Performance Impact of Distribution Expansion: A Review and Research Agenda
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The emergence of new technologies, shifting consumer needs, and growth in competition have made the expansion of distribution a business imperative for many firms. In this chapter, the authors review the empirical marketing literature on the performance consequences of distribution expansion and offer an agenda for future research. In doing so, they consider two dimensions of distribution expansion – increases in the intensity of distribution in extant channels and the addition of a new distribution channel. Further, they organize their review of the literature around three approaches towards measuring organizational performance – factual measures of operational performance, perceptual measures of performance, and factual, forward-looking measures of firm value. They note some common patterns as well as variations in the distribution expansion-firm performance relationship, across the dimensions of distribution expansion and types of performance measures. These insights form the basis for the author’s agenda for future research on this increasingly important substantive topic.