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Retailers, Wholesalers and Distributors

Retailers, Wholesalers, and Distributors

The efficient movement of products from manufacturers to customers is reliant on a well-functioning supply chain. A supply chain is a system that encompasses the various stages involved in delivering a product or service from the manufacturer to the end consumer. This chain typically includes manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.

At the heart of a functional supply chain are the manufacturers who strive to distribute their products efficiently to meet the ever-changing demands of customers. Distributors, on the other hand, play a crucial role in the process by purchasing product lines from manufacturers, warehousing them, and selling them to wholesalers.

Wholesalers act as intermediaries, buying products in bulk from distributors and then selling them to retailers, rather than directly to the customers. Retailers, the final link in the supply chain, are the entities that sell goods or commodities directly to customers. These retailers typically operate in close proximity to the customers they serve and offer products from multiple manufacturers.

In contrast, distributors and wholesalers usually handle products from a limited number of manufacturers, with some even exclusively dealing with a single manufacturer. To illustrate, let's consider the popular Indomie brand. Indomie is manufactured by Dufil Prima Foods PLC, and its distribution is managed by Multi Pro Enterprises Limited and its distribution partners. Wholesalers, often located in large markets, receive these products in cartons and sell them to retailers like Shop Rite, where customers can purchase a pack or two of Indomie.

As a business owner, it is essential to identify the role you want to play in the supply chain based on your capital or goals. Equipping yourself with the necessary resources will contribute to your success in that role. Understanding the dynamics of retailers, wholesalers, and distributors can help you navigate the supply chain more effectively.

Content developed for the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund by DIY Law.


  • Supply chain
  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Wholesalers
  • Retailers
  • Efficient distribution
  • Demand and supply
  • Intermediaries
  • Multi Pro Enterprises Limited
  • Shop Rite
  • Indomie


  1. What is a supply chain?

    • A supply chain refers to the system involved in moving a product or service from the manufacturer to the end customer, encompassing stages like manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling, and retailing.
  2. What role do wholesalers play in the supply chain?

    • Wholesalers act as intermediaries between distributors and retailers. They purchase products in bulk from distributors and sell them to retailers, rather than directly to customers.
  3. Are retailers limited to selling products from one manufacturer?

    • No, retailers often sell products from several manufacturers to offer a diverse range of options to customers.
  4. How can business owners excel in the supply chain?

    • It is crucial for business owners to identify their desired role in the supply chain and equip themselves with the necessary resources to succeed in that particular role.
  5. Can you provide an example of a well-known brand and its supply chain?

    • Indomie is a popular brand manufactured by Dufil Prima Foods PLC. Its distribution is managed by Multi Pro Enterprises Limited, who sell to wholesalers and retailers like Shop Rite.