Digi-Key Corporation Named Recipient of Minnesota Governor's International Trade Award

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota, USA - March 22, 2012

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation, recognized by design engineers as having the industry's largest selection of electronic components available for immediate shipment, today announced it has received the 27th Annual Governor's International Trade Award for Manufacturing/Services from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Trade Office.

During a luncheon held today in Minneapolis, Minn., Linda Johnson, Digi-Key's Vice President of Sales Operations, and Kim Vettleson, Digi-Key's Manager of International Sales, accepted the award on Digi-Key's behalf.

Each year, Minnesota's governor honors a select group of Minnesota companies that have shown exceptional progress and success in international trade by conferring the Governor's International Trade Award. In addition to honoring individual recipients, the award recognizes the tremendous positive effect that exports and trade have on the state's economy.

"It is an honor to receive this award in recognition of Digi-Key's international business initiatives," said Mark Larson, Digi-Key's President and COO. "Digi-Key started as a small business in 1972 and has called Minnesota home for 40 years. We are proud to represent Minnesota in the global market and be a driving force in promoting international business."

Digi-Key serves customers in more than 170 countries, providing 83 country-specific websites in nine languages and 14 currencies for its global customers. In the past six years, Digi-Key has moved from the 16th largest to the 4th largest among more than 300 electronic component distributors in North America. Digi-Key ranks as the 5th largest global distributor based on component sales, up from 11th just five years ago according to industry studies.

In 2002, Digi-Key's sales outside North America accounted for three percent of total sales that year. In 2011, 32.5 percent of Digi-Key's more than $1.5-billion sales came from outside North America.

"We are also seeing growth in emerging markets such as Mexico, up 2% from 2011; Russia, up 27% from 2011; New Zealand, up 9% from 2011; Brazil, up 5% from 2011; and South Africa, up 14% from 2011," Larson said. "With more than 80 percent of Digi-Key's sales generated from the Internet, it's no surprise we have experienced such substantial sales growth in the past decade."

Digi-Key serves the international market from a single, geographically-centralized location in Thief River Falls, Minn. Operating from a single location has allowed the privately-owned distributor to develop strategic logistic partnerships that provide shipping capability from the Digi-Key warehouse to most regions throughout the world within 48-72 hours.

"Digi-Key's highly successful, #1-rated website, along with unparalleled customer service, available inventory, and superior logistics, continue to attract and retain customers worldwide," Larson said. "With a nearly twenty-two percent compound annual rate of sales growth over the past 20 years, none as a result of acquisition, there is, perhaps, no greater testimony to the quality Digi-Key provides its global customers."

The continued growth and success of Digi-Key since its inception in 1972 has had a huge impact on the local economy. As the largest employer in the area, Digi-Key employees enjoy the challenge and excitement of a growing, successful business along with the benefits of living in a close-knit rural community. While many of the employees commute from small communities surrounding Thief River Falls, a large majority reside in Pennington County, where Digi-Key is located.

For a list of previous award recipients, please visit mn.gov/deed/.

As a leading integrated Internet-based global distributor of electronic components, information about and inventory of millions of products is accessible to customers around the globe, with all products shipped from Digi-Key's single, North American location. The company's integrated business model provides product and support information online to help put engineers and procurement professionals in control as they solve tough product development challenges.

About Digi-Key Corporation

Digi-Key Corporation, based in Thief River Falls, Minn., is a global, full-service provider of both prototype/design and production quantities of electronic components, offering more than three million products from over 650 quality name-brand manufacturers. With over one million products in stock and an impressive selection of online resources, Digi-Key is committed to stocking the broadest range of electronic components in the industry and providing the best service possible to its customers. Additional information and access to Digi-Key's broad product offering is available on the Digi-Key website.