Distributor Pandemic Index Swings Back to Growth After 9 Weeks of Major Losses

The index surged to just above break-even last week — a substantial turnaround since late March.

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Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

Indian River Consulting Group's (IRCG) distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) showed a surge in improvement last week, swinging just above the break-even mark after showing nine consecutive weeks of double-digit year-over-year declines.

The PRI showed a mark of +0.34 for the week of May 25-May 29, meaning that for the group of 10 distributors surveyed, their combined average year-over-year sales improved 0.34 percent last week. That follows marks of -11.34 percent for the week of May 18-22. For context, the PRI first went negative during the week of March 16-20 at -0.91, plummeted to -21.63 the week after and then bottomed out at -30.48 the week of April 6-10. The index held steady between -13 to -19 for the next five weeks and improved 3.56 percentage points the week of May 18-22 before last week's surge.

"After 10 weeks of sales declines including nine weeks of double-digit declines, last week showed an increase in sales relative to last year, albeit very small," IRCG partner Mike Emerson said. "As a point of reference, Memorial Day fell in the same week last year, so the comparison is between two short business weeks."

Last week's index results were driven by four of the 10 distributors showing growth, with three of them showing double-digit growth over the same week in 2019. Emerson noted that the major growth wasn't localized, as the distributor participants hail from the West Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southwest regions. Eight of the 10 respondents showed improvement from the previous week.

If you are interested having your distribution firm participate in the PRI, 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.

Ircg Pandemic Revenue Index May 25 29 2020

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