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Top 5 MDM Articles from 2017

As the largest industrial distributor in North America, Grainger is bound to garner attention when it makes a move as big as changing its pricing strategy. This past year proved that MDM readers were eager to learn as much as they could about the company's hopes of acquiring more customers by adjusting prices.

Three articles that focused on the company's pricing initiative were among our most-read in 2017, while another Grainger-centric piece – Tom Gale's commentary on whether Amazon might be interested in buying it – also cracked the top five.

Here are the Top 5 premium articles from MDM in 2017:

1. Grainger’s Pricing Solution
Grainger is often recognized as a leader when it comes to distribution e-commerce, but the company in 2017 recognized that its high list prices might be deterring potential customers from becoming buyers. “The idea is that we have to be able to acquire customers through the Grainger brand,” CEO D.G. Macpherson said at the company's show in Orlando, FL, in February.

2. Is an Amazon-Grainger Deal Next?
"Is Grainger the next acquisition target for Amazon?," writes MDM's CEO & publisher, Tom Gale. "Every distributor has been challenged to maintain a competitive differentiation in this accelerating digital age, but Grainger arguably shares many characteristics with Whole Foods – a company with growth challenges in its core segments and increasing competitive pressures to drive quarterly shareholder returns. It could turn out that Grainger’s latest web pricing strategy could produce the competitive and valuation pressures that lead to acquisition."

3. 3 Lessons for Other Distributors from Grainger’s Pricing Initiative
What can other B2B distributors learn from watching Grainger’s pricing story unfold? Guest contributor Lee Nyari – managing partner of The Innovative Pricing Group, a consultancy offering strategic price management solutions for distributors – shares three lessons from the industrial distributor's recent pricing moves.

4. 2017 Wholesale Distribution Trends Special Issue
This year, MDM released the eighth edition of the Distribution Trends Special Issue. This overview of the most important issues facing distribution is researched and written by MDM and is based on interviews with dozens of distributors, industry experts and manufacturers, as well as a survey of readers. Top trends in 2017 included a focus on culture, sales models, the Amazon effect and finding new solutions for old problems.

5. Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 1: A ‘Suboptimal’ Solution?
Lee Nyari analyzes Grainger's pricing strategy, which was launched to reverse unfavorable market share trends Grainger experienced in certain market segments in recent years. Part 1 of this two-part series looked at how the pricing initiative has played out to this point. You can also read Part 2 of Lee's series.

Read more from MDM's Premium archive here.

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