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You’ve heard it many times already: 2010 was a roller coaster of a year. Positive signs started to appear in certain sectors, but were dampened by uncertainty about the direction the economy would take. A look back at the top news stories on mdm.com does little to offset the rollercoaster perception.
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Popular stories ranged from highlights on distribution leaders to multimillion-dollar losses. Here are the top 10 most popular news stories on mdm.com in 2010:
1. MDM Names Top Distributors in Five Sectors
In June, MDM launched its new MDM Market Leaders report, including lists for the top distributors across a number of sectors. While we knew it would be well received, we didn't know that the lists themselves would stay on top of our most popular list for the next six months. This article announced the launch and shared with readers our insights into what 2009 meant for those companies. See the lists of top distributors in eight sectors.
2. Industrial Distribution Magazine Closes
In January, Reed Business Information made the announcement it would be closing down operations at Industrial Distribution magazine immediately. The magazine had served as a news source for industrial distributors for 99 years.
3. Grainger Adds 85,000 Products to Catalog
In a year when companies were trying to balance and cut, Grainger took a different tack: expand. The facilities maintenance distributor added 85,000 products to its print catalog and expanded online offerings as well.
4. Government Threatens Fastenal with Lawsuit
In July, auditors alleged that Fastenal had overcharged the government on contract sales; Fastenal disagreed.
5. Construction Employment Gains 'Spotty'
The Associated General Contractors of America provided analysis of government employment data in December, showing broad variation in how recovery is occurring for the construction industry.
6. HD Supply 1Q Sales Down and HD Supply Records $514M Loss in 2009
Though two separate stories, both of these HD Supply earnings articles made the top 10 list of most read in 2010.We chose to combine them into one entry because they both demonstrate the same thing: 2010 started with less than positive news for HD Supply.
7. Former Ferguson CEO Joins HD Supply Senior Leadership
But it was also a year for change at HD Supply, as former CEO of Ferguson John Stegeman joined the diversified distribution company as executive president.
8. Grainger Sales Grow 16% in May
May was a good month for Grainger, with sales growing 16 percent. Excluding acquisitions and foreign exchange impact, sales were up 9 percent.
9. Air Products Again Requests Meeting with Airgas
Arguably the most contentious acquisition story of the year: the ongoing hostile bid for Airgas by Air Products. In March, Air Products requested a meeting to "discuss the merits of our outstanding offer to acquire Airgas' common stock for $60 per share in cash."
The bid, as yet unresolved, would go through a shareholder vote with unclear results, a court battle and appeals to shareholders from both parties before the year end. Read more about the ongoing battle at mdm.com/Airgas.
10. ABC Supply Agrees to Buy Bradco
In May, ABC Supply, No. 3 on MDM's list of the top 10 building materials/construction distributors, announced it would acquire the No. 6 company on that list: Bradco Supply. With the acquisition, ABC becomes the No. 1 building materials/construction distributor with over $4 billion in annual sales.