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Two associations that represent independent distributors and suppliers and a big, unified push for more distributor B2B ecommerce are merging.

Two associations that represent independent distributors and suppliers — along with a big, unified push for more distributor B2B ecommerce — are merging.

Affiliated Distributors and The Edge Group announced their intent to merge on Dec. 13 and completed the merger effective Jan. 1. The upcoming merger will bring distributors to AD’s Electrical – U.S. division, AE says.

Affiliated Distributor is a trade group that says it represents more than 5,000 branches from 850-plus independently owned distributors. Its distributors are in industries including:

  • Bearings and power transmissions
  • Decorative
  • Electrical
  • Gypsum
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Industrial and safety
  • Plumbing and pipes, valves and fittings (PVF)
  • Safety

The Edge Group, based in Houston, is a buyer’s group that connects independent distributors and manufacturers. It sells to industries including:

  • Datacom
  • Security
  • Low voltage
  • Audio/video
  • Electronic MRO
  • Electronic OEM

The Edge Group has grown to represent over 50 supplier lines and supports more than 70 independent distributors with over 1,200 locations.


Affiliated Distributor and The Edge Group merger

“AD and Edge’s shared values became immediately clear,” says AE CEO Bill Weisberg. “Both groups have rich histories of supporting independents by helping them grow, retain market share, and make a difference in their communities. We know everyone involved will see the value and benefits of this new relationship.”

Terms of the deal were not released. In July, AD reported that member sales in the first six months of 2023 reached $37.8 billion. That’s a 5% increase across 14 divisions and three countries. Purchases by member companies from AD suppliers reached $9.7 billion. Net distributions to members grew 5% to a record $673.9 million.

AD member same-store sales grew 8% through the first six months of 2023. Same-store sales in the U.S. were up 9%, while those for companies headquartered in Canada and Mexico were up 5% in CAD and 7% in MXN, respectively.

AD’s strongest same-store performers, by division, were Bearings & Power Transmission (+15%), U.S. Industrial (+14%), U.S. Safety (+14%) and U.S. Electrical (+11%), the association.


AE is based in Wayne, Penn.

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