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Unit 29 Understanding Retailing
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M2 Compare distribution methods guidance

In order to meet the grading criteria for M2 learners are required to compare the methods used to distribute products and services. Learners will need to look at the supply chain used by businesses. Learners could be asked to complete the following activity.

Look at the distribution process for two different companies in two different retail sectors, for example, fashion and food.

1. Identify the similarities and differences in the distribution methods of the two companies. This will require you to use the Internet to find relevant information or it may be possible to find information through local companies.

2.Discuss the following issues when comparing the distribution methods of your two chosen companies:

* responsiveness/time
* choice
* cost
* how up to date the product is

This list is not exhaustive; any additional research gathered needs to be included to enhance your answer.

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D1 Evaluate distribution systems

The grading criteria for D1 follows on from M2 and requires learners to evaluate the distribution systems used in delivering goods and services for a selected organisation. For this activity learners can choose one of the organisations they looked at when completing M2; selecting two products that they sell that use different distribution channels.

Learners should be reminded that ‘evaluate’ means to make a judgement. This means they will need to look at both the positive and the negative aspects of the distribution systems used. Learners could consider the following:

* responsiveness to consumer needs
* the cost of the distribution system
* using international or domestic suppliers
* using intermediaries
* any other transport arrangements, e.g. shipping.

For...
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