Grainger Daily Sales Tick Up In February, Organic Declines

The company's September acquisition of U.K.-based Cromwell helped boost total sales, but lower sales of seasonal products and slight reduction in price in the U.S. hurt organic sales.

Grainger – No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's Big 50 List – posted its daily sales information for the month of February on Friday, showing a slight increase in overall sales year-over-year, but an organic decline.

The company said daily sales increased 1 percent from a year earlier, including a 4 percentage point increase from Cromwell (acquired in September 2015), and 1-point reduction from currency headwinds. Excluding those two factors, organic daily sales declined 2 percent year-over-year. Grainger said the organic decline was driven by a 2 percentage point decline from lower sales of seasonal products, and a 2-point decline in price. The decline was partially offset by a 4-point increase in volume.

February 2016 had one more selling day than in 2015.

In January, Grainger daily sales increased 4 percent YOY, including 2 percent organically.

By geographic segment, Grainger February total sales were down 1 percent in the U.S. from 2015, were down 33 percent in Canada, and up 46 percent in its Other Businesses region (+16 percent organic).

Grainger said the U.S. sales declline in seasonal products was due to the unusually warm weather in most of the country compared to 2015.

By U.S. customer end market, sales performance was as follows:

  • Government - Up in mid-single digits
  • Light Manufacturing and Retail - Up in low single digits
  • Heavy Manufacturing, Commercial and Contractors - Down in mid-single digits
  • Resellers - Down in low double digits
  • Natural Resources - Down in low twenties

Grainger said its 24 percent sales decline in Canada in local currency was partially driven by its SAP deployment on Feb. 1, which caused some expected disruption and a 14-percentage point reduction, while the decline was also impacted by a 13-point decline in volume. Daily sales to all Canadian customer end markets declined.

In the Other Business segment, the 46 percent sales increase consisted of a 35 percentage point increase from Cromwell, and a 16-point increase in volume and price.

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