|Print Page | Close Window|
|Grainger Celebrates 10 Years of Serving Customers Through Its Web Site|
|Internet Channel Empowers Customers to Save Time and Money|
CHICAGO, July 20, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW), North America's leading distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, announces the 10-year anniversary of its Internet channel. Originally launched as an information repository, the Web site has grown to be an integral part of Grainger's multi-channel business model, offering customers such as facilities managers and contractors the ability to search, select and purchase over 250,000 products and repair parts. Since its inception in 1995, Grainger's Web site has had over 200 million unique visits resulting in 10 million transactions generating revenue of more than $2 billion.
"Our customers are constantly looking for ways to improve operations and unplanned facilities maintenance supplies is fertile ground for saving time and money," said senior vice president of customer service Pat Davidson. "Grainger's Web site provides customers an electronic solution that is unmatched in the industry and complements our local branch network, our catalog, and phone service. In 2005, we are expecting customers to purchase almost $750 million of products through this vital channel."
"Ten years ago, when most established brick-and-mortar companies were just wondering whether the Internet was merely a fad, Grainger demonstrated great vision in recognizing the transformational potential of e-business and created Grainger.com that from then until today continues to serve as a model of excellence in their industry," said Raj Veeramani, Professor, College of Engineering & School of Business and Director of the E-Business Consortium at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Purchasing unplanned products can be a daunting task but Grainger's Web site provides customers with tools to help them save time, such as enhanced search to help narrow choices efficiently, a product compare feature to easily view multiple products and their attributes on one page, personal lists to quickly reorder commonly needed items, and online order management to better control the process when multiple purchasers from a single organization use the site. Huckestein Mechanical Services, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Penn. is a full-service mechanical and plumbing contractor that has been a Grainger customer for nearly 20 years and has used the Internet channel for three years. Said service manager Rick Wuenschell, Jr., "My predecessor wasn't too fond of the Internet and preferred traditional channels. When I became service manager after years in the field, I realized that I needed an easier way to search products, determine availability and place orders."
Regardless if an order is placed through the Web site or over the phone, customers can choose to pick it up at one of the 400 U.S. Grainger branches or have it shipped. The focus of the Internet channel is to provide a user experience that is self-service based, easy to use and navigate. Customers can select a purchasing channel based on the level of interaction they need to solve their business challenge.
Grainger has developed a special landing page at http://www.grainger.com/anniversary featuring additional information on the progression of the Internet channel through the years. The company credits the hard work and innovation of its employees and the invaluable feedback from customers with the advancement of the electronic channel over the years.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2004 sales of $5 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions throughout North America. Through its network of nearly 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger helps customers save time and money by providing them with the right products to keep their facilities running.
This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. The forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies and objectives and are not historical facts. They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "expecting" or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected. The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and of various factors that may affect it.
SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Ernest L. Duplessis, Director, Market Communications, +1-847-535-4356, email@example.com , or Robb M. Kristopher, Manager, External Communications, +1-847-535-0879, firstname.lastname@example.org , both of W.W. Grainger, Inc.