From the Store to the ShopperThe term "distribution" is used to refer to the channels through which a product is sold in the market place. Often, a distinction is made between wholesaling and retailing channels. Wholesaling refers to those functions of gathering products, breaking lots into smaller units and distributing to retailers. Retailing refers to the location where the end customer can directly purchase the product.

For example, Safeway Inc. with 1,100 retail stores in Canada and the United States, is one of the largest grocery retailers in the world. These stores carry products from thousands of food and consumer goods manufacturers, including Safeway brand products produced at its 56 manufacturing locations.