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W.W. Grainger

Supplier of repair and maintenance products.

100 Grainger Parkway
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Employees: 23,700
CEO: Jim Ryan
Stock Symbol: GWW

Website: http://www.grainger.com

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W.W. Grainger, Inc. is the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products in North America. The company also has operations in 23 countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Grainger serves over 2 million customers in 157 countries through 709 branches and over 400 in the U.S.

The company is best known for its huge 3,700+ page catalog of products for sale. It is also available on CD and on the Internet. Grainger's product line has expanded to more than 500,000 supplies and 2.5 million repair parts.

Grainger works with more than 4,800 suppliers to provide customers with access to more than 900,000 products from categories including:

- Adhesives
- Electrical
- Fasteners
- Hardware
- Filters
- Janitorial & Painting
- Lighting
- Material Handling
- Metalworking
- Motors & Power Transmission
- Pneumatics & Hydraulics
- Pumps & Plumbing
- Safety
- Security
- Test Instruments
- Tools

Grainger reported record sales of $10.0 billion in 2014, a 6% increase, and net earnings of $802 million.

"This was a challenging year, and we were not satisfied with our overall 2014 performance. As we committed to a year ago, we addressed several smaller underperforming businesses and believe we have positioned the company for better results going forward," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan. "There were, however, several bright spots in 2014, including the United States segment, which continued to perform very well, gaining share with large customers. We were also pleased with the single channel online model businesses in Japan, the United States and Europe, which continued their rapid growth."


William W. (Bill) Grainger founded a wholesale electric motor sales and distribution business in Chicago in 1927. He established the company to provide an efficient solution for customers to access a consistent supply of electric motors. The business was incorporated as W. W. Grainger, Inc. in 1928. 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 and with just eight pages, was the basis for today's Grainger catalog.

To improve customer service, Bill opened a branch in Philadelphia in 1933 and then three additional branches the following year. By 1936, there were 15 branches in operation. It was evident that local branch service would be an integral part of the company's future growth.

In 1967, Grainger became a public company, and its stock was traded in the over-the-counter market.


- Health & Well-Being Benefits - Grainger offers competitive health, dental, mental health, and prescription drug benefits that are designed to provide you with access to quality care at an affordable cost.
- Financial Security Benefits - Our financial security benefits include a strong profit sharing plan as well as retiree health coverage, life insurance and disability benefits. The cornerstone of our benefits package, our profit sharing plan, provides a valuable way to share in the success of the company.
- Work/Life Benefits - To help balance work and life outside of work, Grainger provides employees with a variety of benefits in addition to vacation and holidays. These benefits include an employee assistance program, an adoption benefit, an educational assistance program, a dependent care assistance plan, access to auto and homeowners insurance, long term care, legal coverage and a 3-for-1 matching charitable gifts program.

Updated January 27, 2015