One of my fond, early experiences in the flooring industry involved a two hour car ride across Florida with my friends Al Wahnon (before he founded Floor Covering News) and Alan Greenberg (before he founded CCA Global Partners). Bob Shaw (co-founder of Shaw Industries Group) had just been quoted as saying that distributors were unnecessary and that he would start servicing retailers direct. As we drove along Al said, “ Jim, I feel badly. You are a nice guy but I’m afraid you’ll need to find another job, the days of wholesale distributors are numbered .” Thirty five years later, Shaw Carpet has a very healthy business through independent wholesale carpet distributors but channel conflict and debate over the relevancy of distribution not only continues it has expanded because the Internet has added not just a new dimension but a new channel to the discussion. This is true in virtually every industry whether it is groceries, fashion, golf equipment, electronics or pharmaceuticals.