Distributor Pandemic Index Improves to Best Mark Since Mid-March

Though still down double-digits, the index has recovered almost 63 percent since the week of April 6-10.

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Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

Indian River Consulting Group's (IRCG) weekly distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) showed long-awaited improvement last week, though still at a double-digit negative figure, amid a slowly reopening US economy.

The latest PRI showed a gain of 3.56 points to a mark of -11.34 percent for the week of May 18-22, meaning that for the group of distributors surveyed, their average year-over-year sales decline was -11.34 percent.

For context, the PRI first went negative during the week of March 16-20 at -0.91, plummet to -21.63 the week after and then bottomed out at -30.48 the week of April 6-10 before holding steady between -13 to -19 for the next five weeks.

The sample size for last week's PRI was 10 distributors, the same as the previous several weeks. 

The declines in nine of the 10 distributors in the new index were smaller this week than last week. The largest decline last week was 33 percent year-over-year, while one company posted an increase.

"With the lifting of stay-at-home orders occurring to some degree in all 50 states, it will be interesting to see if next week’s sales trend improves on this week’s trends," IRCG partner Mike Emerson said. "It will also be interesting to see if there are any patterns within the index over the next few weeks."

IRCG hopes to expand the sample size of the PRI. If you are interested having your distribution firm participate, reach out to Emerson at memerson@ircg.com.

The PRI was launched in late March to provide the B2B distribution space with a snapshot of how distributor revenues are doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chart below shows the percent change in sales in 2020 compared with the same week in 2019.

Distributor Weekly Pandemic Revenue Index Pri May 18 22 2020

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