The Evolution of Distribution Channels for Consumer Goods

  • Susan A. Shaw
  • John A. Dawson

Abstract

The choice of channels of distribution is fundamental in establishing the strategic direction for a business. The decision on channel affects the assortment and characteristics of goods made available to the final consumer and the processes by which they are made available (Ce-spedes, 1988–9). The choice of channels used has a major impact on the totality of the processes performed by the business and its overall performance in the market. The inclusion of a chapter on channel evolution and the theory of channel management therefore complements other chapters in this volume. We hope that it helps to redress partially what Michael Baker (1992) has suggested is an unjustly neglected topic in marketing. The purpose of the contribution is twofold: first, to provide a summary analysis of the ways in which distribution channels for consumer products have been changing; second, to assess the implications of these changes for research into channel theory. The emphasis throughout the chapter is on the European experience, on consumer goods channels and on channels involving large retail businesses. While this area is a small subset of all marketing channels, by focusing on this subset it is possible to explore in detail some important issues which have ramifications for research into all distribution channels.

Keywords

Migration Europe Marketing Petrol Hunt 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, J.C. and J.A. Narus (1990) ‘A Model of Distributor Firm and Manufacturer Firm Working Partnerships’, Journal of Marketing, 54(1), 42–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson J.C., H. Hakansson and J. Johanson (1994) ‘Dyadic Business Relationships within a Business Network Context’, Journal of Marketing, 58(4), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, E. and B. Weitz (1989) ‘Determinants of Continuity in Conventional Industrial Channel Dyads’, Marketing Science, 8(Fall), 310–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baker, M.J. (1971) Marketing: An Introductory Text (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  5. Baker, M.J. (1992) Marketing Strategy and Management, 2nd edn (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barger, H. (1955) Distribution’s Place in the American Economy since 1869 (Princeton: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  7. Braithwaite, D. and S.P. Dobbs (1932) The Distribution of Consumable Goods (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  8. Brown, J.R., J.L. Johnson and H.F. Koenig (1995) ‘Measuring the Sources of Marketing Channel Power: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches’, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 12, 333–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burt, S.L. and J.A. Dawson (1991) ‘The Impact of New Technology and New Payment Systems on Commercial Distribution in the European Community’, Commission of the European Communities, DGxxiii, Series Studies, Commerce and Distribution, 17.Google Scholar
  10. Cespedes, F.V. (1988–9) ‘Channel Management is General Management’, California Management Review, 33, 99–118.Google Scholar
  11. Christopher, M. (1992) Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Structures for Reducing Costs and Improving Services (London: Pitman).Google Scholar
  12. Corstjens, J. and M. Corstjens (1995) Store Wars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace (Chichester: Wiley).Google Scholar
  13. Cox, R. (1965) Distribution in a High Level Economy (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall).Google Scholar
  14. Coyle, J.J. and J.C. Andraski (1990) ‘Managing Channel Relationships’, Annual Conference Proceedings, Council of Logistics Management Chicago, 245–58.Google Scholar
  15. Crewe, L. and E. Davenport (1992) ‘The Puppet Show: Changing Relationships within Clothing Retailing’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 17, 183–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dawson, J.A. (1982) Commercial Distribution in Europe (London: Croom Helm).Google Scholar
  17. Dawson, J.A. (1995a) ‘Retail Change in the European Community’, in R. Davies, (ed.), Retail Planning Policies in Western Europe (London: Routledge) 1–30.Google Scholar
