Non-traditional channels – Advantages and some factors

A scrutiny of practices prevailing in the market shows that a firm can practice exclusive retailing to varying degrees of exclusiveness and in combination with non-exclusive retailing.

Bata, for example, has 900 company owned exclusive shops, 120 franchisee exclusive shops and 600 market extension program dealers, who are semi-exclusive. In addition, it has separate, non-exclusive wholesaler retailer system consisting of 200 wholesalers and 12,000 dealers.

Ready-made garment brands like Louis philippe, Van Heusen, and Allen Solley were, to start with, marketed through exclusive outlet/franchise showrooms. But after some time, the companies concerned voted for a policy of semi-exclusiveness. They opened the door to multi-brand textile shops. They also adopted the shop-within-shop concept.

In the matter of size, exclusive retail networks can range from very small to very huge depending on the nature and ‘Class’ of the product/brand. Pierre Cardin, for example markets its products through just eight exclusive shops in India. Reliance (Vimal), has a network of over 2,000 odd exclusive Vimal showrooms.


Today, many super stores reserve special areas in their shops exclusively for particular brands. These are called shops-within-shops. The Louis Philippe line, for example, is sold through the shop-in-shop in the super store Shoppers stop.

Philips corners: Philips is another good example of company using the shop-in-shop concept. It has established its ‘shops-within-shops’ in many stores and named them ‘Philips Corners’. In fact, Philips overcame the problem of not having exclusive showrooms by voting for the shop-in-shop concept. It gained good visibility for its products in multi-brand outlets. ‘Philips Corners’ helped in keeping a good presence in outlets where consumers went to compare various brands. The internationally standardized colors, shelves and display windows of the ‘Corners’ helped Philips to cut across the clutter.

Advantages of exclusive retailing

* Helps the firm get best locations
* Superior store image
* Uniform store image
* Spreading awareness about the company and its brands
* More appealing visual merchandizing
* Full product range of the company can be stocked and displayed in all outlets
* With exclusive outlets, the firm can avoid margin wars
* Facilitates better customer service.
* Facilitates building store loyalty.
* Creates special enthusiasm or the company’s brand at the retail level; multi-brand outlets cannot create such enthusiasm for a particular brand.
* Enables better control of the outlets.

In conclusion the retail marketing in India and all over the world is undergoing revolutionary changes like the exclusive retailing, shop-in-shop, semi-exclusive concepts. The retailers are doing away with middle men concept and going through exclusive route so that they can market their goods at competitive and lower prices.