Recommended Reading: Top 5 Articles from 3Q

Grainger, e-commerce dominate our latest most-read list.

Increased threats from e-commerce have distributors paying close attention to what's happening online. From Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods – reinforcing its willingness to buy dominance in a sector – to analysis of Grainger's web pricing strategy, the industry focused its attention to what's happening online, according to the third-quarter's most-read articles on

Here are the top five articles on from the third quarter:

1. Commentary: Is an Amazon-Grainger Deal Next? – If it can't dominate an industry digitally, Amazon will buy the bricks and mortar to get there, as shown by its $13 billion acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods. Some analysts are positing that Amazon may be willing to do the same in distribution, with many seeing a target on Grainger.

2. Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 1: A ‘Suboptimal’ Solution? – As of Aug. 1, Grainger’s new web pricing strategy was to be effective for all 1.5 million SKUs on its website. The pricing strategy was launched to reverse unfavorable market share trends Grainger experienced in certain market segments in recent years. Part 1 of this two-part series looks at how the pricing initiative has played out to this point.

3. 3 Lessons for Other Distributors from Grainger’s Pricing Initiative – What can other distributors learn from watching Grainger's pricing story unfold? This article provides three tips for distributors to optimize their own online pricing strategies.

4. Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 2: The Quest for Optimization – Since the launch of its pricing initiative, Grainger has seen significant declines in profitability. While this margin trend is expected to reverse in 2019, its existence may signal that the pricing process Grainger is pursuing is less than optimal. This article, part 2 in a series, analyzes the challenges Grainger faces in implementing its pricing approach.

5. Special Issue: 2017 Wholesale Distribution Trends – MDM's annual Market Leaders and trends issue looked at everything from Amazon's impact on customer expectations to how sales models are shifting to the importance of soft skills for business success.

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