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W. W. Grainger (534 views - Manufacturer & Supplier)

W. W. Grainger, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 industrial supply company founded in 1927 in Chicago by William W. (Bill) Grainger. He founded the company in order to provide consumers with access to a consistent supply of motors. The company now serves more than 3 million customers worldwide with offerings such as motors, lighting, material handling, fasteners, plumbing, tools, and safety supplies, along with inventory management services and technical support. Revenue is generally from business-to-business sales rather than retail sales. Grainger serves its over 3 million customers through a network of approximately 598 branches, online channels (such as Grainger.com, KeepStock and eProcurement), and 33 distribution centers.
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W. W. Grainger

W. W. Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Public
Traded as
ISINUS3848021040 
IndustryIndustrial supply distribution
Founded1927; 93 years ago (1927)
FounderWilliam Wallace Grainger
HeadquartersLake Forest, Illinois
United States
Number of locations
  • 284 (United States)
  • 91 (Canada)
Key people
  • D.G. Macpherson (chairman & CEO)
  • Thomas Okray (senior VP & CFO)
Revenue US$ 10.42 billion (2017)
US$ 1.05 billion (2017)
US$ 622.44 million (2017)
Total assets US$ 5.80 billion (2017)
Total equity US$ 1.83 billion (2017)
Number of employees
25,700 (2017)
WebsiteGrainger.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2][3]

W. W. Grainger, Inc. is an American Fortune 500[4] industrial supply company founded in 1927 in Chicago by William W. (Bill) Grainger. He founded the company in order to provide consumers with access to a consistent supply of motors.[5] The company now serves more than 3 million customers worldwide[3] with offerings such as motors, lighting, material handling, fasteners, plumbing, tools, and safety supplies, along with inventory management services and technical support. Revenue is generally from business-to-business sales rather than retail sales. Grainger serves its over 3 million customers through a network of approximately 598 branches, online channels (such as Grainger.com, KeepStock and eProcurement), and 33 distribution centers.[3]

History

The company was founded as a supplier for businesses by William Wallace Grainger in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, and incorporated as W. W. Grainger, Inc. in 1928.[6] Sales in the early days were generated primarily through mail order via post cards and a catalog. The MotorBook, as the catalog was originally called, was the basis for today's Grainger catalog. Grainger headquarters are now located in Lake Forest, Illinois. By 1936, Grainger had established 15 branches to improve customer service.

In 1967, Grainger became a publicly traded company.[7] Grainger is a profitable corporation and has increased dividends to its shareholders for forty five consecutive years.[8] The company has grown consistently since becoming public and reported US$11.5 billion in annual sales, as of the end of 2019. [9]

Digital

In 1996 the grainger.com website was launched with an electronic catalog, later evolving to an eCommerce platform. In 2016, Grainger was named the 11th largest eCommerce retailer in North America by Internet Retailer.[10] As businesses continued to shift from ordering through traditional channels, such as using phones or visiting branches, to online and onsite channels including websites, eProcurement platforms and inventory management systems, Grainger evolved. In 2016, more than 65 percent of Grainger orders originated via a digital channel (including Grainger.com, inventory management systems, and eProcurement) and more than 85 percent of orders were shipped directly to the customer or made immediately available through onsite services.[3] In 2016, more than 50% of total company revenue was from a digital channel.[11]

COVID-19 PPE

In March 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Wisconsin sent Grainger a cease and desist letter for suspected price gouging of surgical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] Grainger had increased its prices for surgical masks from $0.17 to $1.00 per mask.[13] The company attributed the price increase to cost increases from a supplier in India, stating that the "piece price cost of those masks is significantly higher than [its] cost from other mask manufacturers that have run out of inventory."[14]

On April 16, 2020, Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego, two United States Representatives from Arizona, sent a letter to Grainger's CEO, D.G. Macpherson, after the company raised prices for N95 masks by about 600%,[15] writing, "This conduct is un-American. It is also illegal."[16][17] The company has stated that "Any price increase that our customers experience at this time reflects the increased price for Grainger to acquire products."[18]

Two days later, NBC News reported that Grainger had acted as a "silent partner" in a deal between the federal government and two other companies, purchasing 2.2 million Tyvek protective coveralls for COVID-19 response from DuPont at $4.00 each and re-selling them to the United States federal government for $7.95 each. In the article, a Grainger spokesperson states that the sale price was "nearly 10 percent lower than the standard listed price for this off-schedule transaction." According to NBC News, the four-way partnership was arranged by the White House Coronavirus Task Force's Project Airbridge as a way to "expedite the process of obtaining material from overseas." The article also claimed that the arrangement reduced the shipping time from the U.S. to Vietnam and back from 90 days to 10 days. [19][20]

Subsidiaries

Grainger's subsidiary Zoro Tools, Inc. and website zoro.com was launched in 2011 to serve the US small business market through a web-only transaction-based model,[3] while grainger.com serves primarily large and mid-sized customers.

Monotaro was established in 2000 as a joint venture between Grainger and Sumitomo.[21] It has online-only operations serving Japan and other Asian markets.

Acquisitions

  • September 1, 2015 - Cromwell Group Holdings (UK) Ltd[22][23] The initial aggregate purchase price for the acquisition under the definitive share purchase agreement was £310 million ($476 million), subject to customary adjustment.[24]
  • December 3, 2013 - Safety Solutions Incorporated. The purchase price is $30 million, less cash acquired.[25][26]
  • August 23, 2013 - E&R Industrial Sales Inc. The purchase price is $116 million, less cash acquired.[27][28]
  • December 31, 2012 - Techni-tool, Inc. of Worcester, Pennsylvania.[29] The purchase price is $40 million, less cash acquired.[30][31]
  • April 2, 2012 - Anfreixo[32][33]
  • August 31, 2011 - Fabory Group[34][35] The purchase price is $346 million, less cash acquired.[36]
  • October 14, 2010 - SafetyCertified[37][38]
  • November 18, 2009 - Alliance Energy Solutions[39][40]
  • October 13, 2009 - Imperial Supplies[41][42][40]

Awards and honors

Grainger was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013, citing the company's generous profit-sharing plan, where employees with five years of service had 20% of their pay added to their retirement plan.[43]

See also



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "W. W. Grainger", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. There is a list of all authors in Wikipedia

Manufacturer & Supplier

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