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Z94.5 - Distribution & Marketing

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DEALER. A firm that buys and resells merchandise at either retail or wholesale.  Comment. The term is naturally ambiguous. For clarity, it should be used with a qualifying adjective, such as “retail” or “wholesale.”

DEMAND CURVE. A graphic representation of  the quantity of a product or service demand at various price levels.

DEMOGRAPHICS. Periodic measures relating to people in specific geographical areas—including income, living conditions, family size occupations, ethnic backgrounds, and educational levels (e.g., census tract data).

DEPARTMENT STORE. A large retailing business unit which handles a wide variety of shopping and specialty goods, including women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, men’s and boy’s wear, piece goods, small wares, and home furnishings, and which is organized into separate departments for purposes of promotion, service and control. Examples of very large department stores are Macy’s, New York, J.L. Hudson Co. of Detroit, Marshall Field & Co. of Chicago, and Famous, Barr of St. Louis. Two well-known smaller ones are Bresee’s of Oneonta, New York, and A.B. Wycoff of Stoudsburg, Penn.  Comment. Many department stores have become units of chains, commonly called “ownership groups,” since each store retails its local identity, even though centrally owned.  The definition above stresses three elements:  large size, wide variety of clothing and home furnishings, and departmentization.  Size is not spelled out in terms of either sales volume or number of employees, since the concept keeps changing upwards. 

DIFFERENTIAL MARKETING. The use of different marketing programs for separate segments of the market.

DIFFUSION. The process by which new products are accepted by consumers.  It begins with innovator use and proceeds through early adapters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

DIRECT MARKETING. The process of selling to consumers by excluding middlemen such as retailers or wholesalers.

DISCRIMINATORY ANALYSIS. Refers to statistical methods used in classification problems.  Given that an individual may have emanated from one of K populations, the major problem is to allocate it to the correct population with minimum error, usually based on multiple measurements on the individual and a prior set of similar measurements on individuals whose origin is known. 

DISPOSABLE INCOME. Personal income remaining after the deduction of taxes on personal income and compulsory payments, such as social security levies.  Comment.  This is substantially the Department of Commerce concept.

DISTRIBUTION. The broad range of activities concerned with efficient movement of finished products from the end of the production line to the consumer; in some cases it may include the movement of raw materials from the source of supply to the beginning of the production line.  These activities include freight transportation, warehousing, material handling, protective packaging, inventory control, plant and warehouse site selection, order processing, market and sales forecasting, customer service, and attendant management information systems; in some cases it may include buying activities. In which case it is more properly called “Logistics.”

DISTRIBUTION CENTER. Intermediate warehouse(s) where products from different sources are assembled for shipment to specific customer locations.

DISTRIBUTION WAREHOUSES. Facilities for product storage and reshipment. Used to facilitate the rapid movement of goods when trading areas are remote from point of manufacture.

DISTRIBUTIVE LAG EFFECT OF ADVERTISING. The effect that advertising has on each period in the future in addition to the current period effect.

DIVERSIFICATION. The process of adding different types of products to an already existing line of products.

DROP SHIPPER. A merchant who sells products which are shipped directly to the buyer by the manufacturer.

DUAL DISTRIBUTION. Occurs when a manufacturer uses several competing channels to reach the same target market– perhaps using several middlemen and selling directly himself.

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