Determine whether Afterschool Depot should include wholesalers as channel members or sell directly to retailers.

Janet Hains is an entrepreneur and former afterschool programmer administrator. She has been monitoring the education industry for potential trends that may provide an opportunity for her to utilize her experience in starting a new business. In response to an identified increase in childhood obesity rates within the United States, coupled with the increased governmental grant offerings for youth nutrition programs, Janet has started a new company, Afterschool Depot.
Afterschool Depot will produce and sell materials to assist afterschool programmers in implementing nutrition-based programs. Afterschool Depot has just finalized its initial product line and is now in the process of preparing to market its line for sale within the United States as well as several international locations.
Due to financial and human resource constraints, Janet has decided to produce and sell only one product from the proposed product line during the first year of operation. She has selected the Healthy Kitchen to be her first product launch.
The Healthy Kitchen is a mobile kitchen that can be wheeled out onto the playground or into the classroom. It includes an 8-week curriculum to assist afterschool programmers in conducting healthy cooking classes.
Although Afterschool Depot has spent considerable time researching and developing the initial product line, they have not spent much time on developing their overall marketing strategy to include its channel design and implementation plan.
Assume that you have been hired as the channel manager for Afterschool Depot. Beth Nammons, Marketing Director for Afterschool Depot, has assigned you to develop the channel design and implementation plan. She has asked that you complete the following three tasks in your report:
Assess the four target markets that the company has selected.
Determine whether Afterschool Depot should include wholesalers as channel members or sell directly to retailers.
Prepare an instructional explanation that will help Beth understand the role of vertical integration in channel design and present your analysis of whether vertical integration will be valuable to Afterschool Depot.

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