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The wholesaler's role in the marketing channel: Disintermediation vs. reintermediation

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The demise of wholesalers as a major distributive institution in marketing channels has been predicted for many decades. The advent of internet-based electronic commerce has been predicted to accelerate the demise of wholesalers through a process of disintermediation. But reality has not conformed to these prognostications. What appears to be occurring is a reconfiguring or realignment of wholesalers in distribution channels, sometimes referred to as reintermediation. This article examines several underlying paradigms that may explain why wholesalers as a major distributive institution (will) continue to play an important role in marketing channels.

Keywords: Wholesalers; disintermediation; distribution service; reintermediation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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