar
  78. 71.
    See A. Nove, The Soviet Economy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1969).Google Scholar
  79. 72.
    See V. I. Gogol, ‘Wholesaling in the USSR’, in Comparative Marketing, ed. Bartels (Homewood, Ill.: Irwin, 1963).Google Scholar
  80. 73.
    Distribution of Consumer Goods.Google Scholar
  81. 74.
    Kriesberg, ‘Occupational Controls among Steel Distributors’.Google Scholar
  82. 75.
    McCammon, ‘Alternative Explanations of Institutional Change’.Google Scholar
  83. 76.
    Bucklin, ‘The Classification of Channel Structures’.Google Scholar
  84. 77.
    T. L. Berg, ‘Designing the Distribution System’, in The Social Responsibilities of Marketing, ed. W. D. Stevens (Chicago: American Marketing Association, 1962).Google Scholar
  85. 78.
    Bierman and Dyckman, Managerial Cost Accounting (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1971).Google Scholar
  86. 79.
    Dobson, Distribution Cost Accounting (Gee & Co., 1969).Google Scholar
  87. 80.
    A. W. Napolitan, ‘Determining Optimum Distribution Points for Economical Warehousing and Transportation’, in Managing the Material Function, A.M.A. Report No. 35 (1959).Google Scholar
  88. 81.
    A. A. Kuehn and M. J. Hamburger, ‘A Heuristic Programme for Locating Warehouses’, Management Science (July 1963) reprinted in Marketing Logistics, ed. N. E. Marks and R. M. Taylor (1967) pp. 91–109.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael J. Baker and Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Baker

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations