Companies in this industry distribute electronic components including semiconductors, connectors, electromechanical devices, and other similar products. Major companies include Arrow Electronics and Avnet (both based in the US) and WPG Holdings (Taiwan), Future Electronics (Canada), and the Premier Farnell (UK).
Electronic component manufacturing is largely concentrated in the Asia/Pacific region, making the area a crucial market for wholesalers. Global component distributors are increasingly tapping into emerging economies, where electronics markets are less saturated, to uncover new sales opportunities.
The US electronic component wholesalers industry includes about 13,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $320 billion.
Demand for electronic components is driven largely by business and consumer purchases of computers and telecommunications equipment. The profitability of individual companies depends on business volume and correct merchandising, or stocking the products buyers want. Large companies have advantages through buying in high volume at discounted prices, more-efficient inventory management, and the ability to fulfill large customer orders. Small wholesalers can compete by offering specialized products or better service. The industry is concentrated: the 50 largest US companies account for about 60% of industry revenue.
International trade in electronic components is substantial. Imports to the US in 2014 were about $80 billion, mainly from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and Costa Rica. Domestic exports from the US (which excludes re-exports of components manufactured elsewhere) were about $60 billion, mainly to Mexico, China, Malaysia, South Korea, and...