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Sales at Grainger’s online Endless Assortment business unit — which Zoro.com and Japan-based MonotaRo.com comprise — grew 6.0% in the fourth quarter to over $700 million. CEO D.G. Macpherson said he expects Endless Assortment sales to increase by double-digit percentages over the next year.

W.W. Grainger Inc.’s online-only Endless Assortment business has seen better days, when annual sales increases ran in double-digit percentages. But the company expects a return to those increases and is well on its way at the prominent distributor of maintenance, repair and operations products.


D.G. Macpherson, chairman and CEO, W.W. Grainger Inc.

D.G. Macpherson, chairman and CEO, said on an earnings call today that the Endless Assortment business — which offers online sales without the full-service approach Grainger provides through its High-Touch Solutions via sales teams and Grainger.com — nonetheless expanded its presence last year with large as well as small and midsized customers. He added that Zoro was also updating its product assortment to improve what Grainger says had been an “unfavorable product mix” that led to a drop in Q4 gross profit margins.

W.W. Grainger Inc. is No. 11 in the Top 1000. The database is Digital Commerce 360’s rankings of the largest online retailers in North America based on annual web sales.



Grainger online sales

“The Zoro team has progressed on their strategy, expanding their assortment, attracting new customers and improving B2B customer retention,” he said.

Zoro’s Q4 sales rose 2.3% year over year to $264 million. MonotaRo’s Q4 sales increased 7.8% to $438 million. Combined Endless Assortment Q4 sales increased 6.0% to over $700 million.

Grainger’s total sales increased in Q4 by 5.1% to $3.997 billion and for the full year by 8.2% to $16.5 billion.

Macpherson added that Zoro continued to focus on a strategy of presenting a personalized product assortment, assessing price competitiveness, and “proactively communicating delivery times to highlight where we are advantaged.”


Regarding Monotaro.com, Macpherson said “they seem stronger with enterprise customers [and] continue to expand with small and midsize customers and are gaining operating leverage as they ramp into their distribution center in Davos.”

He added, “In January, I had the opportunity to visit MonotaRo and I was able to see that MonotaRo was supported by a tight partnership between the U.S. supply chain organization and the Japanese counterparts.”

In Q4, Endless Assortment “growth was driven by B2B customers across the segment as well as enterprise customer growth at MonotaRo, which was partially offset by declining sales to non-core, consumer-like customers at Zoro,” Grainger said.

Zoro added about 2 million SKUs in 2023, ending the year with 13.1 million, an 18% increase. It also counted at year’s end 5.17 billion registered users; MonotaRo counted 9.02 million.


Expanding DC space 35%

Grainger also announced today plans to open a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center this spring in the Houston suburb of Hockley, Texas. Grainger says the new facility will house more than 250,000 industrial supply items, ranging from power tools to power transmission equipment, and employ about 400 people following its 2026 opening.

The Texas facility will follow the launch of two other distribution centers in Pineville, North Carolina, which is scheduled to open later this year, and in Gresham, Oregon, scheduled for 2025. Overall, Grainger says it is adding 3.5 million square feet of warehouse space, a companywide increase of 35%.

“These latest investments will strengthen our promise to customers who count on us to provide next-day complete orders to keep their operations running,” Macpherson said on the earnings call.

Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].


Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding. Check back for more earnings reports. Here’s last quarter’s W.W. Grainger report.

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