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2013 Top 40 Industrial Distributors

07. The Fastenal Company – Top Industrial Distributors

Company Profile

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Headquarters: Winona, MN
2012 Revenues: $3.1 billion
Change in Sales from 2011: 10.7%
Employees: 15,145
Locations: 2,620 (North America); 2,652 (total)
Number of new locations:73 (58 in the U.S., 13 in Canada)
Key Executives: Willard Oberton, CEO; Leland Hein, president; Daniel Florness, CFO; Steven Rucinski, EVP-sales, Gary Polipnik, EVP-sales; Kenneth Nance, EVP-sales; Reyne Wisecup, EVP-human resources; Nicholas Lundquist, EVP-operations; James Jansen, EVP-operations; Michael Camp, EVP-product and procurement; Ashok Singh, EVP-information technology

Vending has been the big story for Fastenal (NYSE: FAST) this year. The distributor tripled its vending machine contract goals for 2013, planning on 30,000 new machines by the end of the year as part of its FAST Solutions program. In the first quarter 2013, sales of fasteners (about half of total sales) grew 1.7 percent, while non-fastener product lines grew 10.8 percent from the prior-year period. The latter’s growth was due to the industrial vending program. Sales to customers with vending solutions are growing faster than other customers, according to Fastenal, though the distributor is focused on improving the profitability of the program. 

The distributor continues to expand at a quick pace, as well. At the end of 2012, Fastenal had 2,620 stores in North America, the majority of which were in the U.S. It operates 195 stores in Canada and 36 in Mexico, with the rest in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In 2011, Fastenal operated 2,335 stores in North America. Fastenal also has 13 stores across Asia and Europe. The distributor has slowed its pace of opening new stores since the recession in 2009 to a range of 2 percent to 5 percent a year. Fastenal expects to open 65 to 80 stores in 2013, according to its 2012 annual report.

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