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Grainger exec discusses supplier consolidation

Grainger President & Chief Operating Officer James T. Ryan in June addressed a group of analysts attending the William Blair & Company 27th Annual Growth Stock Conference in Chicago. The audio webcast of the event is available, along with the presentation slides, on the Speeches and Presentations section of Grainger’s Investor Relations Web site,

Ryan described the trends in the facilities maintenance industry as businesses and institutions are reducing the cost of procuring the tools, safety equipment, lighting and other products they use to keep their facilities running by relying on fewer suppliers and carrying less inventory. He explained how Grainger’s business strategy and scale advantages position it to capture market share in the highly fragmented North American market.

Ryan reiterated the company’s 2007 earnings per share guidance of $4.70 to $4.85 saying, “Grainger is uniquely positioned to help customers become more productive and competitive by enabling them to reduce inventory and consolidate their supplier base. This in turn can help us take share in a highly fragmented and consolidating market, which should lead to additional shareholder value.”

W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2006 sales of $5.9 billion, is a leading broad-line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in Canada, China, Mexico and the U.S. Grainger’s network includes nearly 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites.

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