Resurgent Safety Sales Lead Big January for Fastenal

Sales in core product categories also had considerable growth.

Fastenal Vending 5f5256901f104

Fastenal reported its January sales results on Feb. 4, with the results showing a strong start to the year for the distributor as resurgent safety sales buoyed already accelerating sales of the company's core product lines.

The Winona, MN-based company —  No. 4 on Industrial Distribution's 2021 Big 50 List — posted total January sales of $540.5 million, up 20.7 percent year-over-year, with daily sales up 14.9 percent. Total sales were up 13.5 percent from December, which had one less selling day than January, with daily sales up 8.1 percent month-to-month.

READ MORE: Fastenal Likely to Close About 300 More Branches as it 'Rationalizes' Footprint - published Jan. 31

By product line in January:

  • Fastenal 5f52568ff40c0Daily sales of fasteners grew 20.9% year-over-year, decelerating from December's 25.5%.
  • After spiking throughout 2020 and then falling throughout 2021, daily sales of safety products jumped 12.9% year-over-year in January. It followed 7.2% growth in December — showing a recent resurgence in safety sales as no other month since March 2021 had topped 3.2% growth in that product category.
  • Daily sales of all other products grew 11.0 percent year-over-year, in line with December's 14.4% growth and November's 11.7%.

By end market in January:

  • Daily sales to manufacturing customers grew 20.8% year-over-year, following December's 25.8% and November's 22.6%.
  • Daily sales to non-residential construction customers grew 12.9% year-over-year, following December's 13.5% and November's 16.6%.

By geography in January

  • Daily sales in the United States grew 14.9% year-over-year, trailing December 15.4%.
  • Daily sales in Canada/Mexico grew 14.6% year-over-year, trailing December's 22.1%.
  • Daily sales to the rest of international 15.8% year-over-year, trailing December's 25.6%.

By customer/channel type in January

  • Daily sales in national accounts grew 19.0%, trailing December's 23.0%
  • Daily sales in non-national accounts grew 10.0%, outpacing December's 9.0%
  • 85.0% of Fastenal's top 100 national accounts grew in January, following 87.0% in December.
  • 73.4% of Fastenal's public branches grew in January, topping December's 71.0%.


  • Fastenal ended January with a total headcount of 20,728, 1.1% from December and up 1.3% year-over-year.
  • Fastenal ended January with 13,603 total selling personnel, up 1.4% from December and up 1.9% year-over-year. Fastenal ended January with 2,171 total in-market selling personnel, up 4.6% from December and up 10.9% year-over-year.

Fastenal reported its 2021 fourth quarter and full year financial results on Jan. 19, led by sales of $1.53 billion that were up 12.8 percent year-over-year and up 14.6 percent on a daily sales basis, while operating profit of $301 million increased 13.8 percent on margin of 19.6 percent and total profit of $231 million jumped 17.9 percent. Total 2021 sales of $6.01 billion increased 6.4 percent over 2020, with daily sales up 7.3 percent. 2021 operating profit of $1.22 billion increased 6.6 percent at margin of 20.3 percent, while net profit of $925 million improved 7.7 percent vs. 2020.

More in Earnings