In recent times, firms have been taking to different kinds of non-traditional channel arrangements such as:
* Outsourcing of channel arrangement/marketing logistics.
* Exclusive retailing.
Outsourcing of channel Arrangement
Complete outsourcing of channel arrangement is the most striking of the non-conventional attempts. Firms contract outside logistics specialists to operate as their marketing channel.
In India, many firms have been practicing exclusive retailing for the past several years. In recent years, however, the idea has proliferated fast. More and more companies are now recognizing the inadequacy of the traditional wholesaler trade channels and are going in for exclusive retail networks. Across industries, it is becoming a trend, partly displacing and partly co-existing with the traditional wholesaler retailer set up.
Firms pursue exclusive retailing in different forms such as:
* Exclusive dealers without franchising arrangement.
* Exclusive retailing through showrooms.
* Exclusive retailing through shop-in-shop.
Exclusive dealers without franchising arrangement
Exclusive retail networks have been in existence in India for many years now. In the earlier days, businesses like textiles and footwear were the ones in which this concept was widely prevalent. In textiles for examples, Reliance (Vimal) achieved phenomenal success by setting up a network of exclusive retail shops. Garden Silks too has taken to this route. It has over 150 exclusive retail outlets, of which many are company owned. Bombay Dyeing is another example. Ready made garments brands like Louis Philippe and Van Heusen have also taken to exclusive retailing. In footwear, Bata runs a network of 1,200 exclusive shops and is expanding it further. It also has a parallel network of BSC stores, which are also exclusive shops to a large extent. Liberty Shoes, Bataâ€™s challenger, has also gone in for exclusive shops. It now has over 150 such shops.
In more recent years, the idea has spread to several other businesses, besides textiles and footwear. In the case of some businesses, such as computers and photo copiers, the sophistication of the product has forced the firm to go in for exclusive retailing. Ice cream firms have been setting up a chain of exclusive parlors. Arun has more than 700 parlors spread throughout south India. Sewing machine firms, like Singer India, have also opted for exclusive shops. Singer has established a chain of over 100 Singer Centers all over the country to sell sewing machines and home appliances.