The concept of commerce through wholesale has been around almost since people started selling and trading goods. Wholesale became a useful way to bring larger amounts of consumer products from far away places and into the hands of retailers. This gave retailers, and therefore consumers, access to products they may not have had otherwise.
Why Wholesale Distribution Became Necessary
In the early days of commerce, local merchants sold local goods and products based on what was available to them. As time went on and global exploration brought discoveries of other lands and what they had to offer, these goods came into demand more and more. This required, of course, a way to get these goods to the consumers demanding them. This is where wholesale distribution came in.
Wholesale Distribution benefited both the sellers and producers of goods. By becoming the middleman, these early merchants and transporters of goods created an opportunity for sellers to unload large amounts of their product in one transaction.
For retail sellers, this meant access to products in quantities that met their inventory demand while saving them time and money.
Trade routes such as the Silk Road developed as a way to move these goods throughout the ancient world from east to west.
How Wholesale Distribution Grew
In more modern times, as civilizations grew and populations exploded, wholesale distribution became more streamlined. Railroads were built and canals were created, making it easier to transport goods and deliver larger amounts of products to port cities across the world.
By the middle of the 19th century, the United States was growing rapidly and becoming part of global trade on a massive scale and larger cities where becoming major centers for wholesale distribution.
One such city was Chicago. Having benefited from the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal,Chicago quickly became one of the most important cities in America for the distribution of grain and lumber.
Even after the Great Depression, the wholesaling industry in Chicago and other cities continued to grow by diversifying
For example,in Chicago,wholesalers continued to thrive by selling commodities such as hardware, paper products, and metals. Because of this Chicago remained second only to New York City in the wholesale industry.
Wholesale distribution grew even further when leading wholesalers merged with manufacturers; expanding their earning and distribution potential.
Today, Wholesale Distribution is structured on pretty much the same model it was from the beginning. Since then, production and trade have grown on a massive global scale and become tightly intertwined with international relations. Wholesale distribution is no longer just a convenience–it is absolutely essential to commerce.