Grainger Making Push In Protective Footwear

At the 2015 Grainger Show, held Feb. 15-17 in Orlando, the company discussed its plan for expansion of its shoemobile network through Safety Services, Inc.

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Grainger, No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's 2014 Big 50 List, wrapped up its 2015 Grainger Show, held Feb. 15-17 in Orlando, FL, where the MRO supplier welcomed more than 17,000 attendees to demonstrate its latest developments to serve its customers.

Occupational Health & Safety attended the show, and followed up on Wednesday with an article discussing Grainger's push on its protective footwear platform, in which it says company leaders, including CEO Jim Ryan, made the value of recently-acquired subsidiary Safety Solutions a consistent theme at the show, and that Grainger plans to expand its shoemobile network.

The article says quotes Ryan talking about the effect of e-commerce on the company's branch network. E-commerce now makes up more than $3 billion of Grainger's $10 billion in annual sales, and Ryan said "there has been some shift away from branches because of that. We don't need as many branches in the U.S. as we did five or ten years ago." But the article said Ryan then spoke on the value of branches to enable same-day delivery, which makes them a major asset to support services such as Safety Solutions' protective footwear.

The article credits Nino Granatiero, Grainger VP of marketing and safety, saying the company now has 53 field safety specialists, up 14 from a year ago. He said Grainger will soon roll out a safety matrix tool to its salespeople as an assessment tool during customer visits.

According to the article, Granatiero also said Grainger will deploy 14 more shoemobiles this year to expand Safety Solutions' network, and will add another 14 in 2016. There are also plans to expand the service to Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State. Safety Solutions' shoemobile network is currently based in large cities in the eastern half of the U.S.