Distribution is concerned with the organizing system of transportation, storage and communication, so that goods and services will be readily available to consumers.
Distribution is a very important element of the marketing mix because of the utilities creates for consumers. Distributing creates three types of utility. Time utility is created when distribution channels makes products available for sale, when the consumer wants to purchase them. Place utility is created when good and services are available at a government location. Ownership or possession utility is created when the title of the product passes from the producer or intermediary to purchase, possession utility can also result when transaction in which the title does not pass to the purchase such as in the case of retailer car.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Kolter P. (1983:334) describes channels of distribution as the sets of firms and individuals that take title or assist in transferring title to a particular goods and service as it moves from the producers to the consumers.
Olakunori & Ejionueme (1998:93) say it is the path taken by products and the title in their onward movement from producers to consumers or industrial uses, they maintain that in moving products from producers ton consumers.
The production of soft drink started inNigeriawhen the Nigerian mineral water limited established by a foreign concern in 1933, since then many companies has established various brands in soft drinks firms. Among the companies in the early rush to make impact in the soft drink industry work Pepsi – Cola company with its Nigeria Breweries Limited which bottled tango and sundower brands of soft drink. We had also the seven up bottling company ( 7 up) which made considerable impact with its 7 up and Pepsi brand of soft drinks.
Some other soft drinks company existed under a heavy and aggressive competition within the industry. TheNigeriacivil war contributed greatly to the extinction of most of the soft drink company in existence before the war.
Out of the major leading soft drink firms in the country today, seven up bottling company Plc has surfaced by establishing a distributive it’s products.
The companies products includes 7 up, Pepsi, minerals ( tonic orange) and team with the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Pepsi Bottling Company as it’s competitors. The choice of distribution is not always between direct and indirect channel. Some soft drink firms make use of both direct and indirect channel of distribution in getting their products to the final consumer. The policy as often pursued by firms aggressive in the soft drink market. The degree of market segmentation (e.g) student and market women is necessary if the firm is effectively carryout a multiple channels strategy, that is, it to use both direct and indirect channels of distribution without getting into conflict with its distribution. It is not conflict with its distribution. It is not however, market segmentation that ensure conflict free but whether the strategy is complement or competitive ( Staton W.J 1981:343).
In case of seven – up company, what it uses is intensive distribution, all of their product are being sold through all available retail outlet, this is owned to the nature of the product and consume would not want to go shopping for it before the product is made available to them.
Since product does not accomplish its aims, it gets to the final consumer, the distribution of such product should be done in a more effective and efficient way of accompany the organizational distribution objective to the ultimate consumer, it means that the producers makes sales which may lead to increase in sales volume which might eventually result to increase in profit, distribution is an important management decision any business organization.
The channels of distribution that was defined in early part of this introduce consist of a refers to system of making institution through which goods and services are moved from the producer to the consumer. Marketing institution are those functions which may include storage, transporting and promotions.
Finally according to Zikmund and D’amico (1989:290) a channel of distribution consists of the producer, consumer and any intermediary organization that are aligned to provide a vehicle that makes the passage of title or possession of the product from the producer to the consumer possible.
Adirika (1997:220) distribution channel is the route or course taken in transferring the title to a product from its first owner to the last owner.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The sales of product (7 up) in Enugu Metropolis were unitarily nothing to write home about. It has divided drastically in the past one year almost to zero – level now; competition was having a field day.
The major marketing problems are as follows
The company had not been able to give incentives which would have attracted the patronage of the customer/consumers.
Seven –up bottling company had not been able to meet the competition of other soft drink marketing comprises with bitter and organized distribution network.
The quality of the product had not been considered better by consumer and better preferred to other competition brands hence the poor patronage of the product.
The new package of their products was not aesthetic enough to attract customer’s patronage and preference hence the distribution network problems.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The researcher’s major aim in this study is to find out the major problem and prospects of distributing seven-up soft drinks products in Enugu Metropolis. The specific objectives of this study are as follows.
To find out the pattern of distributing 7 – up soft drinks products in Enugu Metropolis and the problems associated with it.
To ascertain whether the products are well distributed in the metropolis.
To investigate whether the company has enough transportation facilities to supply (retailer) inEnugumarketing regions
Seven – up bottling company should solicit for a good advertising method to convince the public of a better product, so as to meet up with their competition of other companies.
1.4 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work is restricted to 7 – up Bottling Company depot on the problem and prospect of distributing its soft drinks. The bottling company depot is located atOkpala AvenueEnugu.
The scope of this research work is focused onEnugumetropolis, using distribution to determine how effective is distributing of soft drinks. The research work is not for the entire population ofEnugustate but some part ofEnugumain towns and population in the environment. The researcher will also find out how the people in Enugu Metropolis react to the product ( 7 – up products) in the various distributing system.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions are as follows:
Had you been receiving promotional from seven up company?
What distribution pattern had seven – up been operating?
Do you consider seven up soft drink better other competition brands?
What effect has the new packaging on consumer’s patronage?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The main function of distribution is to make more goods from the producers to get to the final consumers, and because production is not complete until goods get to the hands of the final consumer, therefore this study will help in no small measure in evaluating how 7 –up products are distributed to their consumer and the basic problems affecting their distribution.
The research work will help to provide useful information to the management of 7 up Bottling company PLCEnugudepot on how their products can be distributed efficiently and effectively inEnugumarketing region. This study will help students that may want to carryout venture into distribution business in their future carriers and researchers that might want to carryout further studies on the problems of distribution soft drinks inEnugumetropolis.
InNigeriatoday, business is being easy endeavor mainly because of the prevailing economic crisis and unsuitability of government. This has prompted much business to be more careful in taking business decision by making use of official facts and figures gotten by researchers before investing their money in any business venture.
Distribution helps the consumer to identify the product quickly, and on the other hands, it helps the company to know where and when to distribute their products. It helps the company to know which among the distribution variables to use when distributing the product; this will invariably lead to generation profit generation and continually of the product.994