Home Depot Supply's purchase last month of Edson Electric Supply, Phoenix, is part of Home Depot's strategy to build its strength in the professional contractor market as growth in its retail sales levels off.

The Atlanta-based company agreed to acquire Edson Electric Supply Inc., the largest independently owned electrical distributor based in the Phoenix metropolitan area, for an undisclosed amount. Edson Electric Supply operates 11 locations throughout Arizona.

The acquisition will extend the reach of Home Depot Supply's electrical business to key growth markets in the Southwest, Home Depot said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Established in 1962, the 172-employee Edson Electric had approximately $137 million in 2005 revenue and is ranked as the 45th largest electrical distributor in the United States, according to Electrical Wholesaling's 2006 listing of the Top 200 electrical distributors. In the past six years, Edson Electric's sales increased 174 percent — from $50 million in 2000 to $137 million in 2005.

“Edson's solid operational and distribution models provide opportunities for consistent growth and profitability,” Home Depot said in a media statement provided to Electrical Marketing. M. Scott Liles, president of Edson Electric Supply, said he could not comment at press time.

Home Depot entered the electrical wholesaling industry in a big way with its purchase of Hughes Supply, Orlando, Fla., in March 2006.

Home Depot Supply's electrical business currently operates 59 branches in nine states.