Service Centers

Reliance Launches FastMetals E-commerce Business

Written by Tim Triplett

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., North America’s largest metals distributor, is going after small retail customers with the launch of a new e-commerce business, FastMetals Inc. (

Using a catalog pricing model, FastMetals offers a diverse selection of metal products including carbon, stainless, aluminum and specialty alloy steels. Located in Massillon, Ohio, FastMetals ships nationwide and has direct access to Reliance’s network of service center locations, which carry over 100,000 products.

“FastMetals was created in response to the growing demand for digital purchasing solutions from metalworkers of all backgrounds,” said Reliance President and CEO Jim Hoffman. “Consistent with Reliance’s core business strategy, FastMetals specializes in small orders with quick turnaround and best-in-class customer service.”

FastMetals’ model is tailored to smaller, specialized end-users including artists, fabricators, machine shops, hobbyists, and do-it-yourself practitioners. Customers can choose from standard shapes and sizes or select specific dimensions to satisfy unique project requirements. FastMetals provides instant pricing, same-day shipping, no minimum order quantity and direct fulfillment to the individual customer.

FastMetals is not anticipated to have a large effect on Reliance’s main markets or margins, said CFO Karla Lewis during the company’s quarterly conference call. “Our traditional sales model will continue by far to be the majority of our business.”

Reliance already has a focus on small orders with quick turnaround. In 2018, Reliance’s average order size was $2,130. Approximately 49 percent of orders included value-added processing and 40 percent were delivered within 24 hours.

Los Angeles-based Reliance reported $11 billion in sales in 2019 and record net income of $701.5 million. The company operates more than 300 locations in 40 states and 13 countries outside the U.S.

Latest in Service Centers