Medical Equipment Wholesalers

All week we have been looking at wholesale industries that are in decline, either because the products in which they deal are in decline or because of more structural changes in the overall distribution of some products. For a change of pace, today we look at one of the wholesale industries that has been doing extremely well over the last decade, and one not associated with the housing bubble, which temporarily lifted many boats.

The figures below are for the industry defined by the Census Bureau as: “…establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of professional medical equipment, instruments, and supplies (except ophthalmic equipment and instruments and goods used by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians).” [NAICS 42-3450] As an aside, the wholesalers of ophthalmic equipment have also been doing quite well, as have most U.S. industries involved with the delivery of products and equipment used in the delivery of health care services generally.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1997 and 2007
Market size: Number of Establishments: 9,782 and 8,478 respectively.
Market size: Sales: $58.79 and $134.59 Billion respectively.
Market size: Employment: 121,572 and 181,685 respectively.
Source: “Sector 42: EC0742I2: Wholesale Trade: Industry Series: Preliminary Comparative Statistics for the United States (2002 NAICS Basis): 2007 and 2002,” 2007 Economic Census, available online here. The data from 1997 are from the 1997 Economic Census, after conversion of the data to a NAICS 2002 basis.
Original Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

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