Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Nelson, J. H. (Professor of business)||Thistlethwaite, Robert L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

College of Business


Wholesale trade


The Problem The problem of this study was to investigate the distribution of selected electrical current-carrying wiring devices sold through hardware wholesalers located in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Specifically, the following subproblems were considered: (1) What electrical current-carrying wiring products are currently being marketed by the wholesalers in the Milwaukee area? (2) What system do the wholesalers use for inventory control and the re-ordering of products? (3) Who purchases the various products sold by the wholesaling establishments? (4) What seasonal variations are evident in the wiring device market? Procedure The data used in this study were secured directly from the hardware wholesalers in the Milwaukee Statistical Area. The information was obtained by means of a survey questionnaire. The wholesale establishments were classified as such by the McGraw-Hill publication, Verified Electrical Wholesale Distributors, the 1964-65 edition, and all wholesalers in the area were contacted. The twelve question survey was distributed to each of the wholesalers by means of a personal interview. The questions were constructed in such a manner as to facilitate, objective compiling of the results, although certain subjective comments of those interviewed may be found in the respective subject categories. Conclusions (1) All of the wholesalers indicated that their inventories consisted of ample and complete stocks of wiring devices, as delimited by this study, including, sockets, light switches, 3-way switches, dimmer switches, wall boxes, wire connectors, and conduit connectors. Except for special variations of the wiring device products, the wholesalers purchased the wiring devices directly from the manufacturers. (2) All of the wholesalers relied to some extent on experience for inventory control. A Kardex system was the second most popular method followed by salesmen's advice and electronic data processing equipment. In all cases an attempt was made to maintain a perpetual inventory balance. (3) Contracting was the major line of business to which the wiring devices were sold. Maintenance, repair, and hardware stores were well behind contracting in total wiring device sales, and only one wholesaler indicated that his main line of wiring device trade was re-sold on the retail level. (4) Thirteen of the wholesalers indicated that seasonal trends and variations were in evidence. Although five wholesalers stated that the "seasonal" concept of wiring devices was diminishing, nine distributors felt that the spring and summer seasons were the heaviest, while four wholesalers thought that the fall and winter seasons were the largest as far as total sales were concerned. Five Milwaukee wholesalers indicated that no seasonal variations were present in the wiring device market.


Includes bibliographical references.


x, 76 pages




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