Living and Dealing With Channel Conflict
The Nationwide executives didn't skip a beat when asked to name the biggest issue faced by their independent dealers. "Channel conflict," they said.
The phrase "channel conflict," encompasses several definitions - overdistribution of product; allocation of tight inventory, as well as favorable marketing, merchandising and promotion programs, to the big boxes - and none of them are good for the independent dealer. The issue of channel conflict has plagued the CE side of business for several years and is now growing more acute on the appliance side. Welcome to the intensified world of "coopetition."
The word (short for cooperative competition) has been around for decades and it essentially describes a relationship between companies that work together in areas where they don't compete. More so than ever, the word defines the relationship independent CE and appliance dealers have with manufacturers. The difference today is that manufacturers are competing against their dealer "partners" on many more levels than they have in the past.