W.W. Grainger was founded by William W. Grainger in Chicago in 1927 as an efficient solution for fulfilling customer’s business needs.
Sales were primarily through mail-order catalog and post cards in the early days of the company.
In 1967 Grainger became a publicly traded company, going public on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1984 the company reached $1 billion in sales.
By 2008 Grainger’s catalog had 183,000 products, and 350,000 available products on www.grainger.com.
In 2010, 400,000 products were available in the catalog and 900,000 on the website.
Today Grainger sells products and services to small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, government entities, and other institutions through local branches sales representatives, catalogs, and the internet.
The company has operations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
W.W. Grainger is an S&P 500 component, has 18,400 employees, and had $8.1 billion in revenue in 2011.