The study of marketing channels belongs to the field of economics, where it has cmved out a special niche. Marketing channels may be defmed as "sets of interdependent organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption" (Stern and El-Ansary, 1992, p. 1). The study of marketing channels has been greatly stimulated by the vigor of marketing management. Indeed, most channels do more than simply satisfY demand; they stimulate demand through promotional activities (ibid., p. I). This explains why, until now, MCA has been applied mainly to the distribution of manufactured goods in Western economies.