The third quarter was a good one for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) and industrial supplies distributor W.W. Grainger Inc.
But even though the company’s core ecommerce business units did well, there was some softening around the sales channel because of a slower business economy.
“Within the Endless Assortment business, while we continue to see a softer demand environment, we remain focused on acquiring new customers and improving repeat purchase rates across the segment,” CEO D.G. Macpherson told analysts on the Q3 earnings call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
Grainger operates various digital sales channels. Web-only sales in its Endless Assortment segment grew in the third quarter. Endless Assortment’s segment includes Zoro.com in the United States and Japan-based MonotaRo.com.
W. W. Grainger Inc. is No. 11 in the Top 1000. The database is Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the largest online retailers in North America by web sales.
W.W. Grainger sales Q3
Overall sales for the fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 30 grew to $4.288 billion. That’s up 6.7% from $3.94 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Net income was $493 million compared with $442 million in the prior year.
Endless Assortment segment grew 4.3 % in the third quarter to $732 million. That’s up from $701 million in Q3 of 2022.
The company’s High Touch business grew to $3.403 billion. That’s up 7% year over year from $3.180 billion. The business segment includes full-service sales through the company’s U.S. flagship Grainger.com, Canada-based Grainger.ca, and its sales agents.
“The High-Touch Solutions segment continues to perform well, with sales up 8.5% in daily constant currency underpinned by growth across all geographies,” says chief financial officer Dee Merriwether.
Zoro and MonotaRo
Despite the growth in sales, softer business spending is impacting growth in some digital sales channels, Grainger says.
“At the business level, while we’re seeing some signs of macro-related softness at MonotaRo, the business still drove strong growth with new and enterprise customers and remain focused on growing repeat business with its core B2B customer,” Merriwether told analysts. “At Zoro, results reflect a continuation of headwinds discussed last quarter, with tough prior-year comp decline, a noncore B2C volume and a slowing macro environment all contributing to more muted top line growth. Noncore B2C customer performance was down nearly 20% year-over-year as we continue to focus our growth efforts on stickier B2B customers.”
Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week. It covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact Mark Brohan, vice president of B2B and Market Research Development, at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @markbrohan. Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when we publish Digital Commerce 360 B2B News content.