By definition, a distribution channel or distribution chain is a path through which goods and services flow from vendors to consumers. Thus, distribution channels differ from each other by the number of steps here understood as intermediaries through which a good or service passes until it reaches the end consumer, the final stage. There are three types of channels :
1- THE DIRECT CHANNEL or direct distribution network allowing the producer to sell the good directly to the consumer.
2- THE SHORT CHANNEL : here the producer recruits a retailer responsible for selling to the consumer.
3- THE LONG CHANNEL : between producer and consumer, there are several intermediaries to reach the consumer; the product passes through the wholesaler and then retail trader or retailer. 03 groups, as provided for in Law No. 90/031 of 10 August 1990 on commercial activity in Cameroon, emerge from the distribution chain :
- producers: importers;
However, the distribution channel becomes longer depending on local realities, with the involvement of other types of intermediaries called semi-wholesalers and under-retailers commonly referred to as "street vendors".