means used to transfer merchandise from the manufacturer to the end user. Intermediaries in the channel are called middlemen. Those who actually take title to the merchandise and resell the goods are merchant middlemen. Those who act as brokers but do not take title are agent middlemen. Merchant middlemen include wholesalers and retailers. Agent middlemen include manufacturer’s representative, broker, and sales agents.
means used to transfer merchandise from the manufacturer to the end user. An intermediary in the channel is called a middleman. Channels normally range from two-level channels without intermediaries to five-level channels with three intermediaries. For example, a caterer who prepares food and sells it directly to the customer is in a two-level channel. A food manufacturer who sells to a restaurant supplier, who sells to individual restaurants, who then serve the customer, is in a four-level channel. Intermediaries in the channel of distribution are used to facilitate the delivery of the merchandise as well as to transfer title, payments, and information about the merchandise. For example, a manufacturer may rely upon the workforce employed by a distributor to sell the product, make deliveries, and collect payments. The channels used by a marketer are an integral part of the marketing plan and play a role in all strategic marketing decisions.