Electrical, Plumbing & Hardware Wholesalers
Companies in this industry distribute electrical, plumbing, and HVAC materials and supplies, as well as hardware, handtools, and other equipment. Major companies include Ace Hardware, Anixter, Graybar Electric, True Value, and WESCO International (all based in the US), as well as Rexel (France) and Wolseley (UK).
Distributors may have operations in multiple countries to meet the needs of customers with global operations. Many larger US companies have operations in Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
The US electrical goods, plumbing, and hardware wholesalers industry includes about 34,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $325 billion.
Sales are driven by demand from the construction, telecommunications, and hardware retailing industries. Profitability depends largely on merchandising and efficient inventory management. Large companies have wide distribution networks and may offer customers a broad selection of products and services. Small operators can compete successfully by stocking specialty products, stocking all of the parts that their particular customers need, or delivering superior service.
The hardware, plumbing, and heating equipment and supplies segment of the industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 45% of revenue. The US electrical apparatus and equipment, wiring supplies, and related equipment segment is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 55% of revenue. About 70% of electrical, plumbing, and hardware wholesalers have fewer than 10 employees.
Products, Operations & Technology
Companies in this industry typically buy large quantities of products from hundreds of manufacturers, then "break bulk" and resell them to thousands of
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms