Commercial Equipment Wholesalers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,225 commercial equipment wholesalers in the US sell and distribute equipment and supplies used in restaurants, hotels, and retail stores, except for computers and office equipment and refrigeration units. In addition to selling equipment and supplies, firms may also provide installation and maintenance services.

Dependence on Health of Foodservice Sector

About two-thirds of the commercial equipment wholesaler industry’s revenue comes from foodservice equipment and supplies, so they are highly dependent on the health of the foodservice industry, and restaurants in particular.

Smaller Equipment Footprints

Foodservice equipment manufacturers are developing new smaller models that combine multiple functions and take up less space.

Industry size & Structure

The average commercial equipment wholesaler has 14 employees and generates $8.1 million in annual revenue.

    • The commercial equipment wholesalers industry in the US consists of over 3,200 firms with 46,000 employees and $26 billion in annual revenue.
    • About 87% of firms operate a single location.
    • The industry is fragmented, as the largest 50 firms represent about 48% of industry revenue.
    • Large foodservice equipment wholesalers include TriMark USA, Edward Don & Co., Wasserstrom Co., Clark Associates, and Singer Equipment.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Commercial Equipment Wholesalers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    May 20, 2024 - Price Hikes Support Rising Labor Costs
                                    • Producer prices for professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers rose 2.7% in March compared to a year ago after rising 3.2% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Employment by commercial equipment wholesalers grew 1.8% in March year over year while average industry wages rose 2.7% over the same period to top $37 per hour for the first time, BLS wage data show.
                                    • The latest in food service equipment aims to leverage synergies in AI, automation, and robotics, according to Foodservice, Equipment & Supplies (FE&S). Commercial kitchen products recognized by this year’s Kitchen Innovation Awards program feature technology designed to reduce labor – a pain point for food service providers amid steeply rising wages and staffing challenges. New products use sensors, movement monitors, kitchen management software, and AI to enable employees to push a button to start cooking a preprogrammed recipe and produce a high-quality product with enhanced speed of service. “AI and recognition technologies are simplifying training by automating tasks,” explains Brian Ward with the KI Award program, adding, “If an oven recognizes the food, it doesn’t even have to wait for a human to push the correct button.” Enhancements to robotic fryers include a system that seasons and packages fries for serving or holding, FE&S noted.
                                    • Store openings by major US retailers are expected to be nearly flat in 2024 compared to a year ago, Chain Store Age reports. However, the number of store closures is expected to decline this year. US retailers will open approximately 5,500 stores this year, a slight decrease from the 5,645 opened in 2023, according to Coresight Research’s latest US and UK Store Tracker Extra report. Discount stores will continue to lead store openings, with Dollar General planning to open 800 stores this year. The number of store closures is predicted to drop to 4,000 (down from 4,913 in 2023), per the report. Inflation is impacting retail footprints, with expansion favoring discounters and off-price grocers such as Aldi and Lidl. Aldi plans to invest more than $90 billion to add 800 stores nationwide by the end of 2028.
                                    • Hotel construction – an indicator of future demand for commercial equipment to the lodging industry – in the United States is booming. The US had the largest hotel project count of any country in the fourth quarter of 2023, with Dallas, Atlanta, and Nashville leading cities worldwide for the most projects in the pipeline, according to Lodging Econometrics (LE). The US reached a record 5,964 projects, or 693,963 rooms, followed by China with an all-time high of 3,788 projects (691,772 rooms). LE data shows Dallas had 193 projects (22,291 rooms) in the pipeline, while Atlanta had 151 projects (18,730 rooms); and Nashville had 123 projects (16,148 rooms). The potential for interest rate cuts this year and in 2025 sends “a positive but cautious outlook for US hotel development in the year ahead,” LE said in a January statement.
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