Electrical distributors are a resilient bunch. Despite being rocked by one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory, they still forecast slow-but-steady sales growth for next year. According to Electrical Wholesaling's recent survey for this issue's Market Planning Guide, electrical distributors are looking for a 5.8 percent sales increase in 2003, putting total sales through this channel at $76.35 billion.

To help electrical distributors estimate their own sales potential and develop market plans, Electrical Wholesaling magazine has provided readers with its annual market planning resource since 1978. This year, we have added some valuable new resources. In addition to the core sales and employment statistics, you'll also find additional supporting data, like construction forecasts, economic factors shaping geographic markets and national historical data for various elements of the construction and industrial markets.

Here is what you'll find in this year's Market Planning Guide.

How to Use the Market Planning Guide

This section offers tips on using the Market-Planning-Guide data to develop market forecasts. Included are EW's customer multipliers, which allow you to estimate sales potential by customer type, based on the average amount of electrical materials purchased per employee.

PAGE NUMBER DIRECTORY
Multipliers 20
National Factbook 22
Regional Factbook 24
Economic Factbook 34
Customer Mix 39
Market Mix 40
Product Mix 43
If You Want to Learn More 44

National Factbook

A summary of electrical distributor sales estimates for this year and next year, along with four years of sales history.

Regional Factbook

The market-planning data is divided into nine regions of the United States. For each region and state, you'll find sales forecasts for this year and next year, along with the four prior years' sales. In addition to the sales forecasts, you'll also find employment statistics for four of electrical wholesalers' major customer groups. The employment numbers help develop forecasts for customer buying potential. Sales forecasts are prepared by Primedia's research department. The basis for employment data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Census Bureau.

Plus, new to this year's Regional Factbook, market snapshots evaluate the health of key electrical construction elements.

Economic Factbook

When developing market forecasts, you can use economic trend data from this new section to get a sense of macroeconomic trends shaping the electrical construction market. An added bonus this year is historical trend and forecast data that offer quick insight into the health of key elements of the electrical construction market.

Customer Mix

Primedia's research department has also prepared sales breakdowns on a national and regional basis by the key customer types for full-line electrical distributors.

Market Mix

The issue also breaks down sales by the major end-user market segments, such as residential construction and maintenance, industrial work, office construction and renovation, and utilities.

Product Mix

In this year's survey, electrical distributors were asked to break down their electrical sales by product type. This section gives valuable insight into the product areas that have the most mind share with electrical distributors.

If you want to learn more

Check out this list of Web sites, magazines and other valuable resources if you need additional market-planning help.