Types and role of Intermediaries

Normally goods and services pass through several hands before they come to the hands of the consumer for use. But in some cases producers sell goods and services directly to the consumers without involving any middlemen in between them, which can be called as direct channel. So there are two types of channels, one direct channel and the other, indirect channel.

From the above diagram it can be found that there is just one direct channel i.e. from producer to the consumer. There are many indirect channels like !i" #roducer $gent %holesaler &etailer 'onsumer, !ii" #roducer %holesaler &etailer 'onsumer !iii" #roducer $gent 'onsumer !iv" #roducer %holesaler 'onsumer and !v" #roducer &etailer 'onsumer

(et us discuss about some of the common channels.

(i) Direct Channel
)n this channel, producers sell their goods and services directly to the consumers. There is no middleman present between the producers and consumers. The producers may sell directly to consumers through door*to*door salesmen and through their own retail stores. For e+ample, Bata )ndia (td, ,#'(, (iberty Shoes (imited has their own retail shops to sell their products to consumers. For certain service organi-ations consumers avail the service directly. Banks, consultancy firms, telephone companies, passenger and freight transport services, etc. are e+amples of direct channel of distribution of service.

(ii) Indirect Channel
)f the producer is producing goods on a large scale, it may not be possible for him to sell goods directly to consumers. $s such, he sells goods through middlemen. These middlemen

directly to the consumers. !ii" %hen the retailers are big and buy in bulk but sell in smaller units.uantities from producers/ where as a retailer is one who buys goods from wholesalers and producers and sells to ultimate consumers as per their re. the producers sell to one or more retailers who in turn sell to the ultimate consumers. which are smaller in si-e. biscuits. (et us know about the characteristics of wholesaler.uirement. This channel is used under the following conditions 1 !i" %hen the goods cater to a local market. paper. etc. spices. Selling goods through wholesaler may be suitable in case of food grains. electrical appliances.uantity. Wholesalers %holesalers are one of the important middlemen in the channel of distribution who deals with the goods in bulk . 2epartmental stores and super ba-ars are e+amples of this channel. $ wholesaler is a person who buys goods in large . etc. like iron and steel. breads. They usually deal with a limited variety of items and also in a specific line of product. for e+ample. They buy goods in bulk from the producers and sell them in relatively smaller . etc. utensils.uantity to be purchased is more. patties. (et us look into some of the important indirect channels of distribution.uantities to the retailers.may be wholesalers or retailers. the involvement of various middlemen in the process of distribution constitute the indirect channel of distribution. #roducer  &etailers  'onsumer 0nder this channel. and mostly of items. . te+tiles. #roducer  %holesaler  &etailer  'onsumer This is the common channel for the distribution of goods to ultimate consumers. )n some cases they also sell goods directly to the consumers if the .

card. !iii" They sell different varieties of a particular line of product.uantities. you can find cloth merchants in one area. !v" %holesalers need large amount of capital to be invested in his business. They know the re. pen.e also provides financial assistance to the producers or manufacturers. For e+ample.uirement without storing much for the future. book publishers and sellers in one area/ furniture dealers in one area etc. not for sale. !ii" &etailers sell goods not for resale.uirements of the consumers and keep goods accordingly in their shops. cardboard. For e+ample. clothes. !iii" &etailers buy and sell goods in small . They keep a variety of items of daily use. for your use. !viii" )n a city or town they are normally seen to be located in one particular area of the market. For e+ample.uire less capital to start and run the business as compared to wholesalers.uantities. you buy fruits. !iv" They may employ a number of agents or workers for distribution of products.The followings are the characteristics of wholesaler !i" %holesalers buy goods directly from producers or manufacturers.uantities. a wholesaler who deals with paper is e+pected to keep all varieties of paper. !iv" &etailers re. So customers can fulfil their re. etc. . !ii" %holesalers buy goods in large . !v" &etailers generally deal with different varieties of products and they give a wide choice to the consumers to buy the goods. They usually operate through a retail shop and sell goods in small . !vi" They generally provides credit facility to retailers. Retailers &etailers are the traders who buy goods from wholesalers or sometimes directly from producers and sell them to the consumers. but for ultimate use by consumers.uantities and sells in relatively smaller . !vii" . The following are the characteristics of retailers !i" &etailers have a direct contact with consumers. pencil etc.