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 3,325 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 16 employees and generates $7-8 million in annual revenue.

    • The commercial equipment wholesalers industry in the US consists of over 3,300 firms with 52,000 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

                                    Mar 20, 2024 - Discounters Lead Store Openings
                                    • 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.
                                    • Restaurants increasingly turned to kitchen automation to drive back-of-house efficiency in 2023, PYMNTS reported in December. The stubborn labor shortage, wage hikes for restaurant workers, and consumers’ growing preference for contactless service are driving investment in robotic solutions by restaurant operators in the kitchen and at the counter. Major chains embracing automated solutions include Chipotle Mexican Grill, which has announced it’s developing an automated food service platform Hyphen to test a “cobotic” (short for “cooperative robotics”) “digital makeline,” according to PYMNTS. And salad chain Sweetgreen said it expects all its restaurants to be automated within the next five years. The automation of commercial kitchens presents opportunities for food service equipment dealers that help companies understand how to use it and reap its benefits.
                                    • Consumers’ growing preference for drive-through service – accelerated by the pandemic – shows no sign of slowing down, The New York Times reports. Drive-through traffic increased by 30% from 2019 to 2022, according to food service research firm Technomic. Meanwhile, the number of people eating inside fast-food restaurants in the first half of 2023 plunged 47% from the same period in 2019. Drive-throughs now account for two-thirds of all fast-food purchases, according to a September report by Revenue Management Solutions, cited by NYT. To meet the growing demand for contactless service fast-food chains are adding more drive-through lanes, downsizing and even eliminating dining rooms. Diners' growing preference for drive-through service is an opportunity for suppliers of commercial equipment to fast-food restaurant chains.
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