Does distribution add to cost and not value?
There is a good argument to be made that whatever distribution adds to cost, it more than makes up for in enhanced value. Part of the value that we deliver to a consumer is the value of having a good or service when and where the consumer wants it. A good may sit in the warehouse for free, but the customer is not going there—in most cases—to buy it. We want what we want at the time and place we want it. I do not, for example, want to drive to a television factory to buy a television. I want to drive no more than a few miles to buy one. I do want to eat breakfast at 2:00 am, after a night out on the town. That is why those diners stay open: to provide the value of the right product and service at the right time. I realiz printed newspapers are a dying breed, but I highly value finding the morning newspaper at my front door. Whatever it costs to distribute, most people were perfectly willing to pay for this service. And, I might note, some people would drop the paper if the delivery was not up to par, for example, on the front lawn instead of at the door or wet from the rain. So distribution, getting the right thing to the right place at the right time in the right condition, is in most cases going to add value to the degree that it is well worth the cost, either in business gained or in avoidance of business lost.