B2B eCommerce

A big industrial supplies distributor doubles down on ecommerce

The third quarter was a good one, but not a great one for Global Industrial Inc.

The distributor of industrial supplies and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) supplies, which says more than one-half of all sales are done online, generated total sales of $298.5 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. That’s an increase of 7.6% from sales of $277.4 million Q3 2021.

Third quarter net income for continuing operations was $20.3 million compared with $23.2 million in the prior year. “As we move through the quarter, the demand environment softened, a trend that has continued as customers have generally taken a more guarded approach to buying decisions, given the broader uncertainty in the market,” CEO Barry Litwin told analysts on the company’s most recent earnings call, based on a transcript from SeekingAlpha.com.

To continue to grow both online and offline going forward Global Industrial will focus on new markets such as healthcare and continue to invest in ecommerce. “The hospitality and healthcare are large markets with tremendous potential, the ones in which we have historically garnered low penetration,” Litwin told analysts. “We are targeting these opportunities by staying true to who we are, meeting with our core offering of furniture and decor, storage and shelving and carts and trucks while augmenting these solutions with additional products.”

In third quarter Global Industrial opened a new Toronto distribution center and launched a major ecommerce site update.

Litwin noted that Global Industrial recently launched a new digital ecommerce platform. It’s designed with an improved user experience. That includes “easier mobile navigation, personalized recommendations, auto reorder functionality, faster checkout, and the addition of Knowledge Center content to product category pages.” The company’s Knowledge Center provides customers with educational materials including product videos.

“We completed the launch of our new digital ecommerce site, it includes enhanced functionality aimed at driving personalization of sales, marketing and merchandising offerings, which is an important pillar of our customer-centric strategy,” he said.

For the first nine months of the year Global Industrial reported:

  • Total sales increased 13% year over year to $905.6 million from $801.1million for January through September in the prior year
  • Net income for continuing operations was $64.7 million vs. $49.8 million in the first nine months of 2021.

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