A major strategy shift at Rexel Inc., Dallas, the U.S. operations of Rexel SA of France, will see the company offer data communications products at each of the more than 330 local electrical branches operated by the company.

Called “Conectis,” the program will see all the local electrical branches stock and sell datacom products. That has not previously been the case. With more than $2.5 billion in annual sales in the United States, Rexel Inc. is a major contributor to this year's expected $8 billion global sales of Rexel SA.

Conectis (pronounced “connect-eece”) originated in the mid-1990s at the company's operations in France, where Rexel has a significant market share. There, the company sought to capitalize on the movement of French electrical contractors into the data communications market. Inside of five years, sales of communications products at Rexel's electrical branches in France went from zero to more than $100 million/year.

As in France, the U.S. program's target market is electrical contractors, many of whom already do business with Rexel's branches.

“From a customer standpoint, we'll be able to improve service dramatically,” said Tim Copeland, president of Rexel Datacom. “Our customers will have access to communications products in more locations than ever before, and our ability to deliver these products will be greatly enhanced.”

“We recognize that our existing electrical branches provide Rexel with an outstanding opportunity to grow our communications business,” said Dick Waterman, executive vice president and CEO of Rexel Inc. “Our current customer base will benefit from our improved warehousing, delivery, and product selection, as well as the additional resources we will be devoting to communication product sales.”

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