DISTRIBUTION: How Can Its Costs Be Cut?

FEW Americans realize how many workers are needed to distribute the output of U.S. factories: some 20 million, or about one-third of the nation's entire labor force. Fewer still know an even more startling fact: it costs more to get the goods to market than it does to make them. Of the consumer's dollar, only 47¢ represents the cost of the product itself; the other 53¢ is the cost of distributing. Example: A television set, which can be produced for $165 (including manufacturer's profit), costs slightly more than that to stock, ship, warehouse, advertise and sell. Moreover, while the...

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