The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

February 24 2009

Volume 39, Issue 4 - 02/25/2009

Volume:

39

Issue:

4

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Features
MDM Editor Lindsay Young sat down with Graybar Senior Vice President and CFO Beatty D'Alessandro at the January meeting of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors to talk about current market conditions and Graybar's approach to growth.
 
The Graybar veteran also addressed the electrical distributor's M&A strategy, recent drops in commodity prices, plans for technology and global opportunities. Part II of this interview, to be published March 10, will cover how Graybar is addressing the recruitment, retention and training of its employees.
 
Graybar is a $5.2 billion North American distributor of electrical and networking products.
 
MDM: How is Graybar doing this ...
W.W. Grainger has increased the number of SKUs in its catalog 33 percent, year-over-year. The massive scale of Grainger's product expansion over the past few years indicates a reorientation of Grainger's traditional model.
 
Five years ago, Grainger invested in a multiyear branch expansion program in the top 25 major metro markets. The goal was more local sales people and larger, more merchandise-oriented branches. In 2003, the company set an aggressive 7-10 percent annual growth rate target, and this effort was the engine. The company saw an opportunity to take market share from competitors by increasing presence in local markets.
 
The effort was all about increasing customer service. The recent product expansion effort has come with an increased focus ...

The economic outlook looks very grim right now. The housing-led slowdown that began in 2007 has now turned into a deep U.S. recession that looks likely to be the longest and deepest downturn since the 1930s.

Unprecedented financial and credit market volatility has reduced prospects for a quick turnaround. Both U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the wholesale distribution industry's revenues will decline this year.

As I see it, the companies with the will, the skill, and the till have the best chance of surviving the downturn and coming out with a better position on the other side:

  • The skill to manage their businesses well despite a crisis; ...
Chicago, IL-based facilities maintenance distributor Grainger has added 64,000 products to its catalog, along with 27,000 more to its Web site. The additions to the company's catalog are a 33 percent increase over last year's 180,000. (Some products were also removed this year.)
 
Grainger now has 240,000 products in its catalog and 300,000 online.
 
In an interview with MDM, Fred Costello, vice president - product management, says Grainger will continue adding products over the next several years.
 
Every catalog will continue to see a similar increase, Costello says.
 
"Product line expansion is a Grainger priority. … I can say with confidence that our Canadian and Mexican business units are also ...
Birmingham, AL-based Motion Industries, a subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., has acquired Monroe Rubber & Plastic Supply, based near Detroit, MI, in Monroe, MI. Monroe is a distributor of hosing and related accessories, and specializes in hydraulic, industrial, metal hose and Teflon hose assemblies. With the acquisition, Motion now has nine facilities focused on cutting and coupling hose assemblies. More
 
Genuine Parts Company, Atlanta, GA, reported sales for 2008 were $11 billion, up 2 percent from 2007. Profit for the year was $475.4 million, a decrease of 6 percent. Motion Industries, the Industrial Group, saw a 5 percent increase ...
December 2008 sales of merchant wholesalers were $336.1 billion, down 3.6 percent from November and down 10.7 percent from the December 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. December sales of durable goods were down 2.0 percent from last month and were down 9.4 percent from a year ago.
 
Compared to last month, sales of lumber and other construction materials were down 8.6 percent and sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 8.1 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were down 4.9 percent from last month and were down 11.8 percent from last year. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 16.4 percent from last month and sales of farm product raw materials were down 9.4 percent.
 
Inventories. Total inventories of ...
This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than six years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email info@mdm.com to ...
About this report: This is the MDM Public Distributor Report, provided on a quarterly basis to subscribers of Modern Distribution Management. The report is available online only.


Click here to download this report in pdf.

In distributors' recent earnings calls with analysts, many said they were looking at cost reductions, better training, increasing private label, and considering strategic acquisitions in the next year. The focus will remain on sustaining profitability.

