Grainger Posts Continued Sales Slide In November

A boost from Grainger's recent Cromwell acquisition wasn't enough to offset a lower demand for seasonal products.

Grainger – No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's 2015 Big 50 List – reported its November sales information on Friday, which showed a continuing trend of decreased sales compared to 2014.

The company said its total sales were down 2 percent in November compared to last year, with organic sales down 3 percent. Grainger's newly-acquired Cromwell Group boosted total sales by 4 percentage points, while foreign exchange negatively impacted sales by 3 points. The organic decline included 1 percentage point decline in price and a 2-point decline from lower sales of seasonal and safety products.

November 2015 had 20 selling days, one more than 2014.

Grainger's U.S. sales were down 2 percent, Canada sales were down 27 percent, while the company's 'Other' segment sales were up 40 percent.

Grainger said its sales performance for customer end markets in November was as follows:

  • Retail and Government were up in the low single digits
  • Light Manufacturing was down in the low single digits
  • Commercial and Contractors were down in the mid-single digits
  • Heavy Manufacturing was down in the high single digits
  • Resellers was down in the mid-teens
  • Natural Resources was down in the mid-twenties

Grainger said that in November of 2014, storms in the northeast U.S. boosted sales of seasonal products, while company sales were also helped by higher demand for Ebola-related safety products.

Grainger will report its 2015 fourth quarter earnings the morning of Jan. 26.

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