Industrial Distribution's 2017 Big 50 List

You've seen this year's Big 50 List in the print issue, digital edition and/or our countdown videos (or if you haven't, you really should). Here, see the list in a condensed, easy-reference version. See where your company and competitors rank, who moved up, who moved down and who joined the list this year.

Industrial Strength

It’s been well-documented that 2015-2016 was a rough stretch for the industrial supply market. Low oil prices, rig counts and overall industrial product demand took a toll on a large portion of our readership, forcing many distributors and suppliers to take drastic measures to get by. For some, this included divesting non-profitable business segments, product line consolidation and headcount reduction.

Thankfully, things began to turn around in the fourth quarter of 2016 and recovery has continued so far through 2017. And though industrial market conditions are still a way below their booming mark of 2014, distributors and suppliers are far more optimistic now than they were a year ago. Be it discussions at industrial tradeshows, commentary from market analysts or with distributor executives, the current vibe is positive across this sector.

However, since our Big 50 List is based on these companies’ 2016 sales figures, much of our 2017 list still reflects distributors’ struggles throughout last year. Many of them have shown considerable recovery since then, leading us at ID already looking forward to seeing higher sales dollar amounts in our 2018 list. Despite the hardships of 2016, the minimum sales figure for our 2017 list was 19 percent higher than a year ago.

As the industrial distribution market evolves faster with each passing year, compiling our Big 50 List becomes tougher. Divestments, acquisitions, product line consolidation and expansion make it more challenging to determine what companies to include. But it makes it all the more interesting.

Click here to view the full Big 50 feature in our September/October Digital edition, which includes commentary about, or by, those companies. Here's part one (Nos. 50-31), part two (30-11) and part three (top 10) of our video countdown.

Here's our 2016 Big 50 List

Congratulations to the companies on our 2017 Big 50 List, and here’s to wishing for continued market success going forward.

