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2017 Top 25 Electrical Distributors

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

Company Profile

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Contact Information


Headquarters: Lake Forest, IL
2016 Revenues (electrical/lighting): $909 million
Change in Sales from 2015: -8.9%
Employees: 25,000 (company total)
Key Executives: DG Macpherson, CEO; James Ryan, chairman of the board; Ronald Jadin, senior vice president & CFO


In 2016, about 9 percent of Grainger's total sales came from electrical and lighting products, down a percentage point from the prior year.

E-commerce continues to be a high priority for Grainger, with 41 percent of annual revenue in 2016 coming from online channels.

For the last two years, Grainger has undertaken a strategy to realign itself to better serve its shifting customer base. This has included cutting in certain areas, such as its branch network which was cut nearly in half, to reinvest in others where it sees greater opportunity for growth, including e-commerce, supply chain efficiencies and its IT infrastructure.

"We had to rationalize those numbers with walk-in traffic to our branches," CEO DG Macpherson said of the decision to close so many branches. Walk-in traffic declined as online and mobile platforms picked up, and demand creation was occurring more online than in person. The company is also investing in new centralized distribution centers to more efficiently serve customers across channels, including a new DC to be located in Louisville, KY.


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