The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Distributors Respond to the Big-Box Challenge

This article is part of an ongoing series looking at The Shifting Competitive Landscape in wholesale distribution. Read this and other articles in the series at

As big box retailers such as Staples, The Home Depot and Lowe’s have expanded their online presence and increased their focus on professional markets, some distributors are feeling the impact, not only on sales volume but on profitability as margins are squeezed and customer expectations shift. This article, featuring interviews with distributors, manufacturers and industry experts, takes a look at the effects of the retail channel on the competitive landscape in wholesale distribution.

Distributors in some sectors aren’t just competing with another independent down the street – they’re competing with big-box stores with billion-dollar brands and a different approach to the market. And for some distributors, that competition is growing.

“Big box’s arrival into the B-to-B world has fundamentally changed ...


To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

About the Author
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to MDM’s Privacy Policy.

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.