Wholesale Trade

SIC 5012 Automobiles and Other Motor Vehicles - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2001 seasonally adjusted sales for all U.S. merchant wholesalers amounted to about $226.4 billion per month.

SIC 5013 Motor Vehicle Supplies and New Parts - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In essence, the auto parts industry concentrates on two different markets. One side consists of several tiers of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that supply automobile manufacturers with parts for new automobiles.

SIC 5014 Tires and Tubes - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry category includes companies that primarily wholesale new and used tires and tubes for passenger and commercial vehicles. It also includes companies that wholesale tire and tube repair materials.

SIC 5015 Motor Vehicle Parts, Used - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions, there were 7,570 establishments engaged in the distribution of used vehicle parts at both the wholesale and retail level in 2002. Combined, they generated about $3.7 billion in sales.

SIC 5021 Furniture - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

The wholesale distribution of furniture industry is subdivided into two categories: establishments engaged primarily in the sale of household and lawn furniture, and establishments primarily engaged in the sale of office and business furniture. According to statistics compiled by the U.S.

SIC 5023 Home Furnishings - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification contains establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of home furnishings and housewares. Products of the industry include antiques, china, glassware and earthenware, lamps (including electric), curtains and draperies, linens and towels, and carpets, linoleum, and all other types of hard and soft surface floor coverings.

SIC 5031 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panels - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This classification is comprised of wholesale distributors of rough, dressed, and finished lumber (other than timber). Establishments operate with or without yards.

SIC 5032 Brick, Stone, and Related Construction Materials - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Typically, firms in this industry supply mineral-based building materials to building contractors and developers. Brick, stone, and related materials represented 3,159 firms, and about 27 percent of the overall market share in 2003.

SIC 5033 Roofing, Siding and Insulation Materials - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of roofing and siding (except wood) and insulation materials. Such establishments include those engaged in wholesale distribution of asphalt felts and coatings; fiberglass insulation materials; roofing, asphalt, and sheet metal; shingles (except wood); and siding (except wood).

SIC 5039 Construction Materials, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 2,922 establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of mobile homes and of construction materials not classified elsewhere, with combined sales of $6.4 billion in 2003.

SIC 5043 Photographic Equipment and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2001, there were an estimated 1,293 establishments in this industry, down from 1,350 the previous year. The number of establishments had been steadily dropping since a high of 1,556 in 1987, but had remained rather steady from 1993-96 with an estimated 0.3 percent change.

SIC 5044 Office Equipment - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

The office equipment industry is made up of establishments that distribute supplies and equipment from typewriters to safes to calculating machines. In 2003, photocopy machines, copying equipment, and cash registers dominated this industry, followed by vaults and safes, addressing and mailing machines, and duplicating machines.

SIC 5045 Computers and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Five distinct segments exist within the traditional electronics wholesale distribution arena: full-line distributors, technical and professional distributorships, regional and local distributorships, hardware distributors, and software distributors. The limited focus of the respective wholesaler segments distinguishes each from the mixed-sales distributor segments.

SIC 5046 Commercial Equipment, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of commercial machines and equipment, not elsewhere classified. Products of the industry include commercial cooking and food service equipment, partitions, shelving, lockers, store fixtures, electrical signs, balances and scales (except laboratory), mannequins, and vending machines.

SIC 5047 Medical, Dental, and Hospital Equipment and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of instruments, apparatus, and equipment to medical and dental practitioners, clinics, and hospitals. Products of the industry include surgical instruments, artificial limbs, operating room equipment, X-ray machines, hospital beds, medical and dental laboratory equipment, and professional supplies.

SIC 5048 Ophthalmic Goods - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of professional equipment and goods used, prescribed, or sold by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians, including ophthalmic frames, lenses, sunglass lenses, contact lenses, and optometric equipment and supplies.

SIC 5049 Professional Equipment and Supplies, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification covers establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of professional equipment and supplies that are not categorized elsewhere. It includes wholesale distributors of drafting instruments, laboratory equipment (other than medical and dental), and scientific instruments.

SIC 5051 Metals Service Centers and Offices - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

The U.S. Census Bureau reported a total of 11,250 establishments within this industry in 2001, which were subdivided into three classifications: ferrous metals service centers (those operating with a warehouse), ferrous metals sales offices (those operating without a warehouse), and nonferrous metals service centers and offices.

