May 30, 2013

Grainger Expands In the Citigroup Center and Plans for 300 New Hires

Grainger Expanding Chicago Office to build on its eCommerce Success

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined officials from W.W. Grainger, Inc., to announce that Grainger’s Chicago office will expand its presence downtown. This fall, Grainger plans to increase its current occupancy in the Citigroup Center (500 W. Madison) to the 33rd floor. This will support the company’s expected growth of approximately 300 IT and eCommerce new hires over the next several years.

“I welcome Grainger’s growth in Chicago and look forward to watching the company flourish,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By creating jobs for Chicagoans and making an investment to the city by developing a larger office, Grainger is providing a great example of the kind of company we are dedicated to backing in Chicago. These positions are in the key industries of information technology and eCommerce – two critical areas of growth as our economy evolves in the 21st century.” 

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Grainger is a FORTUNE 500 Company and leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions. The company began as a motor sales and distribution business in Chicago in 1927. Today, the company has 715 branches and 29 distribution centers worldwide, with more than 1 million products available. In addition, Grainger is the 15th largest e-retailer in North America, according to Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

“With the rapid pace of business today, technology plays an ever-increasing role in our customers’ ability to succeed,” said Grainger Chairman, President and CEO Jim Ryan. “We are developing world-class eCommerce solutions that are part of our multichannel approach, which includes our sales team, inventory management programs, branch network and service centers. Through this model, we provide our customers the products and services they need, when they need them. Expanding our Chicago office enables us to attract the best talent to build upon and enhance our eCommerce platform.”

With the opening of its office in the Citigroup Center last year, Grainger hired nearly 100 new IT and eCommerce employees. The company’s commitment to eCommerce also resulted in $2.7 billion in eCommerce sales in 2012, representing 30 percent of total company sales and an increase of 23 percent versus the prior year.

Attracting new jobs in critical fields such as IT and eCommerce is a key component of Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, produced by World Business Chicago at Mayor Emanuel’s request. The Plan continues to evolve and grow under the stewardship of World Business Chicago. Grainger is an active participant, as the company currently offers a fellow to World Business Chicago to help implement Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. In his role as an Economic Growth Fellow, Grainger’s Peter Robinson will enact initiatives from the Plan’s strategy to develop and deploy neighborhood assets. Contributions like Grainger’s provide the critical resources needed to impact economic growth and job creation throughout the region.

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