Companies in this industry distribute electrical products used in applications such as construction and power generation, transmission, and distribution. Major US-based companies include Anixter, Graybar Electric, and WESCO; top companies based outside the US include Gerrie (Canada), Inaba Denki Sangyo Group (Japan), and Rexel and Sonepar (both of France).
Sales are driven by demand from the construction, manufacturing, utility, telecommunications, and hardware retailing industries. Profitability largely depends on efficient inventory management and effective merchandising. Large wholesalers enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and in building distribution networks. Smaller operators tend to compete through a focus on specialty products or superior service. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 50% of sales.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include interior and exterior wiring (18% of industry revenue), lighting fixtures (11%), switchgear and switchboard apparatus (9%), and industrial controls (6%). Other products include alarm systems, fuses, power and distribution transformers, and light bulbs.