The ecommerce-focused distributor of metalworking and industrial products says August sales inched up from July, reversing a recent trend of declining monthly and quarterly sales.

In a challenging year, August brought a breath of fresh air to MSC Industrial Supply Co. as net sales ticked up with a revised demand from manufacturers for its industrial products and services, the company, which does more than half of its sales electronically, reported last week.

“Overall, fiscal August average daily sales improved slightly in comparison to fiscal July, reflecting continued month-over-month improvement in manufacturing activity,” MSC reported in preliminary, unaudited figures.

MSC provides metalworking products and services along with maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products to manufacturers and other businesses.

For the fiscal year ended Aug. 29, it said net sales decreased by 5.1% year over year to $3.19 billion, as its fiscal fourth-quarter sales fell by 11.3% to $747.7 million.

For fiscal August, year-over-year sales declined by 9.7% to $240.3 million.


August sales turn the tide

But August sales turned the tide from July, inching up by 3.0% to $240.3 million from $233.3 million, MSC reported.

Some product areas were stronger than others. Average daily sales in August of non-safety and non-janitorial products “improved sequentially from July, while average daily sales of safety and janitorial products remained stable,” MSC said.

It added, “On a year-over-year basis, fiscal August average daily sales of non-safety and non-janitorial lines declined in the mid-teens, while average daily sales of safety and janitorial lines grew in the 20% range. These results reflect the continuing impact of COVID-19 and significant year-over-year declines in manufacturing activity.”

MSC will review its full fiscal 2020 results in a conference call on Oct. 27.


MSC’s formal corporate name is MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc., but it generally goes by MSC Industrial Supply Co., the name of its primary business unit.

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