A distribution channel is the chain of intermediaries the product follows to reach the final consumer.
It is a very important element of marketing positioning as the other elements of Marketing Mix.
The choice of distribution channel is done according to the strategy taken by the company.
For example, a luxury brand will not sell its products in a department store. On the contrary, a company willing to develop a strategy of economies of scale would prefer channels allowing to access a large number of customers.
Generally a brand will choose a distribution channel according to the performance of the channel, the analogy between the image of the channel and the image of the product, and distribution costs.
There are two types of distribution circuits : direct-to-customer and indirect distribution.
In indirect distribution process can involve more or less intermediaries.