It was a good start to the business year for W.W. Grainger Inc. both overall and online.
For the first quarter ended March 31, total sales grew 12.5%. That’s up to $4.091 billion from $3.647 billion in the first quarter of 2022. Net earnings were $488 million vs. $366 million in the prior year’s Q1.
“We again delivered a strong quarter of performance to start the year as demand remains resilient and as we continue to execute well,” says CEO DG Macpherson. “We are making progress on our strategic growth engines in our high-touch model as we further our merchandising efforts, continue to make smart marketing investments, expand our inventory management capabilities for customers and build out tools to better equip our sellers.”
Grainger, a prominent distributor of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products, also reported mixed results in its various digital sales channels. Web-only sales in its Endless Assortment segment, including Zoro.com in the United States and Japan-based MonotaRo.com, grew about 4% on the first quarter. That’s up to $488 million from $366 million in the first quarter of 2022.
But the company’s High Touch business grew to $3.294 billion. That’s up 14.5% year over year from $2.878 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.
“For the first quarter, we continued to see strong results within our Hi-tech segment with daily sales of 14.5%, fueled by revenue growth in all geographies.” says chief financial officer Dee Merriwether. “Customer demand was generally in line with expectations for the quarter and continues to remain resilient as a whole despite certain areas of softness.”