SIC 5052 Coal and Other Minerals and Ores - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of coal and coke, metallic ores (such as copper, iron, and lead), and nonmetallic minerals (except crude petroleum). It also includes establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of precious metal ores (such as gold ore and silver ore).

SIC 5063 Electrical Apparatus and Equipment, Wiring Supplies, and Construction Materials - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

SIC 5064 Electrical Appliances, Television, and Radio Sets - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry is comprised of establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of household electrical appliances (such as refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, and laundry equipment), household and motor vehicle electronic sound or video equipment, and radio and television sets. The industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of household nonelectric appliances (such as gas clothes dryers and gas refrigerators).

SIC 5065 Electronic Parts and Equipment, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of companies that wholesale electronic parts and electronic communications equipment not classified elsewhere. Industry products include semiconductors, modems, telephone equipment, amateur radio communications equipment, recording, cassettes, diskettes, and public address equipment.

SIC 5072 Hardware - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2001, there were an estimated 9,387 establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of hardware, a dramatic increase from 1996's total of 8,000. In 2001, hardware wholesalers employed more than 122,386 people and posted an annual payroll in excess of $5 million.

SIC 5074 Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies (Hydronics) - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the plumbing and heating equipment and supplies (hydronics) wholesalers consisted of about 4,756 establishments in 2001, employing approximately 52,669, with an annual payroll of about $2.1 million.

SIC 5075 Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry includes companies that wholesale warm air heating and air conditioning equipment and supplies. Industry products include air conditioning equipment (except room units), air pollution control equipment, electric heating furnaces, humidifiers and dehumidifiers (except portable units), and ventilating equipment.

SIC 5078 Refrigeration Equipment and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1,501 establishments involved within the industry of wholesale refrigeration equipment and supplies.

SIC 5082 Construction and Mining (Except Petroleum) Machinery and Equipment - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

SIC 5083 Farm and Garden Machinery and Equipment - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry is primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of agricultural machinery and equipment, including devices used to prepare and maintain soil and to plant, protect, irrigate, and harvest crops. The industry also supplies equipment and machinery to dairy and livestock operations.

SIC 5084 Industrial Machinery and Equipment - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry is comprised of establishments involved in the wholesale distribution of industrial machinery and equipment, not elsewhere classified. Products of the industry include chainsaws, citrus processing machinery, conveyor systems, industrial cranes, derricks, industrial diesel engines, elevators, ladders, lift trucks, machine and machinists' tools, oil refining machines, packing machinery, industrial paint spray equipment, wood pulp manufacturing machinery, industrial pumps and pumping equipment, industrial sewing machines, shoe manufacturing and repairing machinery, smelting machinery, welding machinery, and winches.

SIC 5085 Industrial Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry comprises establishments engaged in the wholesale distribution of industrial supplies that are not included in another classification. Products of the industry include abrasives, bearings, industrial diamonds, printers' ink, refractory materials, rope (except wire), valves and fittings (except plumbers' valves and fittings) and non-paper containers such as bottles, crates, drums, and metal pails.

SIC 5087 Service Establishment Equipment and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of equipment and supplies for barber shops, beauty parlors, power laundries, dry cleaning plants, upholsterers, undertakers, and related personal service establishments. Other products of the industry include carnival and amusement park equipment, firefighting equipment, janitors' supplies, and voting machines.

SIC 5088 Transportation Equipment and Supplies, Except Motor Vehicles - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2001, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 3,730 establishments engaged in the transportation equipment and supplies wholesalers industry.

SIC 5091 Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Establishments in this entry are primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of sporting goods and accessories; billiard and pool supplies; sporting firearms and ammunition; and marine pleasure craft, equipment, and supplies. Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of motor vehicles and trailers are classified in SIC 5012: Automobiles & Other Motor Vehicles.

SIC 5092 Toys and Hobby Goods and Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of games, toys, hobby goods and supplies, dolls, craft kits, model kits, children's vehicles, fireworks, and playing cards.

