Ecommerce and the pandemic-driven trend toward renovation products are driving up worldwide sales at WD-40 Company, executives said last week.
Moreover, the company expects ecommerce to continue driving sales for the long term. “We see digital and ecommerce as a strong accelerator of our future growth,” Steve Brass, president and chief operating officer, said on a fiscal first-quarter earnings call with investment analysts last week, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
WD-40, perhaps best known for its WD-40 spray cans of lubricants, sells that and other maintenance and products to factories and other business operations as well as to consumers. Its product lines also include such homecare and cleaning brands as X-14 toilet cleaners, Carpet Fresh and Spot Shot rug cleaners, and Lava and Solvol heavy-duty hand cleaners.
Industrial lubricants and other maintenance products, which account for more than 90% of W-D’s sales, increased by 28% year over year in the first quarter to $114.34 million, while homecare and cleaning products increased by 15% to $10.22 million.
The company’s Q1 sales were split among the Americas (44%), Europe/Mideast/Africa (44%) and Asia-Pacific (12%); and in each market ecommerce was a driving force behind growth, W-D says. The EMEA region posted the sharpest year-over-year Q1 growth at 40%, as the Americas grew by 16% and Asia-Pacific, 24%.
Total Q1 net sales increased by 26% to $124.6 million, as net income increased by 94% to $23.6 million.
The company says its sharpest growth is via ecommerce sales through such business-to-business ecommerce sites as Grainger.com, MSCDirect.com, GlobalIndustrial.com, Fastenal.com and MotionIndustries.com and such online retailers as Amazon, Ace Hardware and Aubuchon Hardware.
“Ecommerce is a relatively small channel for us; however, it is our fastest-growing channel,” says Wendy Kelley, director of investor relations and corporate communications.
Going forward, W-D sees ecommerce as crucial to its long-term growth, says chairman and CEO Gary Ridge.
“Our final must-win battle is digital commerce,” he said on the earnings call. “We set our global digital ambition two and a half years ago. Our ambition is to engage with end-users at scale and become the global category leader in our category within the digital commerce platform. Since 2020 was the year that a global health crisis would transform the way people shop, our heightened focus on digital and ecommerce has never been so important.
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