Largest Fastener Distributors?

Each year, in the magazine "Industrial Distribution", they list the BIG 50 - which is a list of the largest industrial distributors.  In 2008 the top 5 were:

1.  Wolseley
2.  HD Supply
3.  Wurth Group of North America
4.  W.W. Grainger
5.  Airgas

Some of the other fastener distributors in the top 50 included Fastenal (#9), Barnes (#17), Lawson (#19) ,Bossard (#21), Kimball Midwest (#46) and State Industrial Products (#47).  There are several other companies listed that do a good amount of fastener business.  Also, some of the companies just mentioned are on the list for a lot of reasons other than their fastener sales.  There is another list of the "Top 10 Electrical Distributors" and Anixter appears on that list.

Who would be in the BIG 50 of Fastener Distributors?  Does a list like that exist?  Certainly, Wurth and Fastenal would make that list.  Anixter has really grown through acquisition and they'd have to be on that list.  Supply Technologies would be on the list I would imagine.  Who else would be on that list?

Another interesting component of this list comes from another question -- Who Are The Biggest Fastener Users?  Historically, the automotive industry has been thought to be the largest consumer of fasteners.  And, historically, I think the automotive industry has bought directly from manufacturers of fasteners.  Or, maybe from a combination of manufacturers and distributors.  The truck market has always been served by distributors.  And, the Japanese auto manufactureres have been served by companies set up in the U.S. solely for the purpose of supplying the Japanese auto manufacturers.

So, does a distributor supplying parts to Honda or Toyota even show up on our radar screen??  Do we consider them in the same catagory of "Fastener Distributor" as we do the Wurths and Fastenals an Bossards??

I'd like to hear from anyone who has this kind of data or knows where I might be able to find it in a report or on the internet.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 4/9/2009 8:30 AM Courtyard 2nd Home wrote:
    A lot of those companies sell cutting tools and abrasives and paint, etc. That is probably why they rank so high. For stictly fasteners I would have to think of place with multiple branches. How about Bisco? All-State Fastener? Copper State? General Fastener? Are these players big enough to make the top 50? Tower Fastener, House of Threads. What about distributors that supply other distributors? Strictly speaking, Brighton and Star are nothing more than distributors. They don't make anything. Nor does Stelfast, Heads or Porteous. But, I think you were trying to limit it ot "traditional" distributors -- those calling on OEMs or MRO accounts. I am sure there are regional players with a few branches that I have left out.
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  • 4/9/2009 8:44 AM Steve Ignots wrote:
    Endries International is a Wolseley company.
    Reply to this
    1. 4/9/2009 8:58 AM Traveling Salesman wrote:
      Aha.  That sheds some light on that.  I did not know that although Endries certainly would make the BIG 50 of fasteners.  Thank you.
      Reply to this
  • 4/10/2009 7:54 AM Distributor Jones wrote:
    I'd like to see the top 50 and then I'd like to see the percentage of sales from 2008 to 2009 for the first quarter. I think some of the big guys with big contracts are hurting.
    Reply to this
    1. 8/13/2009 11:01 AM Craig wrote:
      Anyone follow up on this? I am curious of this data as well. I know a lot of guys are hurting...big & small. Anyone know of hard data backing this up?
      Reply to this
  • 12/8/2009 6:42 PM chris wrote:
    Has anyone confirmed or found a source that lists the top "Fastener Distributors" in the country. If so, I would love to know where to find that source.

    Chris Johnson
    Reply to this
  • 1/14/2010 10:16 PM Mike Hose wrote:
    I would love to see the sales figures for 2009 and 2008. As a smaller distributor we've seen positive signs. Whether that equates to positive growth remains in the future. I'm betting the US Gov. is the biggest user and will continue. Fed. State and Local plus its awarded contractors probably will be the only large user to grow significantly.
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