Crossover Businesses: Blurring of the Lines Between Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

It is no secret that the old clear distinctions between manufacturers, distributors and retailers have been obliterated. Manufacturers are increasingly selling direct to the end customer, distributors are selling direct to end customers as well broadening their services to include light assembly and manufacturing, and in some cases offering their own branded product lines. Meanwhile, retailers are increasingly relying on private label products to generate margins and loyalty, essentially taking on the role of a brand owner, managing outsourced manufacturing. In this report, we explore what happens when a business crosses over to become a combination manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer—how it impacts partnerships, services, revenue models and the business’s system requirements.

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