The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

2015 Trends Snapshot: HVACR/Plumbing Distribution

This article is part of MDM's 2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue. It provides a quick look at key trends affecting the HVACR/plumbing distribution sector.

The annual feature was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this issue.

The full special issue is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2015 report include:

  • Good & Bad News for U.S. Economy
  • Distributors Get Back to the Basics
  • ‘Doubling Down’ on Distributor Relationships
  • Distributors Embrace, Expand Online Customer Base
  • Distributors Seeking ‘Lean’ Supply Chain
  • Distributors Adapt to More Sophisticated Supply Chain
  • Distributors Combine Traditional, New Means for Recruiting
  • Distributors Change Tune on Generational Shift
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2015 MDM Market Movers
    • AJ Adhesives Takes Service to New Level
    • Plumbers Supply’s “Win-Win-Win-Win”
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • Culture Drives Success for ERIKS North America
    • TTI’s Strategic Approach to Global Growth
2015DistTrends

This is a part of the 2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue. The annual feature was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this issue.


2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue


The landscape is generally improving for HVAC and plumbing distributors with a consistent 6-7 percent average annual revenue growth, says Brian Loftus, Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst for Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International. The positive climate for HVAC distributors is bolstered by job growth, which has led to improving consumer confidence, and increased housing values, which have led to more investment in home systems.

Pent-up demand for replacing equipment could be coming. A spike inhome heating, cooling, plumbing and refrigeration systems tends to happen 10 to 12 years after a home-buying boom, which means it's almost time for that cycle to recur for HVAC and plumbing distributors following 2005's hot housing market, Loftus says.

Regulatory concerns are a perennial hot topic for the HVAC and plumbing sectors. A key issue this year is the extra insulation required for water heaters under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act. "If you are replacing a water heater and you had a 60-gallon water heater and it was in a relatively confined space, you are not going to be able to put in another 60-gallon water heater without some sort of changes," says Maury Williams, corporate communications manager, WinWholesale, Dayton, OH. "More and more customers, they are telling me, are going with tankless water heaters."

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