Fastenal’s May Shows Modest Daily Sales Slowdown, Headcount Keeps Growing

While the pace of daily sales decelerated, overall sales remained robust as the company made further strides in hiring.
Fastenal Headquarters06_rev01

Fastenal reported its May 2022 sales and headcount information on June 6, and the numbers showed continued strong sales growth — albeit at a slower pace than the previous few months.

The Winona, Minnesota-based industrial distributor and supply chain solutions provider reported total May sales of $589 million, up 23.5% year-over-year, with daily sales up 17.6% as May 2022 had one additional selling day than in 2021.

May’s daily sales growth was its slowest since January’s 14.9%, following year-over-year marks of 20.3%, 19.1% and 21.3% in April, March and February, respectively. 

That doesn’t mean sales are slipping, however, but rather that they are facing tougher year-over-year comparisons as business conditions improved considerably during those same months in 2021. May’s daily sales total — $28 million — was the best of the year so far, topping March’s $27.5 million and was significantly ahead of the $21.4 million seen pre-pandemic in May 2019.

Besides the sales figures, the other interesting stat from Fastenal’s May report was that its headcount continues to grow in a time when distributors are facing a substantial talent crisis. Fastenal ended May with a total headcount of 21,444 — up 5.8% year-over-year and up 0.6%, or 138 since the end of April. The company has added 937 employees since the end of 2021.

Within the headcount front, Fastenal’s May report showed:

  • The company ended may with 14,115 selling personnel — up 6.0% year-over-year and, 1.1% from April and up 5.2% (702) since the end of 2021.
  • The company has also expanded in distribution/transportation personnel — which seems to be the area distributors are having a particularly hard time keeping and finding employees. Fastenal ended May with 2,839 such personnel, but 7.1% year-over-year, up 2.5% from April and up 3.6% (99) from the end of 2021. It was a notable rebound from the end of April, which saw distribution/transportation personnel (2,771) fall 3.0% from the end of March (2,856).

Other sales stats from Fastenal’s May report showed: 

  • By geography, May sales increased 19.1% in the U.S., increased 14.7% in Canada/Mexico and decreased 5.8% in the rest of International. That compares with April sales growth of 21.1% in U.S., 19.7% in Canada/Mexico and 3.7% in the rest of International.
  • By end market, May sales increased 22.4% to manufacturing customers and 10.7% to non-residential construction customers. That compares with April sales growth of 25.7% to manufacturing and 13.4% to non-res construction.
  • By product line, May sales of fasteners grew 20.0%; safety grew 15.6%; and Other grew 16.1%. That compared with April fasteners growth of 25.5%; Safety growth of 16.7%; and Other growth of 17.8%.
  • By customer/channel type, Fastenal’s May national accounts grew 22.0%, compared to 26.0% in April and a 4.0% decline in May 2021. Non-national accounts grew 12.0% in May, compared to and a 2.0% decline in May 2021.
  • 87.0% of Fastenal’s top 100 national accounts grew sales in May, compared to 90.0% in April and 66.0% in May 2021.
  • 71.9% of Fastenal’s public branches grew sales in May, compared to 75.9% in April and 68.0% in May 2021.

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