Rexel, Inc., the U.S. operations of Rexel SA of France, recently announced it will offer data communications products at each of its more than 330 local electrical branches by early next year.

According to the company, headquartered in Dallas, this move will make it the U.S. distributor with the most local branches marketing and carrying datacom products.

“From a customer standpoint, we'll be able to improve service dramatically,” says Tim Copeland, president of Rexel, Inc.'s datacom division. “Our customer will have access to communications products in more locations than ever before, and our ability to deliver these products will be greatly enhanced.”

Called “Conectis,” the move originated in the mid-'90s in France. There, the company sought to capitalize on the movement of electrical contractors into the datacom market. In less than five years, sales of communications products at Rexel's French electrical branches went from zero to more than $100 million per year.

The program's expansion to the United States has just begun. As in France, the program's target market is electrical contractors, many of whom already do business with Rexel's branches.