Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Finally Returns to Positive

Excluding the week of July 4 that had an extra selling day, the latest index was its first positive reading since late May.

Warehouse 14a
Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

After holding relatively steady in the minus single-digits over the last eight week's, Indian River Consulting Group's latest Distributor Weekly Pandemic Index (PRI) showed a long-awaited return to positive growth for the week of July 27-31.

The newest PRI had a reading of +1.4 percent, meaning that for the 10 distributors surveyed, their average revenue for that week was up 1.4 percent compared to a year earlier.

If the week of June 29-July 3 is excluded for having an extra business day that severely skewed its reading to a mark of 11.7 percent, the PRI's newest reading would be just the second increase since the week of March 9-13, with the only other being a 0.3 percent bump over May 25-29 following nine straight weeks of double-digit declines that bottomed out at -30.5 percent in the week of April 6-10.

Before the latest reading, the index had been holding between -5.5 and -7.4 the previous three weeks, and perhaps offers a glimmer of positivity that distributors' selling conditions continue to improve.

"As much as last week was a sight for sore eyes, it’s going to take a series of weeks before we can start to draw any conclusions considering all the conflicting data we are seeing elsewhere," noted Mike Emerson, IRCG partner.

Emerson added that five of the newest index's 10 distributor participants saw a year-over-year sales gain during the week of July 27-31, with the largest gain at 17 percent and the largest decrease at 12 percent. Until the latest index, at least one survey participant had a decline of more than 12 percent each week since the week of March 2.

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

Ircg Pandemic Revenue Index July 27 31 2020

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