Cable Reels - The Start of Anixter

From a small family loan of $10,000 in 1957 to a global company with more than 8,700 employees in over 50 countries, Anixter has been redefining the distribution of wire and cable for nearly 60 years.  

When Anixter wrote The Blue Book in 1968, the company reached more than $10 million in sales and had 700 employees.  By 1980, Anixter had more than 2,000 employees and added locations in Canada and the United Kingdom.  As the millennium drew to a close, Anixter doubled its workforce, topped $1 billion in sales and had locations in Latin America, Asia and the South Pacific. 

In the first decade of the 2000s, Anixter achieved $6 billion in sales, had more than 8,200 employees and served markets as diverse as fasteners, physical security and data communications.  

Since 2010, Anixter has increased the physical security business and made its largest acquisition to date, which saw the company branch into complementary utility power solutions.

For a company that speaks 30 languages and has over 100,000 customers worldwide, Anixter has grown remarkably from the first day Alan and Bill Anixter started to cut wire to length with the help of their mother's loan.

Sales, Employees and Acquisition Highlights

2019 $8.8 Billion
2018 $8.4 Billion
2015 $6.2 Billion
$6+ Billion
1995 $2.1+ Billion
$650 Million
$155 Million
1968 $26 Million
1957 $ 300,000
2018 CSD, Inner Range and Atlas Gentech
2015 HD Power Supply
2014 Tri-ED
2012 Jorvex
2010 CLARK Security Products
2008 World Class Wire & Cable, Sofrasar, Gergen, QSN Industries
2007 Total Supply Solutions and Eurofast
2006 MFU Hildings and IMS, Inc.
2005 Infast
2004 Distribution Dynamics
Walters Hexagon
Pacer Electronics



  • Anixter Brothers was founded by Alan
    and Bill Anixter.  
  • The company made $300,000 in sales selling industrial wire and cable.


  • In 1966, sales were $10 million.
  • In 1967, the company went public on the American Stock Exchange.
  • In 1968, Anixter wrote the Blue Book
    and had 700 employees.


  • Anixter added CATV to its inventory.
  • Anixter opened additional locations in the United States and Canada.
  • In 1972, Anixter opened its first European location, Anixter United Kingdom.
  • In 1975, Anixter had 1,375 employees and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (AXE).


  • Anixter sold its first BNC connectors, moving it into the data communications market.
  • In 1980, Anixter had 2,000 employees.
  • In 1985, Anixter employees increased
    by 25 percent to 2,500.
  • In 1986, Anixter hit $650 million in sales.
  • Acquired by Itel, a NYSE-listed holding company.
  • In 1989, Anixter released the Levels program, the first written performance specification for data cabling systems. 


  • LevelsTM specifications were renamed Categories by the TIA standards body.
  • Anixter expanded to Latin America, Asia
    and the South Pacific. 
  • In 1991, Anixter tops $1 billion in sales.
  • Publicly traded name changed to Anixter International from Itel.
  • In 1995, Anixter opened its Interoperability Lab (currently Infrastructure Solutions LabSM) in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. The lab's structured cabling perfomance test processes are UL verified. Anixter is the only distributor to have such a lab.
  • In 1995, Anixter had 5,000 employees.
  • In 1998, Anixter acquired Pacer Electronics.
  • In 1999, Anixter sold the integration business.
  • In 1999, Anixter recorded $3 billion in sales.


  • Anixter expanded into OEM supply chain market through a series of acquisitions and consolidations.
  • In 2002, Anixter acquired Pentacon, a fasteners distributor, and also entered the security market.
  • In 2003, Anixter acquired Walters Hexagon Group Ltd.
  • In 2004, Anixter acquired Distribution Dynamics.
  • In 2005, Anixter launched READY! Services. 
  • In 2005, Anixter acquired Infast.
  • In 2006, Anixter launched Anixter University
  • In 2006, Anixter acquired MFU Holdings S.p.A. and IMS, Inc.
  • In 2007, Anixter acquired Total Supply Solutions Limited and Eurofast, SAS.
  • In 2008, Anixter acquired World Class
    Wire & Cable, Sofrasar SA Camille Gergen, Quality Screws de Mexico SA,
    and QSN Industries.
  • In 2008, Anixter had 8,000 employees.
  • In 2009, Anixter had 8,355 employees.

2010 to Current

  • In 2010, Anixter acquired CLARK .
    Security Products
  • In 2011, Anixter sold the Aerospace Hardware division to Greenbriar Equity.
  • In 2012, Anixter acquired Jorvex, S.A.
  • In 2012, Anixter had 8,200 employees.
  • In 2014, Anixter acquired Tri-Ed Distribution, North America's largest security distributor.
  • In 2015, Anixter sold the Fasteners division to American Industrial Partners.
  • In 2015, Anixter acquired the Power Solutions segment of HD Supply.
  • In 2018, Anixter acquired three security companies—Central Security Distribution (CSD), Atlas Gentech and Inner Range—which expanded Anixter’s security offering and broadened its presence in the Asia-Pacific security market.