Kirana Friends

What is the Difference Between Stockist, Dealer, and Distributor?

In the Kirana business, it’s important to know the difference between stockist, dealer, and distributor. These roles play a significant part in how products reach your local Kirana store. In this article, we will break down these roles in simple terms to help you understand.

Stockist in Kirana Business:  A stockist is a person or a business that holds and manages a supply of goods for sale. Stockists typically store products of the companies/brands in a warehouse and keep them until required by distributors. They play a crucial role in the distribution and retail supply chain, ensuring that products are available to distributors in various locations.

A stockist cannot deal in cash which means he cannot sell the products.

For example, in a state like Rajasthan, an FMCG brand will appoint 1 stockist based out of Jaipur. The job of the stockist will be to hold the stock on behalf of the company, and he cannot sell it to anyone, he just ensures that the product is available whenever the distributor needs it and updates the company accordingly.

Some large FMCG brands also call the Stockist as a Clearance and Forwarding Agent (C&F) or hold the stocks themselves in key geographies where there are large sales and they want to ensure regular supply.

Distributor in Kirana Business:  Distributors play a crucial role in moving products from the stockists to various dealers who are also known as wholesalers. They ensure products are efficiently transported and delivered. They also handle logistics, which includes warehousing, and transportation.

Distributors help companies/brands reach more places, expanding the availability of products and make sure that orders are filled correctly and products are delivered to the right places on time.

For example, a company will appoint a distributor in Udaipur and ask him to raise orders to the company but the product will be supplied from the stockist in Jaipur. This will ensure that the product reaches every customer in Udaipur.

In some geographies, Distributors can directly sell the products to Kirana owners and also supply to wholesalers from the neighbouring regions. For example, a company cannot appoint a distributor in the Kumbhalgarh area but a local dealer/wholesaler can buy products from a distributor and then sell it to retailers in Kumbhalgarh or neighbouring locations.

Dealer/Wholesaler in Kirana Business:  Dealers in the Kirana business are the wholesalers from whom retailers visit to buy products. They are the last stop in the supply chain for the Kirana owners and retailers.Dealers and Wholesalers also have a storefront where they sell to small shop owners on a cash basis. The dealers and wholesalers sell products of more than 1 brand to the customer and are the go-to shop for small kirana stores who don’t buy in heavy quantities.

For example, a kirana store in a neighbouring village of  Kumbhalgarh can buy products from the local dealer/wholesaler and sell it to the customer. This dealer/wholesaler is responsible to make sure that the product is available in all local areas and villages.


Understanding these roles is vital for Kirana businesses to operate smoothly and provide you with the daily essentials you need. Stockists, dealers, and distributors all play their part in ensuring that products reach your Kirana store.

If you want help in deciding which products to keep in your kirana store or supermarket then get in touch with Kirana Friends. You can connect with a Kirana Expert by calling or messaging us on 8010442222.

You can also download the Kirana Friends Application from the Google Play store by clicking on the link below and learn how to run your store more profitably.

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