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2005 FIN – Grainger Reportedly Adding 10,000 Fastener Lines; To Compete Directly with Fastenal

December 07
00:00 2012

2005 FIN – Grainger Reportedly Adding 10,000 Fastener Lines; To Compete Directly with Fastenal

August 24, 2005 FIN – W.W. Grainger Inc. is adding 10,000 lines of fasteners to compete more directly with Fastenal, a competitor told FIN /
Grainger spokesman Robb Kristopher confirmed that the company is beefing up its fastener offerings, though he did not offer specifics.
“We’re looking to expand our product lines, including fasteners, Kristopher stated.
Potential fastener suppliers are being asked to go through a “difficult” approval process before teaming up with Grainger.
Grainger reportedly requires specific forecasts, special packaging – complete with their own label location, bar coding and nontraditional quantities – as well as a tough “dock to stock supply program. “I’m told that once you have started with them [Grainger] they are easy to work with, one potential supplier commented.
In return, Grainger offers suppliers a deep customer pool.
“By teaming up with Grainger, suppliers can instantly access more than a million Grainger customers, ranging from small companies to national corporations in various market segments, including industrial, manufacturing, government, commercial and contractor markets,” claims the company’s website.
One analyst suggested that individual Grainger employees “can’t know fasteners, they just know how the system moves.”
Holden Lewis of Industrial Equipment Weekly reported both Grainger and Fastenal had strong July sales. Grainger sales were up 11%, following a 10.5% increase in June. “This suggests demand is firm, a view with which management concurs, with strength still broad based in terms of end market and geography,” Lewis summarized.
Fastenal’s July daily sales were up 21.8% over the same period last year, IEW reported. Fastenal opened 11 stores during the month and remains on track to open 252 stores during 2005, Lewis commented.
Grainger’s 3,700-page catalog offers a range of fasteners, including anchor bolts, carriage bolts, hex flange bolts, locknuts, rivets, and socket head and hex head cap screws.
According to its 2004 annual report, Grainger is in the process of exploring new distribution opportunities in China.
Grainger: An Introduction
Lake Forest, IL-based Grainger recorded sales of $5.3 billion in 2004, including $611 million in sales through its website. The company completes 220,000 transactions per day with an average sale of $176. Grainger’s 15,523 employees operate 582 branches worldwide, including more than 400 in the U.S. The company has 18 distribution centers. Grainger controls about 5% of the estimated $100 billion MRO market in the U.S., and is the largest customer of UPS. The company is led by Richard Keyser, 62, who has been CEO for the past decade.
During the first half of 2005 sales grew 9% to $2.7 billion, while net earnings increased 22% to $154.4 million.
In July Grainger celebrated the 10th anniversary of its website,, which was launched in 1995 and began taking online orders the next year.
According to, the company was founded by William W. (Bill) Grainger in 1927 as a wholesale electric motor sales and distribution business in Chicago. By 1936, Grainger had 15 branches in operation. In 1967 Grainger became a public company.
Over the last 75 years Grainger’s product line has expanded to more than 500,000 supplies and 2.5 million repair parts. ©2005/2012 Fastener Industry News
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