July 18, 2014, 2:21 PM

Grainger’s Q2 web sales climb 15%

Online sales continue to rise as a percentage of total sales at the distributor of industrial supplies, reaching 35% in the second quarter, up from 32% a year earlier.

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W.W. Grainger Inc. continues to ride the wave of e-commerce.

“Our e-commerce sales continue to grow at twice the rate of our other channels,” Laura Brown, senior vice president, communications and investor relations, says in a podcast recorded yesterday on the company’s second-quarter financial performance.

Web sales at the distributor, whose supplies companies use to maintain and repair their facilities and equipment, increased 15.1% for the quarter ended June 30, to $877.14 million from $762.10 million a year earlier, the company says. As a percentage of total sales, Q2 web sales reached 35%, up from 32% a year earlier.

Online sales were particularly strong in Japan, where Q2 sales at Grainger’s e-commerce business there, MonotaRO.com, grew 30% year over year in local currency, the company says.

Grainger also reported for Q2:

● Total sales increased 5.2% to $2.506 billion from $2.382 billion;

● Net earnings fell 5.3% to $209.08 million from $220.75 million, largely due to an 6.2% increase in warehousing, marketing and administrative expenses to $739.94 million from $696.91 million;

For the six months ended June 30:

● Web sales were $1.71 billion (year-earlier web sales were not available);

● Web sales were 35% of total sales, as total sales of $4.89 billion rose 4.9% from $4.66 billion a year earlier;

Grainger says it is also continuing to expand its distribution facilities. It’s building a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in the Toronto metropolitan area that’s due to open early next year, and it plans to build a 1.3-million-square-foot distribution facility that is scheduled for opening in New Jersey in 2016.

Grainger is No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, which ranks companies on the annual web sales.

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