Channel Marketing Group, Raleigh, NC, and the William Blair investment firm with an industrial distribution expertise, recently conducted their Q1 Pulse of Lighting Report. This survey generated feedback from 200 distributors, manufacturers and reps with the manufacturers and reps corroborating much of the distributor feedback.
Key findings include:
- Electrical distributor revenues for Q1 were up approximately 6%; unit sales were slightly higher.
- Price erosion averaged 4.5%
- Distributors are experiencing strong growth in the small to mid-sized project / renovation markets whereas the large project market is viewed as “slow”
- Inventory and backlog levels remain steady with some reporting increased backlog and increasing their inventory.
- While “the Big 7” lighting suppliers (defined by Channel Marketing and William Blair as (Acuity, Eaton Lighting
Solutions, Hubbell Lighting, Current powered by GE, Cree, Philips Lighting and RAB Lighting) have significant share, a number of distributors reported that these companies’ share of business within these accounts is declining.
Distributors also shared much input regarding the state of the market and market drivers. Open-ended feedback was received regarding the competitiveness of the market, controls, warranty and product quality concerns from all companies and more.