  18. Dawson, J.A. (1995b) ‘Food Retailing and the Food Consumer’, in D.W. Marshall (ed.) Food Choice (London: Blackie) 77–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dawson, J.A. and S.A. Shaw (1989) ‘The Move to Administered Vertical Marketing Systems by British Retailers’, European Journal of Marketing, 23(7), 42–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dawson, J.A. and S.A. Shaw (1990) ‘The Changing Character of Retailer-Supplier Relationships’, in J. Fernie (ed.) Retail Distribution Management (London: Kogan Page) 19–39.Google Scholar
  21. Distributive Trades EDC (1973) The Distributive Trades in the Common Market (London: HMSO).Google Scholar
  22. Ducroq, C. (1991) Concurrences et Stratégies dans la Distribution (Paris: Vuibert).Google Scholar
  23. Eurostat (1993) Retailing in the European Single Market (Luxembourg: Eurostat).Google Scholar
  24. Frazier, G.L. (1983) ‘On the Measurement of Interfirm Power in Channels of Distribution’, Journal of Marketing, 55(1), 52–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Frazicr, G.L. (1990) ‘The Design and Management of Channels of Distribution’, in G. Day, B. Weitz, and R. Wensley, (eds.) The Interface of Marketing and Strategy Strategic Management Policy and Planning 6 (Boston: JAI Press) 255–304.Google Scholar
  26. Frazier, G.L. and Rody, R.C. (1991) ‘The Use of Influence Strategies in Interfirm Relationships in Industrial Product Channels’, Journal of Marketing 55, (January), 52–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. French, J. and B. Raven (1959) ‘The Bases of Social Power’, in D. Cartwright (ed.), Studies in Social Power (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press) 150–67.Google Scholar
  28. GDI (1988) Logistics 2001 in Europe (Zurich: GDI).Google Scholar
  29. Gaski, J.F. (1984), ‘The Theory of Power and Conflict in Channels of Distribution’, Journal of Marketing, 48, Summer, 9–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. GEA Consulenti Associati di Gestione Aziendale (1994) Supplier-Retailer Collaboration in Supply Chain Management (London: Coca-Cola Retailing Research Group — Europe).Google Scholar
  31. Greipl, E. von, H. Laumer and U. Chr. Täger (1992) Entwicklung der Empirishen Handelsforschung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Munich: IFO).Google Scholar
  32. Hawkes, G. (1995), ‘Chips with Everything: Client Management and IT’, in G. Brace and L. Patten (eds), Food and Beverage Europe 1995, (London: Sterling Publications), 55–72.Google Scholar
  33. Herman, G. (1994) The Impact of Information Technology in Retail (London: Pearson Professional).Google Scholar
  34. Hogarth Scott, S. and S.T. Parkinson (1993) ‘Retailer-Supplier Relationships in the Food Channel: A Supplier Perspective’, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 21(8), 11–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Houlder, V. (1995) ‘Tighter links in the Chain’, Financial Times, 22 June, 21.Google Scholar
  36. Hunt, S.D. (1991) Modern Marketing Theory: Critical Issues in the Philosophy of Marketing Science (Cincinnati: South Western Publishing Company).Google Scholar
  37. Institute for Grocery Distribution (1995a) Grocery Retailing 1995: The Market Review (Watford: IGD Business Publications).Google Scholar
  38. Institute for Grocery Distribution (1995b) IT Trends in the Grocery Industry (Watford: IGD Business Publications).Google Scholar
  39. Jefferys, J.B. and Knee, D. (1962) Retailing in Europe, (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  40. Kapferer, J-N. (1986) ‘Beyond Positioning: Retailer’s Identity’, Retail Strategies For Profit and Growth (Amsterdam: ESOMAR) 167–75.Google Scholar
  41. Knox, S. D, and H.F. M. White (1991) ‘Retail Buyers and their Fresh Produce Suppliers: A Power or Dependency Scenario in the UK?’, European Journal of Marketing, 25(1), 40–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Laaksonen, H. (1994), ‘Own Brands in Food Retailing Across Europe’, Oxford Report on Retailing (Oxford: Oxford Institute of Retail Management).Google Scholar
  43. Langley, C.J. and Holcomb, M.C. (1992) ‘Creating Logistics Customer Value’, Journal of Business Logistics, 13(2), 1–28.Google Scholar
  44. Marfels, C. (1992) ‘Concentration and Buying Power: The Case of German Food Distribution’, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 2(3), 233–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCammon, B.C. Jr. (1970) ‘Perspectives for Distribution Programming’, in L.P. Bucklin (ed.), Vertical Marketing Systems (Glenview, Ill. Scott Fores-man) 32–51.Google Scholar
