Railing distribution by the numbers

The Principia 'Stat of the Week' tracks the channels of residential railing.

BY Principia Consulting

Principia tracks over 14,000 unique points of distribution in the U.S. for residential railing products across six different location types.

Approximately 25% of residential railing goes direct to the builder/contractor. Railing for multifamily high-rise projects run through commercial channels: the railing is specified by an architect, general contractor or sub, or owner for a specific job. There are also numerous regional and local suppliers that shop-fab and deliver railing direct to the job site.

Of the 75% of railing that goes through distribution, lumberyards lead big box in terms of the number of locations, with over 6,000 locations nationwide. Within the residential railing category, approximately half of non-wood railing by value is special order. Dealers selling non-wood railing do not stock the full range of railing SKUs available and depend heavily on two-step partners to carry sufficient inventory to fill orders as they are received. Railing suppliers also ship direct to big box distribution centers or stores directly for the increasing percentage of orders that are “buy online, pick up in store.”

Principia Consulting is a leading research and consulting firm focused exclusively on the building materials and construction industry. For 25 years, we have helped our clients grow faster and more profitably by providing high quality information, analytics, and insights.

For more information about residential railing, contact Principia today.


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