SIC 5093 Scrap and Waste Materials - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

The United States generates more than 229 million tons of municipal waste annually, distributed as follows: paper and cardboard, 36 percent; yard trimmings, 12 percent; metals and plastics, 19 percent; and other waste, 33 percent. In addition to collection, the scrap and waste materials industry operates the sorting and recycling services that help to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

SIC 5094 Jewelry, Watches, Precious Stones, and Precious Metals - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the jewelry, watch, precious stone, and precious metal wholesalers represented approximately 8,215 establishments.

SIC 5099 Durable Goods, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification includes wholesale distributors of durable goods that are not categorized elsewhere. It includes distributors of prerecorded audio cassettes, compact discs, and phonograph records; fire extinguishers; firearms and ammunition, except sporting; coin-operated game machines; luggage; monuments and grave markers; musical instruments; nonelectric signs; and forest products, except lumber, such as cordwood, hewn logs, and wood chips.

SIC 5111 Printing and Writing Paper - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2003, there were about 1,860 printing and writing paper wholesale distributors in the United States, generating revenues in excess of $7.8 billion. The industry employed almost 29,000 workers, the vast majority of whom worked in firms employing fewer than ten people overall.

SIC 5112 Stationery and Office Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This entry includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of stationery and office supplies, including computer and photocopy supplies, envelopes, typewriter paper, file cards and folders, pens, pencils, social stationery, greeting cards, carbon paper, business forms, loose leaf binders, and inked ribbons.

SIC 5113 Industrial and Personal Service Paper - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of wrapping and other coarse paper and paperboard, as well as converted paper and related disposable plastics products, such as bags, boxes, dishes, eating utensils, napkins, and shipping supplies. It includes wholesale distribution of corrugated and solid fiber boxes, fiber cans and drums, pressed and molded pulp goods, pressure sensitive tape, sanitary food containers, and paper towels.

SIC 5122 Drugs, Drug Proprietaries, and Druggists' Sundries - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

In 2003 the total number of establishments was 10,209. Combined, these companies posted combined sales of approximately $287.4 billion in 2003.

SIC 5131 Piece Goods, Notions, and Other Dry Goods - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

SIC 5136 Men's and Boy's Clothing and Furnishings - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Approximately 4,465 establishments were primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of men's and boys' apparel and furnishings in 2001. The industry's sales were estimated to total in excess of $801.8 million, an increase from the $768.2 million reported by the U.S.

SIC 5137 Women's, Children's, and Infants' Clothing and Accessories - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

SIC 5139 Footwear Wholesalers - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of establishments that engage in the wholesale distribution of athletic and other footwear of leather, rubber, and other materials.

SIC 5141 Groceries, General Line - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Wholesale food distributors provide food and related products (health and beauty aids, cleaning products, and other general grocery items) to retail grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers that sell food products. Food distributors can provide other services to their retail customers as well—advertising, merchandising, accounting, real estate site location, and financing.

SIC 5142 Wholesale Packaged Frozen Foods - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Included in this category are establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of packaged quick-frozen vegetables, juices, meats, fish, poultry, pastries, and other "deep freeze" products. Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of frozen dairy products are classified in SIC 5143: Dairy Products, Except Dried or Canned, and those distributing frozen poultry, fish, and meat that are not packaged are classified in SIC 5144: Poultry and Poultry Products, SIC 5146: Fish and Seafoods, and SIC 5147: Meats and Meat Products, respectively.

SIC 5143 Dairy Products, Except Dried or Canned - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

By 2003 there were 2,767 firms engaged in the wholesale of dairy products, employing some 45,450 workers and generating total sales of $17.2 billion. The late 1990s and early 2000s were marked by brisk consolidation, with the bulk of the dairy industry's distribution and wholesaling activities closely associated with the major dairy cooperatives.

SIC 5144 Poultry and Poultry Products - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Between 1989 and 2001, U.S. consumer demand for chicken jumped 60 percent, which Supermarket Business attributed in large part to the industry's aggressive development and marketing of value-added, case-ready products, such as boneless breast strips, shredded chicken in a tub, grilled fillets, and diced and shredded breast meat, often pre-seasoned and packaged with flavor-enhancing sauces.

