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2010 MDM Market Leaders: Top Industrial Distributors No. 1


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Headquarters: Reading, United Kingdom
2009 Revenues: $22.9 billion
Change in Sales from 2008: -2.5%
Key Executives: Wolseley Chief Executive Ian Meakins

UK-based Wolseley, a distributor of heating, plumbing, PVF and building materials in Europe and North America, has changed up its leadership team since Chief Executive Ian Meakins took former Chief Executive Chip Hornsby's place in 2009 (Hornsby Resigns as Wolseley Chief Executive). Meakins has since replaced many of the Wolseley executives. U.S. subsidiary Ferguson Enterprises leadership has remained the same, however, with the exception of the exit of CEO John Stegeman. (Read: Ferguson's Focus Post-Recession) Wolseley in 2009 exited its Stock Building Supply business by way of a joint venture with the private equity firm The Gores Group LLC. In April 2010, Meakins said that the firm has made the right moves over the past year in cutting costs, postponing its SAP program, and exiting geographies and businesses that weren't generating appropriate returns. He said there is room for gross margin improvement, as well as improving the mix of customers products and suppliers. In addition, Wolseley reported that low-cost sourcing and private label were opportunities for the distributor. The distributor needs to focus on investing in and driving organic growth, he said. "This is a local business, and the local relationship is critical," Meakins said.

No. 2: HD Supply

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