W.W. Grainger Inc. is taking its winning formula and extending it to the United Kingdom.
The multibillion-dollar distributor of business and industrial supplies in recent years pushed its growth by expanding its international reach and dropping its prices. Today it announced that it was continuing that dual strategy by launching its online-only Zoro operation—which caters to small businesses—in the U.K.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this new venture, which will bring an innovative buying experience to the U.K. market,” says David Rawlinson, corporate vice president and president of Grainger Global Online Business.
Like its Zoro counterparts in the U.S. and Germany, Zoro UK, located at Zoro.co.uk, caters to professional tradesmen and other small businesses as well as consumers. It sells products ranging from power tools, industrial bearings and chemicals to safety gear and janitorial supplies, and focuses on low prices and quick deliveries. For orders of 20 pounds (US$27.60) and over, it provides free next-day delivery.
In recent financial periods, the Global Online Business unit has been growing faster than Grainger overall, helping to drive Grainger’s total online sales, including on the flagship Grainger.com, to more than 50% of total sales.
Grainger, No. 32 in the 2018 B2B E-Commerce 300, also owns U.K.-based Cromwell Group, which operates business and industrial products e-commerce sites Cromwell.co.uk and Cromwell-industrial.co.uk and a network of physical branches. Although Zoro is not part the Cromwell organization, it “sits on” Cromwell’s supply chain, “so its customers will benefit from that distribution network,” a Grainger spokesman says.
Grainger’s international holdings also include Acklands Grainger, which operates AcklandsGrainger.com and a chain of physical branches.
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