, which involves selling to organizational buyers, other wholesalers, and retailers. Corporate Chains - group of stores which operate under central ownership and management to market essentially the same product line. Consist of a group of stores owned and managed by the same firm. Contractual Vertical Marketing System (VMS) - When retail stores organize voluntary chains or cooperatives. Contractual VMSs can involve retail stores coordinating their activities, or various levels of a distribution channel, such as wholesalers and retailers working together. Retail stores who use these contractual arrangements get to enjoy some of the advantages enjoyed by corporate chains. Independent Stores are retail stores which are not part of a corporate chain or contractual VMS. Single retail stores which are not part of a corporate chain or a contractual VMS, which includes voluntary chains and cooperatives . Franchise Systems are a type of Vertical Marketing System in which a parent company grants dealers the right to use the supplier's trademarks--usually in return for a percentage of the total sales. Involve a franchisor, which is the supplier, granting a franchisee, or the dealer, the right to sell products in exchange for something--often a percentage of sales. Franchisees benefit from this system because they get to take advantage of well-known products and brand names. Examples of franchises are McDonalds and Jiffy Lube Direct channel of distribution gives the manufacturer the greatest degree of control over the marketing of the product. However, it is best suited for an organization whose customers are geographically concentrated; otherwise, it can be very inefficient. Franchise system, the franchisor often provides franchisees with assistance in site selection, personnel training, inventory management, and promotion strategy. The franchisor , which is the parent company which owns the trademarks, grants the franchisee the right to use these trademarks. The franchisee usually pay a franchise fee; in return, the franchisor provides certain services and support. Retail stores can be divided into 3 main categories: 1. Department stores - typically have a wide and deep selection, with moderate prices, and an emphasis on customer service. 2. Mass merchandisers - Consists of discount stores, superstores and hypermarkets, supermarkets, and catalog showrooms. Typically emphasize low prices and a low level of customer service, and a wide product mix. 3. Specialty retailers - Include stores such as Foot Locker, jewelry stores, Radio Shack, etc.. Some specialty retailers offer unusual depth in one main product category, and are called single -line retailers. Retail stores which carry a narrow product mix with deep product lines Retailers - categorized based on the width and depth of their product mix , their pricing strategy, and the level of customer service they provide.