PROBLEMS OF BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTION IN THE RURAL AREAS OF ENUGU STATE
This study is focused on the problem of distribution in the rural areas of Enugu State. This study is undertaken as a result of difficulty experienced by most beverage firms on how best to expand their niche at the rural areas amidst of deplorable state of roads in our country. The study has as the objective; to ascertain the problems of beverage distribution in the rural areas of Enugu State. The study employed survey research design. Stratified random sampling technique was used in selecting the three beverage firms: Nigerian Breweries (NBL), Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), and the 7UP Bottling Company. A sample of 131 respondents was determined using Taro Yamane’s formula from the population of depot managers and retailers representing the respective beverage firms in Enugu. The sources of data for the study were primary data and secondary source. The study revealed that there was unavailability of warehouses in the rural areas of Enugu State for beverage products to a great extent. The study also revealed that the state of roads in the rural areas of Enugu State for beverage delivery trucks was poor to a great extent. The study showed also that the village/market squares can be effective to a great extent as a central collection point for beverage products in rural areas of Enugu State. Moreover, the study revealed that the tricycle transports mode can be effectively used to a great extent for beverage products distribution in the rural areas of Enugu State. They study recommends among other things that the beverage firms should intensify their effort to increase the availability of warehouse in the rural areas to break-even in proximity and transportation cost and safety of products. Also that, the beverage firms should adopt the use of more tricycle transport system to expand their distribution boundaries and functions. It was concluded that with successful implementation of tricycle for effective distribution channel in beverage firms, they are guaranteed of customer satisfaction, causing sustained competitive edge, increased profitability, and effective cost management, increase in information flow, increase in payment flow (expansion) and better commitment among team groups.