Global Purchasing’s Top 50 Electronics Distributors report is an annual list of the largest distributors of electronic components serving the North American marketplace. Each year, Global Purchasing’s editors rank the largest distributors by sales volume and interview leaders from the top companies to get take the pulse of the electronics distribution market. Our highly anticipated list is released each May, and is featured online at Globalpurchasing.com and in the print issue of Electronic Design magazine.

We follow up on this annual report throughout the year, conducting subsequent interviews with executives from many of the Top 50 companies. These stories are featured on Global Purchasing’s Executive Interviews page as part of an ongoing series titled “5 Questions With: Our Top 50 Executives.” We also follow up regularly with news and feature stories about our Top 50 and in blog posts from some of the leading companies’ executives.

The Methodology Behind Our Survey

Global Purchasing is proud to publish its fourth 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. Sales listed for privately held Future Electronics, fourth, are based on Global Purchasing estimates.

Figures for Allied Electronics, fifth, reflect its worldwide sales as part of Britain-based Electrocomponents plc, which also operates RS Components in Europe. The figure here is a company-provided, fiscal-year 2014 estimate for global sales. Allied’s sales were roughly $446 million in North America in fiscal year 2014, ended March 31, according to company-provided estimates. Likewise, sales for eighth place Newark element14 reflect worldwide sales as part of its parent company, Britain-based Premier Farnell. 

There are some newcomers to this year’s list as well. Taiwan-based WPG Holdings debuts at number 3, with $13.6 billion in sales. This causes a shift in our list this year—especially in the top 10, which has remained largely unchanged since we started our report in 2011. Future Electronics moves down to number 4, followed by Electrocomponents plc/Allied, which edged out TTI Inc. this year and moved to number 5. TTI ranked sixth, followed by Digi-Key Corp., which maintained its place at number 7. Newark element14 dropped to number 8, followed by Mouser at ninth place and DAC/Heilind in tenth. Large independent distributor N.F. Smith & Associates, which has long held the number 10 spot, dropped to 11.

Other newcomers to the 2014 Top 50 include United Kingdom-based Rebound Technology Group Holdings Ltd., which came in at number 16, with $140 million in sales; Torrance, Calif.-based Classic Components, number 19, with $113 million in sales; San Jose, Calif.-based RFMW Ltd., number 25, with $58.5 million in sales; Marsh Electronics, number 27, based in Milwaukee, with $43.9 million in sales; Adams Magnetic Products Co., Elmhurst, Ill., at number 32, with $30 million in sales; Canada-based Diverse Electronics and New York-based Harry Krantz Co., at numbers 39 and 40, with $19.4 million and $17.5 million in sales, respectively; and St. Paul, Minn.-based Gopher Electronics, at number 43 with $16.2 million in sales.

Our goal is to provide a comprehensive list of the largest electronic components distributors in the market today. We will begin compiling information for next year’s report early in 2015 and we welcome your input. Send your questions or comments to[email protected].