Fastenal Trims 400 Sales Staff in May as Safety Line Surges 136%

The vast majority of those cuts were in branch and onsite personnel.

Fastenal Erfw

Fastenal reported its May sales figures on Thursday, showing that safety products continued to show massive growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic — more than offsetting considerable declines in the company's other product segments.

The company said May sales of safety products spiked 136.3 percent year-over-year in May, following a 120 percent surge in April and 31 percent in March. That compares with a 15.3 percent decline in May sales of Fastener products and a 6 percent decline in sales of 'Other' products, following April declines of 22.5 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.

The safety surge carries the Winona, MN-based distributor to a 14.8 percent increase in average daily sales year-over-year during May, following a 6.7 percent gain in April. May's total sales of $493.2 million were up 4.4 percent overall year-over-year, as the month had two fewer selling days than a year earlier. Month-to-month, May's daily sales were up 10.4 percent from April.

Also notable in May was where Fastenal's sales came from. While sales in the United States jumped 14.4 percent year-over-year and dipped 2.4 percent in Canada/Mexico, the month was defined by non-North American customers, where sales soared 98.3 percent. That compares with 9.4 percent non-North America sales growth in April.

Other metrics in Fastenal's May:

  • Daily sales to manufacturing customers decreased 4.2 percent year-over-year (-15.6 percent in April)
  • Daily sales to non-residential construction customers decreased 9.8 percent (-15.5 percent in April)
  • Daily sales to national accounts grew 20.0 percent (+16.0 percent in April)
  • Daily sales to non-national accounts grew 7.0 percent (-6.0 percent in April)
  • 39.0 percent of Fastenal's top 100 national accounts grew (16.0 percent in April)
  • 40.7 percent of Fastenal's public branches grew (34.1 percent in April)
  • Fastenal ended April with an absolute headcount of 21,034, down 554 from April. The majority of that reduction was in branch and onsite personnel, which staffed 424 fewer people at the end of May than in April. The company trimmed 413 selling personnel during May compared to April, or 3.1 percent of that staff amount.
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