Posted May 6, 2020

Soaring PPE sales results in April sales gain for Fastenal

by Rich Vurva

A surge in orders of personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic enabled Fastenal to grow sales in April.

Fastenal's April sales of $491.5 million increased 6.7 percent from $460.7 million in April 2019.

Daily sales of $22.3 million increased from $20.9 million last year.

Sales to manufacturing customers declined by 15.6 percent in the month, while sales to non-residential construction customers fell by 15.5 percent. However, April sales of safety products soared by 120 percent. 

"Safety products were up 120 percent vs. last April. This was entirely a function of what I would call surge orders, expedited PPE intended for critical users as part of the response to COVID-19," said Holden Lewis, executive vice president and CFO, in a briefing with investors. Excluding the safety category, he said, sales would have been down 16.4 percent for the month.

Lewis added that the safety category, which represented 18 percent of sales in 2019, grew to 35 percent of sales in April. 

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