— Mike Hockett, Editor

Rank, Company 2016 Sales Headquarters CEO (*also president) Locations Employees
1. WĂĽrth Group $13.2 billion Kunzelsau, Germany John Martin 400+ 73,000+
2. W.W. Grainger $10.1 billion Lake Forest, IL D.G. Macpherson 631 25,000
3. Sonepar North America $9.6 billion Charleston, SC Halsey Cook* 988 N/A
4. HD Supply $7.4 billion Atlanta, GA Joe DeAngelo 500 14,000
5. Airgas $7.0 billion Radnor, PA Michael Molinini 1,100 17,000
6. Motion Industries $4.6 billion Birmingham, AL Tim Breen 539 6,511
7. Fastenal $4.0 billion Winona, MN Dan Florness 2,451 20,174
8. Descours and Cabaud $3.6 billion Lyon, France Alain  Morvand 657 13,000
9. MRC Global $3.0 billion Houston, TX Andrew Lane* 300 4,100
10. Winsupply $3.0 billion Dayton, OH Roland Gordan* 580 5,900
11. MSC Industrial Supply $2.9 billion Melville, NY Erik Gershwind* 104 6,406
12. Applied Industrial Technologies $2.5 billion Cleveland, OH Neil Schrimsher* 559 5,000
13. NOW Inc. $2.1 billion Houston, TX Robert Workman* 300 N/A
14. Interline Brands N/A Jacksonville, FL Kenneth Sweder N/A N/A
15. Edgen Murray N/A Baton Rouge, FL Dan O'Leary N/A N/A
16. Wolseley Industrial Group $1.4 billion Newport News, VA Rob Braig, VP 160 3,500
17. Kaman Industrial Technologies $1.1 billion Bloomfield, CT Steve Smidler, President 250 2,294
18. F.W. Webb $1.0 billion Bedford, MA Jeff Pope, President 90 2,200
19. DXP Enterprises $962 million Houston, TX David Little 174 2,000
20. ERIKS North America N/A Pittsburgh, PA Ben Mondics* 140 2,000
21. Global Industrial $716 million Port Washington, NY Bob Dooley, President 9 1,072
22. EIS Inc. $716 million Atlanta, GA Larry Griffin, President 50 1,200
23. Bossard $686 million Zug, Switzerland David Dean 60 2,100+
24. United Distribution Group N/A Briston, TN Darrel Cole* 67 800
25. Bearing Distributors Inc. (BDI) $662 million Cleveland, OH Carl James 198 1,547
26. Turtle & Hughes N/A Linden, NJ Jayne Millard 19 N/A
27. EWIE Group $420 million Ann Arbor, MI Manoj Sachdeva 20 900
28. BlackHawk Industrial $400 million Broken Arrow, OK Bill Scheller 26 600
29. Gas & Supply N/A Baton Rouge, LA Mike Templet, President 49 N/A
30. FCX Performance $346 million Columbus, OH Tom Cox 45 800+
31. SBP Holdings $331 million Pearland, TX Don Fritzinger 50 970
32. R.S. Hughes $326 million Sunnyvale, CA Bob McCollum 50 525
33. Ohio Transmission Corp. $326 million Columbus, OH Philip Derrow 31 800
34. Production Tool Supply $315 million Warren, MI Lawrence Wolfe* 25 574
35. Wajax Industrial Components $282 million Mississauga, ON Steve Deck, President 117 2,300
36. Border States (Industrial) $278 million Fargo, ND Tammy Miller 97 2,200
37. Lawson Products $277 million Des Plaines, IL Michael DeCata N/A 1,590
38. AWC $275 million Baton Rouge, LA Bob Wenyon* 28 400
39. Hisco $260 million Houston, TX Bob Dill 38 460
40. DGI Supply $254 million Wheeling, IL Jeff Waller* 35 520
41. Ryan Herco Flow Solutions $246 million Burbank, CA Randy Beckwith 32 370
42. Kimball Midwest $227 million Columbus, OH Pat McCurdy* 4 1,300
43. Crescent Electric (Industrial) $218 million East Dubuque, IL Marty Burbridge 167 1,800
44. Tencarva Machinery $208 million Greensboro, NC Ed Pearce 28 370
45. CBT Company $186 million Cincinnati, OH James Stahl Jr. 3 208
46. Hydradyne $174 million Fort Worth, TX David Parks, President 32 525
47. Shively Bros. $163 million Flint, MI Scott Shively 12 327
48. IBT Industrial Solutions $158 million Merriam, KS Michael Flannery 45 450
49. Fairmont Supply $135 million Washington, PA Paul Fichiera 15 216
50. Bridgestone Hosepower $132 million Orange Park, FL J. Palmer Clarkson 41 485

Just Outside

We always feel for those companies that come close, but narrowly miss our annual Big 50 List. Here's who was just outside the cut this year:

51. Valin Corporation — $131 million
52. Mahar Tool Supply — $119 million
53. Cummins-Wagner — $114 million
54. Womack Machine Supply — $111 million
55. JGB Enterprises — $104 million


All Big 50 companies are ranked according to 2016 total worldwide sales from North Ameircan operations, and all figures are reported in USD (in some cases converted based on the estimated exchange rate). We obtain information for publicly-traded companies based on annual reports, earning statements and company verifications. For the privately-held companies, we rely on self-reported data and follow-up interviews. Recently published press releases and company website information is also used to supplement data for this report. The Big 50 interviews were conducted via email, survey and phone by Industrial Distribution editorial staff.

All Big 50 candidates must have a considerable presence in the U.S.

We elect to refrain from listing any companies we are unable to obtain confirmed revenue numbers for and/or haven’t published company information in more than 3 years, at which point it is difficult to make an accurate estimation of their placement on the Big 50. Therefore, there are a small number of companies we estimate would have earned a place on this year’s list that were omitted. Those companies include McMaster-Carr, Vallen, SunSource and Perry Supply.

For those of you who don’t see your company names (but think you should): Please contact us with your information and we’ll add you to our pool for next year. As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Please feel free to reach out to ID’s editor, Mike Hockett, with comments or questions: [email protected]