Electricalmarketing 1258 20170512emt200595

Top 200 Distributors See Sales Growing

May 12, 2017
There was an unusually high number of distributors forecasting double-digit increases this year.

Sales forecasts coming in from Top 200 electrical distributors are quite bullish for this year, with the first 80 responses coming in at an average 2017 sales increase of 8%. That’s at the high end of the electrical wholesaling industry’s traditional growth range of 4% to 8%.

There was an unusually high number of distributors forecasting double-digit increases this year. Twenty-two Top 200 executives expect company sales to increase 10% or better, while only one distributor expected sales to decrease. It’s interesting to note that eight of the distributors projecting double-digit increases were in two areas — Texas and Northern California’s Bay Area. The California-based companies are Alameda Electric Supply, Hayward; Buckles & Smith, Santa Clara;  and Edges Electrical Group, San Jose. The Texas-based companies are Coburn Electric Supply, Beaumont; Elliott Electric Supply, Nacogdoches; Mission Controls & Automation, San Antonio; Texas Electric Coop, Georgetown; and Wildcat Electric Supply, Houston.

David Gardner, president, Mission Controls & Automation sad the oil & gas market appears to be on the rebound and that his company’s automotive, material handling, water/waste water and food and beverage markets look good, while detention systems are lagging.

Richard Booth, the Electrical Division Manager for Coburn Electric Supply, is looking for 15% growth. He sees a good rebound in residential construction, multi-family and light commercial/industrial, but says large commercial projects appear to be few and far between right now.

Another distributor expecting big growth, Doug Root, the president and CEO of Altanta Light Bulbs, Tucker, GA, sees a 15% sales increase this year, based in large part on its business-to-business sales. “Our B2B sales are up again 25%, so we see this as the growing sector. This is where we are investing time and money.”

This healthy increase follows a substantial increase in his company’s business-to-business 2016 sales, which were up 25% last year. “Overall company sales were up 10% for 2016 from a down year in 2015,” he said in his survey response. “Our Energy Solutions business was slow. We saw a lot of quoting but not as many orders hitting.”