For both models, wholesale trade is steeply sloping and cut on many types of products, from agricultural products to high-tech equipment and components. In the United States, there are about 250,000 wholesalers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the sector is highly fragmented, with 90% of their companies 20 or fewer employees. According to the National Association of Wholesale Distributors ("NAW"), there are 19 wholesale sectors in the United States. In the 19 sectors mentioned above, there is a wide range of publicly traded wholesalers. Yahoo! Finance reports a significant dispersion of profit multiplier prices in all sectors. For example, it is reported that public pharmaceutical wholesalers have an average price of 9.7, while wholesalers currently have an average price of 12.6 for food and food services. Sector averages for valuation multipliers vary depending on the overall performance of SOEs within the sector. When selecting and using publicly traded comparable wholesale companies, it is important to select companies that are reasonably close to the specialized company in terms of the products offered, the markets served, the financial performance and the size of the business.
Despite the current economic recession in the United States, wholesale trade remains the blood of the lives of producers with industry growth that has outpaced GDP growth. However, the sector is not immune to the current economic recession. For their part, most manufacturers continue to rely on wholesale trade to deliver products to their customers, as they can offer more services to their customers because of their local presence, rapid response and flexibility. Some trends are observed in the wholesale trade: in addition to the transactions of wholesale traded exchanges, an valuation professional should rely on registration data for private wholesalers to carry out an evaluation. A database that tracks acquisitions reports data for 129 wholesalers sold since 2002. Fulcrum Inquiry conducts business valuations for wholesale and other companies. Wholesalers generated sales of $4.5 trillion in 2008, an increase of 8.4% over 2007. Adjusted for changes in the prices of underlying raw materials, sales increased by less than half a per cent.
Almost all sectors in the United States recorded negative growth in the second half of 2008. The first quarter of 2009 was particularly bad for the sector. In the first quarter of 2009, inflation-adjusted wholesale sales decreased by 9.5% compared to the first quarter of 2008. The wholesale sector is at the forefront of productivity technologies, which automate activities such as order processing, billing, inventory control, procurement and route planning, and automated inventory management. The adoption of these technological advances has allowed the productivity of the sector to outperform the sector as a whole without a sector in relation to production per hour.