The Methodology Behind the Top 50

April 30, 2015
Newcomers to the Top 50 add to global scope of Global Purchasing Top 50 Electronics Distributors report.

Global Purchasing is proud to publish its fifth annual Top 50 Electronics Distributors list, compiled from nomination forms submitted during February and March. Each company in our list is ranked according to its total global sales volume, and all figures are reported in U.S. dollars. We used self-reported data from each company and verified the information against annual reports and earnings statements, where possible, as well as in follow-up interviews with some of the companies at the top of the list.

Figures for Avnet Inc., ranked first, and Arrow Electronics, ranked second, include the sale of computer products, which comprise large segments of each company’s business. The ranking for privately held Future Electronics, fourth, is based on a Global Purchasing estimate.

Figures for Allied Electronics, sixth, reflect its worldwide sales as part of UK-based Electrocomponents plc, which also operates RS Components in Europe. The figure here is a company-provided, fiscal-year 2015 estimate for global sales. Likewise, sales for ninth-ranked Newark element14 reflect worldwide sales as part of its parent company, Britain-based Premier Farnell. 

There are some changes to this year’s list based on newcomers to the survey and our efforts to make the list more global each year. Macnica Inc. debuts at number five with $3.4 billion in worldwide sales. The Japanese company was established in 1972 , and Macnica Americas, its U.S. business based in California, became a company subsidiary in 2011. North American sales represent about 17% of the company’s business. The company’s entry caused a shift in the top 10, with Electrocomponents/Allied, TTI, Digi-Key, Newark/element14, and Mouser moving down one spot each to occupy the six-through-10 spots.

German distributor Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH enters our report at No. 11, with global sales of $810 million. Most of the company’s sales are to customers in Europe, with about 10% coming from outside the region. This also caused a shift, with N.F. Smith moving to the No.  12 spot, and DAC/Heilind moving to No. 13.

The entry of large independent distributor Fusion Worldwide at No. 14 also changes our rankings. The Massachusetts-based company had 2014 sales of $318 million, putting it just ahead of America II Electronics, which reported sales of $250 million in 2014. Also new to this year’s list are Phoenics Electronics, at No. 29; Edge Electronics, at No. 31; NRC Electronics, at No. 34; Arco Inc., at No. 36; and Kensington Electronics, at No. 43.

Missing from this year’s list are two companies that were acquired during 2014: Electro-Sonic—which was purchased by No.17 Master Electronics—and Astrex Electronics, which is now part of TTI. Other distributors that did not return this year either failed to submit a nomination form or fell below the $12.8 million cutoff figure.

Our goal is to provide a comprehensive list of the largest electronic components distributors serving customers around the world. We will begin compiling information for next year’s report early in 2016 and we welcome your input. Send your questions or comments to [email protected].

About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.

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