Distributor Walters to enter security market

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Monday, May 1, 2006

BREA, Calif.--Walters Wholesale Electric, a distributor to electrical contractors since 1953, has recently added a number of security and other low-voltage products to its sales lines at its 19 branches throughout Southern California.
Quite simply, Walters is getting into security "in a big way," said Tom Fessler, a 20-year industry veteran hired as marketing manager for the fire and security products division. However, Fessler said, Walters is not looking to compete with the ADIs and Tri-Eds of the world.
He said the reason he was successful in signing on big fire and security names like Silent Knight, Pelco, DSC, HID, Sony, Linear, Kantech, Wheelock and more is that Walters will only be focusing on incremental sales to its current 5,400 customers located in the Southern California region.
"The reason they got on board with us is that we identified a market they weren't privy to," Fessler said, "incremental sales to our customer base."
Will Walters look to expand beyond Southern California? "Not in my lifetime," Fessler said, noting Walters doesn't even go north of Ventura. But industry studies showing that 78 percent of electrical contractors did some kind of low-voltage installation, and 58 percent worked in fire installation, told company owner John Walter that it was time to expand the offerings.
However, the company's selling point will remain its regional approach: "It's difficult to get around out here," Fessler said, "so the density is a blessing to our contractors. Any area they're working in, they can come by and pick up products. That was a key item for the manufacturers."