Distribution channels in Japan

Hokey Min (Department of Marketing and Transportation, College of Business, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Uncovers the facts and fallacies of the Japanese distribution channel and presents proactive distribution strategies with their managerial benefits, for the successful penetration of the Japanese market. Frustrated US policy makers and business representatives have been crying “foul” for years over the difficulties in penetrating the Japanese market. They believe that a web of formal and informal Japanese trade barriers prevent US companies from getting a fair chance to sell their products in Japan. The Japanese distribution channel is often symbolic of such barriers. In general, it is characterized as closed and complex with multiple layers of middlemen leading to a large number of small‐scale “mom‐and‐pop” retail stores. Due to its non‐conventional structure, the Japanese distribution channel often has been misunderstood by many Westerners and subsequently such misunderstanding has led to unnecessary trade disputes with the Japanese government.



Min, H. (1996), "Distribution channels in Japan", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 26 No. 10, pp. 22-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600039610150433

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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