Amid Weather Impacts, Distributor Pandemic Index Plunges to 1st Loss in 3 Months

Indian River Consulting said the result was likely driven by impacts of nationwide weather issues, especially in the Texas region.

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Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

Nearing the one-year anniversary of its inception, Indian River Consulting Group's Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) reflected disruption caused by wintry weather across much of the United States last week.

For the week of Feb. 15-19 — during which the entire state of Texas saw rare snow and ice that crippled its energy grid and caused numerous goods logistics issues — the PRI had a reading of -7.2. It means that for the 13 distributors surveyed, their average sales were down 7.2 percent year-over-year.

It marked the index's first negative reading since Nov. 9-13 (-1.8), snapping a 13-week streak of gains. It followed marks of +5.0, +14.1, +6.4, +3.9 and +4.6 in the previous five weeks, respectively.

Only four of the newest index's 13 respondents reported increases, ranging from mid-single digits to 21 percent. For the nine distributors that reported decines, their range was from -1 to -42 percent. IRCG noted that distributors with operations in Texas were especially hard hit.

Created in March 2020, the PRI aims to provide a weekly snapshot of how industrial distributors' sales have fared during the pandemic compared to a year earlier. The index was created in March 2020 to try and provide a contemporaneous view on prevailing business conditions as the coronavirus began disrupting business. The index is comprised of wholesale distribution companies in different industry verticals across the US. Participants include companies with local and national footprints. 

IRCG would like to increase the sample size for the PRI, so if you would like to include your company, reach out to Emerson at memerson@ircg.com.

The chart below shows the weekly percent change in year-over-year sales, unadjusted for holiday impacts:

Ircg Pandemic Revenue Index Feb 15 19 2021

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