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2015 Top 10 Power Transmission & Bearings Distributors

06. W.W. Grainger (Power Transmission/Motors Products) - Top Power Transmission/Bearing Distributors

Company Profile

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Headquarters: Lake Forest, IL
2014 Revenues: $398.6 million
Change in Sales from 2013: 6%
Employees: 23,600
Locations: 680
Number of New Locations: 1
2014 Acquisitions: WFS Enterprises Inc.
Key Executives: James Ryan, chairman, president & CEO; Court Carruthers, senior vice president & group president, Americas; D. G. Macpherson, SVP & group president, global supply chain international; Michael Ali, SVP & CIO; Laura Brown, SVP, communications & investor relations; Joseph High, SVP & chief people officer; John Howard, SVP & general counsel; Ron Jadin, SVP & CFO

In 2014, more than one-third (36 percent) of Grainger's total sales came through its e-commerce platform. The distributor continues to add new features to its website to improve the user experience and to create a uniform experience across platforms. There's no magic trick for improving that experience, says Paul Miller, vice president of global e-commerce, customer information and innovation. “A lot of this gets back to grungy, gnarly data work."

President and CEO Jim Ryan called 2014 a "challenging year," as the company worked to address underperforming businesses. Sales in the U.S., up nearly 7 percent in 2014, were a bright spot for the distributor, while sales in Canada fell 3 percent year-over-year. 

Grainger now has 592,000 SKUs in its U.S. catalog, according to its 2015 Factbook, and 1.5 million products available company-wide.

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