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2014 Top 10 Fluid Power Distributors

04. W.W. Grainger – Top Fluid Power Distributors

Company Profile

W. W. Grainger logo


Headquarters: Lake Forest, IL
2012 Revenues: $282 million (fluid power)
Change in Sales from 2012: 5.0%
Employees: 4,800
Locations: U.S. (390); Canada (171); Total Business (709)
2013 Acquisitions: 
Key Executives: James T. Ryan, chairman, president and CEO; Laura D. Brown, senior vice president, communications and investor relations; Court D. Carruthers, Group President, Americas; Joseph High, Chief People Officer; John Howard, general counsel; Michael Ali, CIO; Ronald Jadin, CFO; D G Macpherson, Group President, Global Supply Chain and International; Paul Miller, vice president, Global eCommerce Customer Information and Innovation; Debra Oler, vice president and general manager, Grainger Brand; Paige Robbins, vice president, Americas Supply Chain; Kinya Seto, senior vice president, Online Business

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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