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Digital sales for Watsco grow 3.5 times faster than total revenue

One of the biggest and oldest distributors of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning heated up its ecommerce growth in 2019.

Watsco Inc., a Miami-based company in business for 72 years, grew ecommerce sales year over year 17% to $1.400 billion from $1.197 billion, the company says.

We now have modern platforms to ensure that we’re having the right product, in the right place, at the right time, to meet expected customer demands.

Alfred H. Nahmad, CEO

Watsco Inc.

For the year ended Dec. 31, total sales increased 4.9% to $4.770 billion in 2019 from $4.546 billion in 2018.

Overall ecommerce grew 3.5 times faster than total sales and now represents 29.1% of all revenue, compared with 24.6% in 2018.

AlbertHNahmad-Watsco

Albert H. Nahmad, CEO, Watsco Inc.

Net income in 2019 was $295.77 million, down slightly from $296.50 million in 2018. “Our long-term goal remains the same, to develop the industry’s most attractive and customer-obsessed technology platforms, which revolutionize and transform how our business is done,” Watsco CEO Albert H. Nahmad told analysts on the company’s year-end earnings call based on a transcript from SeekingAlpha.com.

A relative newcomer to ecommerce

In the past few years, Watsco has built up its online inventory from virtually nil to now more than 782,000 SKUs. In 2019, the beefed-up level of products available for sale online was a big reason the distributor saw a 20% increase in ecommerce transactions to more than 1 million, the company says.

“We now have modern platforms to ensure that we’re having the right product, in the right place, at the right time, to meet expected customer demands,” Nahmad told analysts.

Watsco is a relative newcomer to ecommerce. The company, which operates four divisions—Carrier Enterprise, Gemaire Distributors, Baker Distributing, and East Coast Metal Distributors—launched online in 2014 using Magento ecommerce technology from Adobe Inc. It sells online through separate websites for each of its brands: CarrierEnterprise.comGemaire.comBakerDist.com and ECMDI.com.

Watsco also sells through several mobile apps, including ones designed for Gemaire and for Carrier Enterprise.

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