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WESCO's Safety Strategy

As electrical distributor WESCO International (NYSE: WCC) continues to execute on its One WESCO growth strategy, the company has identified safety products as an area of focus. WESCO has wanted to strengthen its safety offerings for "a number of years," according to CEO John Engel, and recently the distributor began taking significant steps to do so.

When WESCO acquired Conney Safety in 2012, it was the distributor's first significant push into the MRO safety space. In the first quarter of this year, WESCO pushed that strategy forward by acquiring Hazmasters

"The Conney platform was a major entry point for us into … safety," Engel said in an investor call to discuss the distributor's first-quarter earnings. "… We're beginning to funnel more and more safety opportunities across the broader WESCO branch network in and through Conney to manage and deliver."

Hazmasters complements the Conney-based platform by expanding WESCO's safety presence in Canada with its 14 branches.

The company doesn't currently break out sales from safety. When it was acquired, Conney had about $85 million in annual sales, and Hazmasters had about $80 million, "but we've also grown," Engel says.

WESCO's safety sales and application specialist group has grown from 12 when it acquired Conney to 48 today.

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