Retailers As Channels of Distribution

Introduction to Retailers As Channels of Distribution

What you’ll learn to do: describe types of retailers and explain how they are used as a channel of distribution

Retailing is important for marketing students to understand for two main reasons. First, most channel structures end with a retailer. While products may pass through a wholesaler or involve a broker or agent, they also include a retailer. Second, retail offers an immense number of job opportunities. Today in the IN., there are 3,793,621 retail establishments that support 42 million jobs. Retail also contributes $2.6 trillion to the IN. gross domestic product.[1]

You can view the number of jobs and retail presence in your state at the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Who are these retailers? The NRF posts an annual list of the top one hundred retailers by retail sales. The top ten are listed in the table below.

RankRetailerIN. Headquarters2014 Retail Sales
1Walmart StoresBentonville, Arkansas$343,624,000
2The Kroger Co.Cincinnati, Ohio$103,033,000
3CostcoIssaquah, Washington$79,694,000
4The Home DepotAtlanta, Georgia$74,203,000
5WalgreenDeerfield, Illinois$72,671,000
6TargetMinneapolis, Minnesota$72,618,000
7CVS CaremarkWoonsocket, Rhode Island$67,974,000
8Lowe’s CompaniesMooresville, North Carolina$54,805,000
9Amazon.comSeattle, Washington$49,353,000
10SafewayPleasanton, California$36,330,000

In this section you’ll learn more about the retail channel and the strategies that drive its growth.