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Strategic Decentralization and Channel Coordination


  • Preyas Desai


  • Oded Koenigsberg


  • Devavrat Purohit



In this paper, we show that under certain conditions, strategic decentralization through the addition of a retailer in the distribution channel can increase a manufacturer's profits. The specific case on which we focus is the quantity coordination (double marginalization) problem for a manufacturer selling durable goods in a two-period setting. We show that the standard solution that coordinates a channel for non-durables does not coordinate the channel for durables. In particular, even though a manufacturer can achieve channel coordination by offering per-period, two-part fees, the equilibrium wholesale price in the first period is strictly above the manufacturer's marginal cost. This is in stark contrast to the two-part solution for non-durables where the equilibrium wholesale price is equal to marginal cost. We also identify a strategy that solves both the channel coordination and the Coase problem associated with durable goods. In this strategy, at the beginning of period 1, the manufacturer writes a contract with the retailer specifying a fixed fee and wholesale prices covering both periods. We show that by adding a retailer and using this contract, the manufacturer makes higher profits than it could if it were to sell directly to consumers.

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  • Preyas Desai & Oded Koenigsberg & Devavrat Purohit, 2004. "Strategic Decentralization and Channel Coordination," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:5-22

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    3. Gérard P. Cachon & A. Gürhan Kök, 2010. "Competing Manufacturers in a Retail Supply Chain: On Contractual Form and Coordination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 571-589, March.
    4. Bian, Junsong & Guo, Xiaolei & Li, Kevin W., 2015. "Distribution channel strategies in a mixed market," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 13-24.
    5. Norris Bruce & Preyas Desai & Richard Staelin, 2006. "Enabling the Willing: Consumer Rebates for Durable Goods," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(4), pages 350-366, 07-08.
    6. Bazhanov, Andrei & Levin, Yuri & Nediak, Mikhail, 2017. "Resale Price Maintenance with Strategic Customers," MPRA Paper 79467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Anil Arya & Brian Mittendorf, 2006. "Benefits of Channel Discord in the Sale of Durable Goods," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(1), pages 91-96, 01-02.
    8. Baojun Jiang & Kinshuk Jerath & Kannan Srinivasan, 2011. "Firm Strategies in the "Mid Tail" of Platform-Based Retailing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 757-775, September.
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    10. Wilfred Amaldoss & Teck-Hua Ho & Aradhna Krishna & Kay-Yut Chen & Preyas Desai & Ganesh Iyer & Sanjay Jain & Noah Lim & John Morgan & Ryan Oprea & Joydeep Srivasatava, 2008. "Experiments on strategic choices and markets," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 417-429, December.
    11. Yunchuan Liu & Rajeev K. Tyagi, 2011. "The Benefits of Competitive Upward Channel Decentralization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 741-751, April.
    12. Anthony Dukes & Tansev Geylani & Yunchuan Liu, 2014. "Dominant retailers’ incentives for product quality in asymmetric distribution channels," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 93-107, March.
    13. Shuya Yin & Saibal Ray & Haresh Gurnani & Animesh Animesh, 2010. "Durable Products with Multiple Used Goods Markets: Product Upgrade and Retail Pricing Implications," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 540-560, 05-06.
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    15. Yusong Wang & David Bell & V. Padmanabhan, 2009. "Manufacturer-owned retail stores," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 107-124, June.
    16. Palsule-Desai, Omkar D. & Tirupati, Devanath & Chandra, Pankaj, 2013. "Stability issues in supply chain networks: Implications for coordination mechanisms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 179-193.
    17. Lacourbe, Paul, 2016. "Durable goods leasing in the presence of exporting used products to an international secondary market," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(2), pages 448-456.
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    19. Jeffrey D. Shulman & Anne T. Coughlan & R. Canan Savaskan, 2011. "Managing Consumer Returns in a Competitive Environment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(2), pages 347-362, February.
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    22. Xuan Zhao & Derek Atkins & Yong Liu, 2009. "Effects of distribution channel structure in markets with vertically differentiated products," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 377-397, December.
    23. Wu, Cheng-Han & Chen, Chieh-Wan & Hsieh, Chung-Chi, 2012. "Competitive pricing decisions in a two-echelon supply chain with horizontal and vertical competition," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 265-274.
    24. Xiao, Tiaojun & Choi, Tsan-Ming & Cheng, T.C.E., 2016. "Delivery leadtime and channel structure decisions for make-to-order duopoly under different game scenarios," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 113-129.
    25. Xiong, Yu & Zhao, Pei & Xiong, Zhongkai & Li, Gendao, 2016. "The impact of product upgrading on the decision of entrance to a secondary market," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 252(2), pages 443-454.

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