Electrical, Plumbing & Hardware Wholesalers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 5/20/2024
SIC Codes: 5063, 5072, 5074
NAICS Codes: 4237, 42361
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Electrical, Plumbing & Hardware Wholesalers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry distribute electrical, plumbing, and HVAC materials and supplies, as well as hardware, hand tools, and other equipment. Major companies include Ace Hardware, Graybar, True Value, and WESCO International (all based in the US), as well as Ferguson plc (the UK) and Rexel (France).

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 35,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $350 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 50% 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.


Companies in this industry typically buy large quantities of products from hundreds of manufacturers, then "break bulk" and resell them to thousands ...

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