Digi-Key sees UK sales grow 32%

Digi-Key says its business in the UK has grown by 32% this year.

Mark Larson, president, Digi-Key

Mark Larson, president, Digi-Key

This is a year after the online distributor launched a small order production sales business and created its first local sales office in the UK.

“All is going according to plan, but 32% growth figure in the UK market exceeded my expectations,” Mark Larson, president of Digi-Key told Electronics Weekly.

It is a similar story across the rest of Europe.

Sales in the last 12 months increased by 30% in Germany and even higher growth was seen in emerging markets of eastern Europe, where Hungary was 46% ahead and Poland 42%.

For Europe as a whole Digi-Key saw sales increase by 27% year-on-year. This compares with 8% growth over the same period in North America.

“Europe is our shining star right now,” said Larson.

Larson said there is still great potential to grow the UK business further.

“Our market share in the UK is currently 3.3% and there is lots of room to grow,” said Larson.

Digi-Key’s business outside its home market in North America has been growing strongly in the last two years.

In 2012 total orders outside the US were just under 900,000. In 2014 non-US orders totalled 1.2 million.

Larson said Digi-Key’s small-order production business is still developing, and will see the online distributor competing more directly with bigger players such as Avnet and Arrow,

“It will take a time to play out,” said Larson. “We are seeing a beginning in Europe, but the business is coming on strong in the UK.”

A factor in this growth, said Larson, was the company’s decision two years ago to become less ‘virtual’ and to open selected local sales offices.

“It is a light-touch, but a physical presence is necessary,” said Larson.

Other plans for the future include increasing application engineering support and broadening further the product offering.

“Our business is driven by international sales activity, and more customer activity means we can justify broader product lines with more specialist products,” said Larson.

“We are 96% in stock with every product we carry on our websites,” said Larson.

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