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2013 Top 25 Electrical Distributors

09. W.W. Grainger – Top 25 Electrical Distributors

Company Profile

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Headquarters: Lake Forest, IL
2012 Revenues: $1.2 billion (electrical)
Change in Sales from 2011: 10.5%
Key Executives: James T. Ryan, chairman, president and CEO; Laura D. Brown, senior vice president, communications and investor relations; Court D. Carruthers, Grainger U.S. president; Timothy M. Ferrarell, CIO; Joseph C. High, Chief People Officer; John L. Howard, general counsel; Ron Jadin, CFO; D G Macpherson, president, global supply chain & corporate strategy; Michael A. Pulick, Grainger International president

Grainger (NYSE: GWW) reports that its market share is about 6 percent in the global MRO market. Its plan is to continue to grow organically and by acquisition. It now offers more than 570,000 SKUs in its U.S. catalog. Other than product expansion, Grainger’s growth drivers include expanding its sales force and building out inventory management services through its KeepStock program. E-commerce is also critical for Grainger, with more than 30 percent of company sales, or $2.7 billion, coming through its online platform. Grainger also launched a mobile website in late 2011. Mobile sales grew more than 50 percent quarter-over-quarter for the final three quarters of 2012, and accounted for 5 percent of Grainger’s website traffic and more than 20 percent of all online searches. Grainger’s mobile app was launched in 2012.

Grainger has made significant investments in its distribution center network. In 2012, it doubled the size of a DC in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and purchased land for a new DC outside of Toronto. Grainger’s new central stocking distribution center outside of Chicago began operations in 2012, storing up to 500,000 items. Grainger also opened an 820,000-square-foot distribution center in northern California, providing next-day service to customers on much of the West Coast.


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