W. W. Grainger

Summary

W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Grainger
TypePublic
IndustryIndustrial supply distribution
Founded1927; 94 years ago (1927)
FounderWilliam Wallace Grainger
HeadquartersLake Forest, Illinois, U.S.
Number of locations
  • 305 (United States)
  • 54 (Canada)
Key people
  • D.G. Macpherson (chairman & CEO)
  • Deidra (Dee) Merriwether (senior VP & CFO)
[1]
RevenueIncrease US$11.80 billion (2020)
Increase US$1.02 billion (2020)
Increase US$695.0 million (2020)
Total assetsIncrease US$6.3 billion (2020)
Total equityDecrease US$2.1 billion (2020)
Number of employees
23,100 (2020)
Websitegrainger.com
Footnotes / references
[2][3][4]

W. W. Grainger, Inc. is an American Fortune 500[5] 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.[6] The company now serves more than 3 million customers worldwide[4] 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.[4]

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.[7] 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.[8] Grainger is a profitable corporation and has increased dividends to its shareholders for forty five consecutive years.[9] The company has grown consistently since becoming public and reported US$11.5 billion in annual sales, as of the end of 2019.[10]

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.[11] In 2019, more than 70 percent of Grainger orders in the U.S. 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.[12]

Grainger and COVID-19

Grainger was designated as an essential business during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Though there were outbreaks of the virus in certain facilities, stricter measures including temperature checks have since been instated.[13] As orders for personal protective equipment (PPE) increased, Grainger and other re-sellers were hit with supply drops and price hikes.[14][15]

In March 2020, Grainger was sent a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection accusing them of price gouging.[16] Grainger had increased its prices for surgical masks from $0.17 to $1.00 per mask.[17][18] A spokesman for the company stated that the price increases were a result of increased costs from suppliers and overall shortages of PPE.[19]

Fastenal Co. and Grainger, two industrial suppliers, also saw surges in PPE sales. The AP's data includes $99 million in personal protective equipment sales to 32 states by Fastenal, and $50 million in protective equipment sales to 40 states by Grainger, which said its profits on those sales were effected by increased freight costs and previous contracts with reduced prices.[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,[4] 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.

Grainger divested Grainger China and Netherlands-based Fabory in 2020.[13]

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

References

  1. ^ "Grainger Announces Appointments of Chief Financial Officer and President of Grainger Business Unit". Yahoo!. January 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "W.W. Grainger, Inc. Executive Biographies". W.W. Grainger, Inc. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "US SEC: 2019 Form 10-K W.W. Grainger, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 20, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "W.W. Grainger, Inc. 2017 Fact Book". W.W. Grainger, Inc. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "W.W. Grainger". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  6. ^ "Grainger History". pressroom.grainger.com. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  7. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Aug 12, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form DEF 14A, Filing Date Mar 15, 2018". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Grainger Increases Quarterly Dividend By 4.3 Percent". W.W. Grainger, Inc. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  10. ^ "Grainger Reports Results For The 2019 Fourth Quarter And Full Year". invest.grainger.com. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  11. ^ "2017 Top 500 Analysis Report". Internet Retailer. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  12. ^ "W.W. Grainger, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Grainger Helps Cubs Through Safe, Successful MLB Season". Industrial Distribution. September 28, 2020.
  14. ^ "Fewer Products, Localized Production—Companies Seek Supply-Chain Solutions". The Wall Street Journal. April 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Plexiglass Is the New Hot Commodity as Businesses Try to Reopen". The Wall Street Journal. May 31, 2020.
  16. ^ Anderson, Scott (2020-03-25). "Coronavirus-Related Price Gouging Reported At 16 Wisconsin Stores". Patch, Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  17. ^ Thomas, Arthur (2020-04-10). "$2 rolls of toilet paper and other alleged price gouging found by Wisconsin officials". Biztimes – Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  18. ^ "Arizona representatives call out 2 suppliers for price gouging on PPE". KTAR-FM. 2020-04-18. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  19. ^ "Two local businesses respond to state price-gouging notices". The Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin). April 1, 2020.
  20. ^ "AP: Tight supplies for virus gear cost US states billions". ABC News. December 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "MonotaRO".
  22. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 31, 2015" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Sep 1, 2015". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  24. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Oct 29, 2015". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  25. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 27, 2014". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  26. ^ "Grainger Announces Acquisition Of Safety Solutions Incorporated - CHICAGO" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-02 – via PRNewswire.
  27. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Oct 31, 2013". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  28. ^ "Grainger Acquires E&R Industrial Sales, Inc" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. August 26, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  29. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 24, 2013" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 28, 2013". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  31. ^ "Grainger Announces Intent To Acquire Techni-Tool, Inc. - CHICAGO" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. December 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-02 – via PRNewswire.
  32. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Apr 26, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  33. ^ "Grainger Enters Brazil Through The Aquisition [sic] Of AnFreixo". Industrial Distribution. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  34. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 18, 2011". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  35. ^ "Grainger Completes Acquisition of Fabory Group" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. August 31, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  36. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Oct 27, 2011". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  37. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 28, 2011". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  38. ^ "Grainger Announces Acquisition of SafetyCertified" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  39. ^ "Grainger Announces Acquisition of Alliance Energy Solutions" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. November 18, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  40. ^ a b "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 25, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  41. ^ "W. W. Grainger Inc, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Oct 29, 2009" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  42. ^ "Grainger Announces Acquisition of Imperial Supplies, LLC" (Press release). W. W. Grainger. June 30, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  43. ^ "Grainger - Best Companies to Work For 2013 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2014-03-02.

External links

  • Official website
  • Business data for W.W. Grainger, Inc.:
    • Google Finance
    • Yahoo! Finance
    • Bloomberg
    • SEC filings