Around the Industry

March 8, 2012
Rexel buys in Belgium and Wales; IDEA partners with Ecmarket; HD Supply finances improving; EMCOR unit wins Rose Bowl contract and Graybar backs Epicor Vista.

Rexel acquires two distributors in Belgium, England and Wales

Bolstering coverage in several of its established markets, Rexel, Paris, announced acquisitions in Belgium, England and Wales. La Grange is a full-line electrical supply house and lighting specialist in Belgium, while Wilts Wholesale Electrical is reportedly one of the largest independent distributors of electrical supplies operating in England and Wales.

A Rexel press release announcing the La Grange acquisition said the 126-employee, five-branch company based in Gent, Belgium, was founded in 1941 and has an established reputation in the industrial market. The acquisition should generate additional sales of close to €50 million (approximately US$66 million) on an annualized basis. Rexel has 29 branches located across Belgium that in 2011 contributed over €305 million (approximately US $402.7 million) to the Group’s consolidated revenues.

Its acquisition of Wilts Wholesale Electrical, a family-owned company that is one of the largest independent distributors of electrical supplies in the United Kingdom, adds 59 branches to Rexel’s distribution network there. A press release announcing the acquisition said the deal should generate sales of close to €60 million (approximately US$79.2 million) on an annualized basis.

Rexel also was listed among Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” in a recent survey. Rexel ranked fourth in the “Wholesalers: Diversified” category, up from tenth in 2011, and also led its industry in the ranking for global competitiveness. Rexel ranked seventh among the 28 French companies selected to the list.

IDEA and Ecmarket form partnership

IDEA, Arlington, Va., announced a strategic partnership with Ecmarket, an e-business solution provider whose Conexiom solution will help IDEA customers automate order management processes with trading partners that are not EDI-capable. Conexiom will be rebranded as “iConex” and integrated into IDEA’s Industry Data Exchange (IDX) EDI platform, allowing trading partners to generate order management documents, such as purchase orders, in their own unique formats, to be captured, transformed and delivered in an EDI standard format to the final recipient via IDX. A confirmation or acknowledgement can then be automatically generated, converted and delivered back to the sender.

“This partnership with Ecmarket will enable IDEA’s customers to work more efficiently with trading partners at various levels of technical capabilities without forcing either trading partner to change their business processes,” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA.

HD Supply financial picture brightens

HD Supply Inc., Atlanta, enjoyed some gains in its 4Q and full-year 2011 net sales and gross profit but still registered losses from continuing operations during both time periods.

The company reported net sales for the fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, of $1.8 billion, an increase of $236 million, or 14.8%, as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by $70 million, or 15.4 percent, to $525 million compared to $455 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

The company’s net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29 were $7.7 billion, an increase of $709 million, or 10.1%, compared to the fiscal year ended Jan. 30, 2011. Gross profit for fiscal 2011 increased by $210 million, or 10.7%, to $2.2 billion compared to $2 billion for fiscal 2010. In HD Supply’s fiscal 2011, its loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $440 million, an improvement of $116 million as compared to fiscal 2010. Loss from continuing operations for fiscal 2011 was $519 million, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $584 million for fiscal 2010.

EMCOR wins Rose Bowl contract

EMCOR Group Inc. said its subsidiary, Dynalectric Los Angeles, won a contract for installation of electrical systems as part of the renovation of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. Dynalectric Los Angeles will install new electrical systems for the Rose Bowl’s press box and new luxury suites. The work will include installation of the electrical distribution, video surveillance, audio and communication systems, as well as the Satellite Master Antenna TeleVision (SMATV), broadcast cabling and digital addressable fire alarm systems.

Graybar signs on with Epicor’s Vista Information Services

Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis, has joined more than 100 other electrical distributors in feeding out-the-door sales information to the industry-sanctioned Vista data warehouse. Established through a marketing partnership between Epicor and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), the Vista solution produces category sales reports.

“Graybar is committed to the security of our business information. At the same time, we recognize the value of collaborating with our peers to strengthen our entire industry,” said Robert A. Reynolds, chairman, president and CEO of Graybar. “Working with Epicor, we can protect the confidentiality of our data while leveraging the collective intelligence that can improve our industry as a whole.”

In addition to the electrical supply industry, Epicor Vista Information Services provides accurate, sales tracking, brand and category share, and other information to businesses in the independent hardware, lumber, home center, mass merchandiser, automotive aftermarket, and specialty retail industries. “By relying on Vista market intelligence, distributors and other businesses are eliminating the guesswork that often results in excess stock sitting on the shelf or in sales lost due to a lack of inventory,” said Rick Stanits, national sales manager, Vista Information Services for Epicor. “This is, above all, a business growth tool for the entire electrical distribution industry.”