CHICAGO - Grainger, a leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products, announced that it has continued its market expansion across the United States with its decision to add, relocate, expand, or remodel locations in the metro markets of Chicago and San Francisco.

Launched in 2003, Grainger's market expansion program is designed to make it easier and faster for customers to purchase facilities maintenance products. Grainger has already upgraded facilities in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Seattle, Southern California, St. Louis, and Tampa, Fla., and is now enhancing its presence in other markets, including Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In 2007, Grainger expects capital investments of as much as $80 million in its market expansion activities.

“Local businesses have relied on us for 80 years, since our company's founder, William W. Grainger, opened the company's first office on 22nd Street in 1927 in Chicago,” said Octavia Matthews, regional branch services vice president. “Over the years Grainger has grown into an international company with more than 600 locations, but we've never lost our hometown roots or our focus on providing outstanding customer service. With our local expansions we're making it even easier for business customers to get the products they need quickly and easily.”

In Chicago, Grainger currently operates 18 branch locations and will realize a nearly 20 percent increase in square footage in the market as a result of the expansion. In total, the company plans to add four new locations, relocate three facilities, and expand or enhance 12 of its existing locations.

Today, the San Francisco Bay area market is home to 13 branches. When completed, market expansion activities across the Bay - San Francisco Peninsula, North Bay, East Bay, and San Jose - will increase total square footage by 25 percent as Grainger adds one new location, relocates six facilities, and expands or enhances six others. Both markets will also see an increase in Grainger customer service associates

“Our customers asked for more convenient locations and more products closer to them, and we listened,” said Eric Nowlin, regional branch services vice president. “For business customers like facility managers and contractors, time is money, and it’s our job to help them get the products they need, when and where they need them, so they can get their jobs done.”

In addition to expanding its operations, the company recently expanded its product offering as well. Earlier this year, Grainger launched its enhanced product catalog featuring more than 138,000 facilities maintenance products, an increase of more than 23,000 items over last year's record offering. The newly added items include more than 7,000 plumbing products such as high-grade pipes, valves, and fittings; 4,000 material handling supplies such as conveyors, hoists, and casters; 5,000 fasteners such as nuts, bolts, and screws; and 1,600 security products such as locks and hinges.

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Publication date:09/03/2007