  46. McLaughlin, E.W. (1995) ‘Buying Practices in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry in the USA’, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 5(1), 37–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McLaughlin, E.W. and G.F. Hawkes (1995) ‘Category Management in the US Grocery Distribution Channel: A New Mechanism for Grocery Co-ordination’, Eighth International Conference on Research in the Distributive Trades, CESCOM, Milan, September, A14, 15–24.Google Scholar
  48. Mentzer, J.T. (1993) ‘Managing Channel Relations in the 21st Century’, Journal of Business Logistics, 14(1), 27–41.Google Scholar
  49. Mentzer, J.T., R. Gomes, and R.E. Krapfel Jr. (1989) ‘Physical Distribution Service: A Fundamental Marketing Concept?’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 17(1), 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Messinger, P.R. and C. Narasimhan (1995), ‘Has Power Shifted in the Grocery Channel?’, Marketing Science, 14(2), 189–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moir, C. (1990), ‘Competition in the UK Grocery Trades’, in C. Moir and J.A. Dawson (eds), Competition and Markets (London: Macmillan), 91–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nielsen, (1992) Category Management (Chicago: American Marketing Association).Google Scholar
  53. Novack, R.A., L.M. Rinehart, and M.V. Wells (1992) ‘Rethinking Concept Foundations in Logistics Management’, Journal of Business Logistics, 13(2), 233–67.Google Scholar
  54. Ottimo, E. and L. Pilotti (1994) ‘Electronic Data Interchanges and Producer-Retailer Relationships’, Università Bocconi, Note di Ricerca, 32.Google Scholar
  55. P-E International (1994) Supply Chain Partnerships: Who Wins? (Egham: P-E International).Google Scholar
  56. Pelligrini, L. (1990) Economia delia Distribuzione Commerciale, (Milan: EGEA).Google Scholar
  57. Pilotti, L. (1991) La Distribuzione Commerciale, (Turin: Utet).Google Scholar
  58. Popper, K.R. (1960) The Poverty of Historicism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
  59. Raven, B. and A. Kruglanski (1970) ‘Conflict and Power’, in P. Swingle (ed.), The Structure of Conflict (New York: Academic Press) 69–109.Google Scholar
  60. Ruekert, R.W. and G.A. Churchill (1984) ‘Reliability and Validity of Alternative Measures of Channel Member Satisfaction’, Journal of Marketing Research, 21 (May), 226–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Senker, J. (1988) ‘Technological Co-operation Between Manufacturers and Retailers to Meet Market Demand’, Food Marketing, 2(3), 88–99.Google Scholar
  62. Shaw, S.A. (1994) ‘Competitiveness, Relationships and the Strathclyde University Food Project’, Journal of Marketing Management, 10, 391–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shaw, S.A., D. Nisbett and J.A. Dawson (1989) ‘Economies of Scale in UK Supermarkets: Some Preliminary Findings’, International Journal of Retailing, 4(5), 12–26.Google Scholar
  64. Simmet, H. (1990), Neue Informations und Kommunikations-technologien im Marketing des Lebenmitteleinzelhandels (Stuttgart: Poeschel).Google Scholar
  65. Skinner, S.J., J.B. Gassenheimer and S.W. Kelly (1992) ‘Co-operation in Supplier Dealer Relations’, Journal of Retailing, 68(2), 174–93.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, D.L.G. and L. Sparks (1993) ‘The Transformation of Physical Distribution in Retailing: The Example of Tesco plc’, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 3(1), 35–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Stern, L.W. and T. Reve (1980) ‘Distribution Channels as Political Economies: A Framework for Comparative Analysis’, Journal of Marketing, 44(3), 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Stewart, P.W., J.F. Dewhurst and L. Field (1939) Does Distribution Cost Too Much? (New York: Twentieth Century Fund).Google Scholar
  69. Taylor Nelson AGB (1994) Packaged Grocery Private Label 1983–92 (London: Taylor Nelson AGB).Google Scholar
  70. Webster, F.E. (1992) ‘The Changing Role of Marketing in the Corporation’, Journal of Marketing, 56(4), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Susan A. Shaw and John A. Dawson 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan A. Shaw
  • John A. Dawson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations