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Selecting optimal intermediary channels in emerging markets: The case of Vietnamese toiletries
Journal of Marketing Channels  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-07-02, DOI: 10.1080/1046669x.2020.1782799
Motoi Ihara

Abstract Domestic distribution in Vietnam is characteristic of an emerging market in the beginning stages of modernization, with frequent changes in retail format, a fragmented distribution structure, and ambiguous regulations. This study uses field surveys and comparative analyses of individual enterprises in Vietnam’s toiletry products industry to identify suitable channel strategies for emerging markets in the early stages of distribution modernization. The results indicate that partnership channels are more suitable than hierarchy and market governance channels. Moreover, among the various types of intermediaries, distributors provide a key role in emerging markets where transportation functions are undeveloped. Finally, the study investigates the various methods of partner selection, finding that effectiveness-oriented networks are superior to large-scale efficiency-oriented networks because they have greater channel coverage in modernizing emerging markets. The findings demonstrate the optimal channel structures and partner selection criteria for distributors in emerging markets.