SIC 5145 Confectionery - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry classification includes wholesale distributors of confectionery and related products such as candy, chewing gum, salted or roasted nuts, popcorn, soda fountain syrups and toppings, and potato and corn chips.

SIC 5146 Fish and Seafoods - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Establishments classified in this industry are engaged in the wholesale distribution of fresh, cured, or frozen (but not canned or packaged frozen) fish and seafood products.

SIC 5147 Meats and Meat Products - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3,305 establishments were engaged in the wholesale distribution of meats and meat products in 2001.

SIC 5148 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry is comprised of wholesale distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables. It also includes establishments involved in banana ripening for the trade.

SIC 5149 Groceries and Related Products, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

Grocery wholesalers and distributors buy grocery items from manufacturers or other distributors and typically resell them to retail—including grocery and convenience stores—or other commercial enterprises—including food service establishments—that in turn sell the goods to users. The wholesaling industry also includes many firms that import foreign goods or export U.S.

SIC 5153 Grain and Field Beans - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

A total of 6,401 establishments were classified in this industry in 2003. Their combined sales were estimated at $62 million.

SIC 5154 Livestock - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the National Agricultural Statistics Service there were 94.9 trillion cattle reported in the United States in January of 2004. The highest concentration was in Texas with 795 establishments that are engaged in this industry.

SIC 5159 Farm-Product Raw Materials, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in buying or marketing farm products that are not included in another classification. Some samples of the industry's products are animal hair, bristles, feathers, furs and hides, broom corn, raw cotton, hops, unprocessed or shelled-only nuts, tobacco leaf, raw silk, and bovine semen.

SIC 5162 Plastics Materials and Basic Forms and Shapes - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry includes companies engaged in the wholesale distribution of plastics materials and basic forms and shapes. Industry products include unsupported plastic film, sheeting, rods, tubes, and synthetic resins.

SIC 5169 Chemicals and Allied Products, Not Elsewhere Classified - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of wholesale distributors of chemicals and allied products not included in another classification. Industry products include acids, industrial and heavy chemicals, dyestuffs, industrial salts, rosin, and turpentine.

SIC 5171 Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry consists of companies that wholesale crude petroleum and petroleum products from bulk liquid storage facilities. Distributors of liquefied petroleum gas from bulk liquid storage facilities are also included.

SIC 5172 Petroleum and Petroleum Products Wholesalers, Except Bulk Stations and Terminals - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry class consists of wholesale distributors of petroleum and petroleum products (except those with bulk liquid storage facilities). Industry products include butane gas, fuel oil, aircraft fueling services, liquefied petroleum gases, gasoline, kerosene, lubricating oils and grease, and naphtha.

SIC 5181 Beer and Ale Distribution - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This industry includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of beer, ale, porter, and other fermented malt beverages.

SIC 5182 Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverages - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of distilled spirits, including neutral spirits and ethyl alcohol used in blended wines and distilled liquor. The product range includes bottled wines and spirits, brandy and brandy spirits, cocktails, liquors, wine coolers, and wines.

SIC 5191 Farm Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

The range of items distributed by wholesale farm supply establishments is wide, including such disparate products as alfalfa, beekeeping supplies, flower and field bulbs, harness equipment, hay, insecticides, agricultural lime, pesticides, phosphate rock, garden flower seeds, and straw.

SIC 5192 Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of books, periodicals, and newspapers.

SIC 5193 Flowers, Nursery Stock, and Florists' Supplies - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of flowers, nursery stock, and florists' supplies.

SIC 5194 Tobacco and Tobacco Products - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of tobacco and its products. Leaf tobacco wholesalers are classified in SIC 5159: Farm-Product Raw Materials, Not Elsewhere Classified, and establishments primarily engaged in stemming and redrying tobacco are classified in SIC 2141: Tobacco Stemming and Redrying.

SIC 5198 Paint, Varnishes, and Supplies: Wholesale Distribution - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category covers businesses that distribute wholesale paints, varnishes, wallpaper, and supplies. Retail stores selling these items to the general public are classified in SIC 5231: Paint, Glass, and Wallpaper Stores.

SIC 5199 Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods - Description, Market Prospects, Industry History

This category covers wholesalers of nondurable goods, not elsewhere classified, such as art goods, industrial yarns, textile bags, and bagging burlap.

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