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2014 Top 25 Electrical Distributors

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

Company Profile

W. W. Grainger logo

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Headquarters: Lake Forest, IL
2013 Revenues: $1 billion (electrical)
Change in Sales from 2012: 13.8%
Employees: 4,800

In 2013, Grainger passed $3 billion in e-commerce sales, representing about a third of total company sales. The company also transitioned to a new Web platform, launched a Spanish website and introduced mobile solutions. The distributor also grew its inventory management solution KeepStock by 38 percent in 2013, with 55,000 installations at year-end. Grainger opened a new 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Illinois as a central stocking facility and it continued to push for growth to small customers with platforms MonotaRO (Japan) and Zoro Tools, the latter of which grew 150 percent in 2013.

Sales in the U.S. were stronger for Grainger than in Canada, where sales decreased 3 percent in 2013; in local currency sales were up 3 percent. The Canadian business was driven by sales to customers in the commercial, transportation, light manufacturing and forestry end-markets.

Grainger now has 598,000 SKUs in its U.S. catalog, according to its 2014 Factbook, and 1.2 million products available company-wide. In the past five years, product lines in the U.S. and Canada have more than quadrupled. In Mexico, the product line has more than doubled during the same time period. Grainger has prioritized adding more exclusive brand products.

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