Grainger Reports Flat October, U.S. Sales Down 1%

It was the second straight flat month for the company, following a solid July and August. Grainger's U.S. sales daily sales declined year-over-year for the eighth time in nine months of 2016.

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Grainger â€” No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's 2016 Big 50 List â€” reported its October 2016 sales report on Friday, which showed a flat month for the company compared to last year.

Grainger said October's results were driven by a 1 percentage point decline in volume, offset by a 1 percent decline in price. October had one fewer selling day than a year earlier.

Here's how Grainger's total and U.S. daily sales growth has looked by month so far in 2016:

2016 Month Total Sales Growth U.S. Sales Growth
October Flat (no % given) -1.0%
September +0.1% -0.5%
August +4.0% +0.5%
July +3.3% -2.0%
June +0.1% -3.4%
May +1.2% -2.9%
April +3.6% -1.5%
March -1.1% -4.6%
February +0.6% -1.4%
January +4.3% +0.9%

October sales in the U.S. were down 1 percent year-over-year, marking the eighth month out of nine so far in 2016 that U.S. sales declined year-over-year. Canada October sales were down 15 percent and Other Businesses were up 15 percent.

U.S. sales by performance by end market was as follows:

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

Grainger said the 15 percent Canada decline was driven by a 9 percentage point decline in volume and a 4-point decline in price. "The price decline was primarily driven by the effect of delaying price increases until customer service stabalizes. Daily sales to all customer end markets were down," the company said Friday.

In its Other Businesses segment, Grainger said the 15 percent daily sales increase was driven by continued strong performance from MonotaRO in Japan and Zoro in the U.S., partially offset by sales declines at Cromwell and Fabory.

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