Slower growth is beginning to have an impact on the wholesale distribution industry, but an important consideration is that the industry is still experiencing growth after all these years.  Beaulieu projects both durable and nondurable goods will see a rebound beginning this summer and extending into the first quarter of 2014.

Some areas of observation that impact the wholesale distribution industry include:

  • Housing: Pending home sales in the US are 10.3% above year-ago levels, but a slower rate of rise is evident in the trend.  This may suggest that now is a good time for wholesaler-distributors associated with the housing industry to make plans for slower growth.
  • Green energy: Continued support from the federal government and environmentalists has helped in this area, but a Department of Energy study shows the greenest approaches are still very expensive.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: Pharmacy shelves are being stocked with cheaper generics.  If you’ve been primarily relying on brand-name drug sales, consider branching into generics to support your sales volume in 2013.

Overall, Beaulieu predicts the US economy to grow in 2013, take a minor dip in 2014, and grow again in 2015-2017.  Companies should conserve their cash, scrutinize customers before extending credit offers, avoid any major expansion plans, and develop a plan to handle the showdown.  This will poise companies to be in prime position to prosper when 2015 comes knocking.