Grainger Acquires Safety Solutions

W.W. Grainger Inc., a broad line supplier, has acquired Safety Solutions Inc., a Dublin, Ohio-based distributor of safety footwear, supplies and services with a strong focus on the manufacturing sector. In 2012, Safety Solutions Inc. had sales of $63 million. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Including integration costs, Grainger expects the acquisition to be slightly dilutive to earnings in 2014 and slightly accretive in 2015. 

The acquisition follows an announcement by Grainger that it is divesting some of its specialty brand portfolio. The company noted that it signed a contract to sell all of the assets associated with Gempler’s, Ben Meadows and AW Direct, previously maintained under Grainger’s specialty brands portfolio. In aggregate, the three brands represent an estimated $90 million in revenue in 2013. The buyer, Ariens Company, based in Brillion, WI, is a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for both consumer and professional use. The transaction is expected to close by year end. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grainger noted that a strategic review determined that the direct marketing brands fall outside the company’s long-term focus.

Recently, Grainger also launched several e-commerce solutions to enhance search, workflow and purchase experience. The company’s new iPad application allows customers to visually browse through thousands of products in seconds with improved search filters. Once a customer finds the product, relevant information is displayed including real-time product availability, technical specifications and product accessories. Checkout also has been streamlined. Grainger’s new web platform has been designed with easier search and navigation to offer a consistent purchase experience for customers across multiple channels, including branches, mobile, website and inventory management.