Variant of NAICS 1997 - Labour Force Survey (LFS) Industries

7 - Services-Producing Sector

8 - Trade

41 - Wholesale Trade

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in wholesaling merchandise and providing related logistics, marketing and support services. The wholesaling process is generally an intermediate step in the distribution of merchandise; many wholesalers are therefore organized to sell merchandise in large quantities to retailers, and business and institutional clients. However, some wholesalers, in particular those that supply non-consumer capital goods, sell merchandise in single units to final users.

This sector recognizes two main types of wholesalers, that is, wholesale merchants and wholesale agents and brokers.

Wholesale Merchants

Wholesale merchants buy and sell merchandise on their own account, that is, they take title to the goods they sell. They generally operate from warehouse or office locations and they may ship from their own inventory or arrange for the shipment of goods directly from the supplier to the client. In addition to the sale of goods, they may provide, or arrange for the provision of, logistics, marketing and support services, such as packaging and labelling, inventory management, shipping, handling of warranty claims, in-store or co-op promotions, and product training. Dealers of machinery and equipment, such as dealers of farm machinery and heavy-duty trucks, also fall within this category.

Wholesale merchants are known by a variety of trade designations depending on their relationship with suppliers or customers, or the distribution method they employ. Examples include wholesale merchants, wholesale distributors, drop shippers, rack-jobbers, import-export merchants, buying groups, dealer-owned cooperatives and banner wholesalers.

The first eight subsectors of wholesale trade comprise wholesale merchants. The grouping of these establishments into industry groups and industries is based on the merchandise line or lines supplied by the wholesaler.

Wholesale Agents and Brokers

Wholesale agents and brokers buy and sell merchandise owned by others on a fee or commission basis. They do not take title to the goods they buy or sell, and they generally operate at or from an office location.

Wholesale agents and brokers are known by a variety of trade designations including import-export agents, wholesale commission agents, wholesale brokers, and manufacturer's representatives and agents.

419 - Wholesale Agents and Brokers

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling products, owned by others, on a commission basis. These establishments may be known as commission merchants, import agents or brokers, export agents or brokers, manufacturers' agents, purchasing agents, selling agents, and they may deal in any type of product. These establishments usually bring sellers and buyers together or undertake commercial transactions on behalf of a principal.

4191 - Wholesale Agents and Brokers

This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling products, owned by others, on a commission basis. These establishments may be known as commission merchants, import agents or brokers, export agents or brokers, manufacturers' agents, purchasing agents, selling agents, and they may deal in any type of product. These establishments usually bring sellers and buyers together or undertake commercial transactions on behalf of a principal.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • trading commodities and commodity futures, which are usually listed on a commodity exchange (See 5231 Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage)
    • buying and selling insurance, on a commission basis (See 52421 Insurance Agencies and Brokerages)
    • buying and selling real estate, on a commission basis (See 53121 Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers)
41911 - Farm Product Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling livestock, grain and other farm products, on a commission basis.

41912 - Petroleum Product Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling crude oil, liquefied petroleum gases, heating oil and other refined petroleum products, on a commission basis.

41913 - Food, Beverage and Tobacco Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling food products, beverages and tobacco products, on a commission basis.

41914 - Personal and Household Goods Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling personal and household goods, on a commission basis.

41915 - Motor Vehicle and Parts Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling motor vehicles, parts and accessories, on a commission basis.

41916 - Building Material and Supplies Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling electrical and building supplies, on a commission basis.

41917 - Machinery, Equipment and Supplies Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in buying and/or selling machinery and equipment, on a commission basis.

41919 - Other Wholesale Agents and Brokers

This industry comprises establishments, not classified to any other industry, primarily engaged in buying and/or selling merchandise, on a commission basis; and establishments buying and/or selling a wide range of merchandise, on a commission basis. Agents and brokers of recyclable materials, paper, paper products and disposable plastic products, agricultural supplies, chemicals and allied products, logs and wood chips, minerals, ores and precious metals, and second-hand goods (except machinery and automotive) are included.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: