These are trying times in industrial distribution. An ongoing industrial products recession that started when oil prices began their plunge in the summer of 2014 continues to grip the entire sector, putting a strain on distributors and suppliers alike. Many thought conditions would have improved by now, and certain signs say they have. But several prominent distributors say meaningful recovery is still a ways away.
In a post-earnings conference call in early July, MSC Industrial CEO Erik Gershwind discussed an overall pessimistic view across the market, saying that previous notions of industrial recovery “has given way to more belt tightening and less optimism among our customers.??? He went on to mention hearing more talk about “furloughs, time off and even some layoffs,??? among distributors and suppliers alike. Likewise, Fastenal’s Q2 fiscal report mentioned that though Q1 showed some signs of economic improvement, it expected plant shutdowns and slowdowns to continue into the third quarter.
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For information, contact:
Katie Oswald Clark