Fastener giant Fastenal celebrates 25 years of going global

This month marks 25 years since Fastenal took its distribution into international waters.

For most of 1994, the firm operated in the US only largely as a Midwest fastener distributor, with fewer than 350 locations and $162 million in annual sales. In September ’94, Fastenal opened a branch in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, with two employees.

Now Fastenal has 1,500 employees in Canada, 250 ‘in-market’ locations, 7,000 vending machines and two regional distribution centres. Fastenal Canada accounts for over 6% of total company revenues ($300 million).

Fastenal expanding south of the border in Mexico in 2001, followed up by a branch in Singapore. Europe got its first in the Netherlands in 2004 and Brazil in 2011.

Today Fastenal has business in 24 countries across four continents, with 3,613 employees, 477 in-market locations. The international business accounts for around 14% of Fastenal’s total.

Fastenal has been clocking up the milestones this year. In June it announced it had over 100,000 active industrial vending devices active at customer sites worldwide.

“Whether it’s in the U.S. or an international market, Fastenal’s success is predicated on great people,” added Dan Florness, President and CEO. “It’s about being able to make a commitment to our customers: Regardless of the location, you’ll find someone wearing a blue shirt who’s trustworthy, helpful, and will bring value to your business. We’re fortunate to have a great team across the planet that delivers on this commitment each and every day.”