Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Falls Further, Back to Double-Digit Decline

A month ago, the PRI signaled distributors may be out of the weeds. The latest figures prove otherwise.

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Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

A few weeks ago, the sentiment in Indian River Consulting Group's weekly Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) was that distributor might be mostly out of the weeds of as far as major negative business impacts from COVID-19, the latest index figures show there's still a ways to go.

IRCG's index for the week of June 22-26 showed that for the 10 distributors surveyed, their year-over-year revenue was down a combined 11.42 percent year-over-year. That's worse than declines of 5.67 percent, 8.51 percent and 1.39 percent for the previous three weeks, respectively. When the PRI nudged above breakeven at +0.34 percent for the week of May 25-29, it appeared continued improvement was ahead after bottoming out at -30.48 percent in early April and holding in the minus teens through mid-May. The past four PRI readings have proved otherwise.

"The best word to describe the status of the index is 'uncertain'," said Mike Emerson, IRCG partner. "Where it goes from here is anyoneโ€™s guess, although macro signs point down with delays and even some reversals on relaxing pandemic-related restrictions."

"There remains a fair amount of sales volatility among the distributors participating in the index," Emerson added. "Two participants posted gains and four participants posted improvements relative to last week. Yet, five companies saw their biggest declines since before the first week of May.  

IRCG would like to increase the sample size for the PRI and is calling on distributors to participate. If you are interested, reach out to Emerson at [email protected].  

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 June 22 26 2020

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