Industrial Supply Wholesalers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 5/15/2017
SIC Codes: 5085
NAICS Codes: 423840
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Industrial Supply Wholesalers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry distribute supplies for machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and warehousing industries. Major US companies include Applied Industrial Technologies, Fastenal, Industrial Distribution Group, MRC Global, MSC Industrial Direct, and WW Grainger.

Industrial supply wholesalers seek markets with a strong manufacturing base and countries experiencing high growth in manufacturing. In terms of GDP, the wealthiest regions are China, the European Union, the US, India, and Japan.

The US industrial supply wholesalers industry includes about 8,000 establishments (single-location companies or branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $75 billion.

Because industrial supply distributors sell products used in maintenance, repair, operations, and production (MROP), the industry is sometimes called the MRO supply or MROP supply industry.


Demand is closely tied to the level of US manufacturing production. Because many operating costs are fixed, profitability depends on operational efficiency, particularly inventory management. Smaller companies can compete effectively by providing specialized supplies or superior service (delivery service and product expertise). Large distributors with a network of warehouses and outlets can maintain a lower inventory/sales ratio. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 50% of revenue.


Major products include abrasives, strapping, tapes, and inks (30% of sales); industrial containers and supplies (19%); mechanical power transmission supplies (15%); industrial valves and fittings (14%); and bushings and bearings (11%). Other products ...

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