Rexel on the Move?

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RexelFor a number of years Rexel USA has had “challenges” and many distributors considered Rexel as perhaps their greatest growth opportunity.  The company contracted, quality people left / were recruited away, suppliers commented on the company’s ability to execute and staff commented about management and direction. High points were the acquisition of Platt and Munro, however, many commented about the acquisition prices. However, Rexel may now be on the move.

The past few weeks have seen some signs of change.  Consider:

  • Distributors don’t seem to be commenting that they can grow by targeting Rexel locations / customers.  It’s not that they aren’t, they aren’t commenting about it indicating it isn’t as easy pickings as it was.
  • Suppliers are not talking about the company as much.
  • While there is probably some employee movement, just like any large company, but it doesn’t seem as rampant.
  • And now come signs of investment, which indicates confidence by Rexel USA as well as corporate which must be investing in the business.  Rather than acquisitions, the company is:
    • Opening two locations in Vermont (one is already open)
    • Opening three locations in Miami / South Florida (Miami, Stuart and an undisclosed location) per Jackie Faulk, Rexel Florida Division VP, And South Florida reportedly is a “hot” residential and commercial market at this time.
    • Adding at least 10 sales teams / locations to their Rexel Energy Solutions group (ex Munro) around the country and adding personnel to their existing.  This group is focused on serving ESCOs.
      • As many know, energy efficiency is the fastest growing segment of the industry and is one of the few segments where distributors can create business.  Additionally, with Rexel’s buying power, theoretically Rexel could leverage its volume to source directly for lighting SKUs that have volume (if they desire) and could be an attractive partner for suppliers.

Commonalities … contractor / construction markets and energy efficiency / lighting growth opportunities.

And what is interesting about this is that this is three discrete segments / regions of the business … New England, South Florida and energy efficiency.

While it may only be a small sample size, but perhaps Rexel is turning the corner and is on the move in the contractor segment?

What are you seeing in your market as you compete against them?  Manufacturers, how are they performing for you?

Now, the question of the impact of the sale of GE Industrial Solutions on Gexpro is a discussion for another day.

 

(And feel free to respond anonymously or email me your response and I’ll post anonymously for you as it is understandable if you don’t want to share potentially competitive insights. Your input can be “sanitized”.)

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