International Journal of Physical Distribution

ISSN: 0020-7527

Publication date: 1 April 1972


Efficient, or seemingly efficient, distribution of goods and services is something most of us take for granted most of the time in western advanced economic systems. Yet, as catastrophes and wars have repeatedly shown, a distribution system is a sophisticated and often fragile institutional phenomenon. In the face of such fragility and sophistication we tend to over‐compensate; we tend to generate excess capacity to meet almost any demand. Our understanding of channels of distribution and the complex relationships within them is accordingly adolescent rather than mature. During the coming decade, as the economies of the nine E.E.C. countries seek to adapt to their rapidly changing environments, there seems little room for doubt that greater maturity will be necessary and that it will emerge. Here we seek to discuss two conceptual constructs as the basis for understanding movement from adolescence to early maturity. Firstly, we explore the total systems approach; then we shall take a look at the use of comparative analytical method.


Wills, G., Magrill, L. and Cooper, A. (1972), "THE ANALYSIS OF EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS", International Journal of Physical Distribution, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 21-42.

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Copyright © 1972, MCB UP Limited

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