Refocusing on the Workforce
Drug distributor Owens & Minor has seen a work force opportunity arising from the economic turmoil: Build on existing resources. In the last quarter, the drug distributor ...
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MDM Editor Lindsay Young sat down with Graybar Senior Vice President and CFO Beatty D'Alessandro at the January meeting of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors to talk about current market conditions and Graybar's approach to growth.
 
The Graybar veteran also addressed the electrical distributor's M&A strategy, recent drops in commodity prices, plans for technology and global opportunities. Part II of this interview, to be published March 10, will cover how Graybar is addressing the recruitment, retention and training of its employees.
 
Graybar is a $5.2 billion North American distributor of electrical and networking products.
 
MDM: How is Graybar doing this ...
W.W. Grainger has increased the number of SKUs in its catalog 33 percent, year-over-year. The massive scale of Grainger's product expansion over the past few years indicates a reorientation of Grainger's traditional model.
 
Five years ago, Grainger invested in a multiyear branch expansion program in the top 25 major metro markets. The goal was more local sales people and larger, more merchandise-oriented branches. In 2003, the company set an aggressive 7-10 percent annual growth rate target, and this effort was the engine. The company saw an opportunity to take market share from competitors by increasing presence in local markets.
 
The effort was all about increasing customer service. The recent product expansion effort has come with an increased focus ...

The economic outlook looks very grim right now. The housing-led slowdown that began in 2007 has now turned into a deep U.S. recession that looks likely to be the longest and deepest downturn since the 1930s.

Unprecedented financial and credit market volatility has reduced prospects for a quick turnaround. Both U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the wholesale distribution industry's revenues will decline this year.

As I see it, the companies with the will, the skill, and the till have the best chance of surviving the downturn and coming out with a better position on the other side:

  • The skill to manage their businesses well despite a crisis; ...
Chicago, IL-based facilities maintenance distributor Grainger has added 64,000 products to its catalog, along with 27,000 more to its Web site. The additions to the company's catalog are a 33 percent increase over last year's 180,000. (Some products were also removed this year.)
 
Grainger now has 240,000 products in its catalog and 300,000 online.
 
In an interview with MDM, Fred Costello, vice president - product management, says Grainger will continue adding products over the next several years.
 
Every catalog will continue to see a similar increase, Costello says.
 
"Product line expansion is a Grainger priority. … I can say with confidence that our Canadian and Mexican business units are also ...
Birmingham, AL-based Motion Industries, a subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., has acquired Monroe Rubber & Plastic Supply, based near Detroit, MI, in Monroe, MI. Monroe is a distributor of hosing and related accessories, and specializes in hydraulic, industrial, metal hose and Teflon hose assemblies. With the acquisition, Motion now has nine facilities focused on cutting and coupling hose assemblies. More
 
Genuine Parts Company, Atlanta, GA, reported sales for 2008 were $11 billion, up 2 percent from 2007. Profit for the year was $475.4 million, a decrease of 6 percent. Motion Industries, the Industrial Group, saw a 5 percent increase ...
December 2008 sales of merchant wholesalers were $336.1 billion, down 3.6 percent from November and down 10.7 percent from the December 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. December sales of durable goods were down 2.0 percent from last month and were down 9.4 percent from a year ago.
 
Compared to last month, sales of lumber and other construction materials were down 8.6 percent and sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 8.1 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were down 4.9 percent from last month and were down 11.8 percent from last year. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 16.4 percent from last month and sales of farm product raw materials were down 9.4 percent.
 
Inventories. Total inventories of ...
This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than six years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email info@mdm.com to ...
About this report: This is the MDM Public Distributor Report, provided on a quarterly basis to subscribers of Modern Distribution Management. The report is available online only.


Click here to download this report in pdf.

In distributors' recent earnings calls with analysts, many said they were looking at cost reductions, better training, increasing private label, and considering strategic acquisitions in the next year. The focus will remain on sustaining profitability.

Refocusing on the Workforce
Drug distributor Owens & Minor has seen a work force opportunity arising from the economic turmoil: Build on existing resources. In the last quarter, the drug distributor ...