The way we move food, for example, from producer to end user has not changed a great deal in the last decade. The way we move office equipment and computers from producer to end user has changed greatly. The wholesalers of office equipment and computers have seen their business shrink significantly and the routes used to get these products to the end user have bypassed traditional wholesalers.
Worth noting is the fact that the effects of the recession, which began in December 2007, are not yet visible in these market size data. The markets presented here are for two Census Bureau defined industries: Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers [NAICS 42-3420], and Computer and Computer Peripheral Equipment Wholesalers [NAICS 42-3430].
Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1997 and 2007
Market size: Number of Establishments: 24,248 and 17,801 respectively.
Market size: Sales: $258.09 and $290.39 Billion respectively.
Source: “Sector 42: EC074212: Wholesale Trade: Industry Series: Preliminary Comparative Statistics for the U.S. (2002 NAICS): 2007 and 2002,” 2007 Economic Census, available online here. The data from 1997 are from the 1997 Economic Census.
Original Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.