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W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW)

October 2012 Sales Results Conference

November 12, 2012 8:00 am ET

Executives

Laura D. Brown - Senior Vice President of Communications & Investor Relations

Laura D. Brown

This is Laura Brown, Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations for Grainger. Thank you for accessing this recorded message with information regarding Grainger's October 2012 sales results.

I'll begin by reminding you that certain statements and projections of future results made in this webcast constitute forward-looking information. This information is based on current expectations of market conditions and competitive and regulatory environments and involves risk and uncertainty. Please see our 2011 Form 10-K for a discussion of factors as they relate to forward-looking statements.

Sales results for October 2012 had 23 versus 21 selling days in October 2011. Total company sales increased 6% on a daily basis versus October 2011. These results included a 4 percentage point contribution from price and 1 percentage point from volume. In addition, strong sales of hurricane-related products tied to the superstorm in the Northeast United States contributed 1 percentage point to company sales growth for the month.

Now let's turn our attention to sales results by segment. As a reminder, monthly sales history by reporting segment for the prior 2 years is available on the Investor Relations website, along with a summary of selling days by month and by business. Please note that although some of our businesses have a different number of selling days due to local holidays, we use the number of selling days in the United States as the basis for our calculation of daily sales.

I'll begin with our largest segment, the United States. Daily sales for the U.S. segment increased 4%, consisting of 4 percentage points from price, 1 percentage point from sales of hurricane-related products, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline in volume.

For our customer end markets in the United States, daily sales performed as follows: light manufacturing was up in the low double digits; heavy manufacturing was up in the high single digits; commercial was up in the mid-single digits; government and retail were up in the low single digits; contractor and reseller were down in the low single digits, and natural resources was down in the mid-single digits.

In our Canadian segment, daily sales increased 16% in U.S. currency, including an 8 percentage point contribution from volume, 4 percentage points from foreign exchange, 2 percentage points from price and 2 percentage points from sales of seasonal products due to unusually cold weather in Western Canada. In local currency, sales for the Canadian segment increased 12%. Strong growth to customers in the commercial, construction, oil and gas, forestry and utilities end markets contributed to this performance.

Daily sales for our Other Businesses, which includes operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America increased 12% in October. This strong growth consisted of 10 percentage points from volume, 4 percentage points from acquisitions, partially offset by a 2 percentage point decline from unfavorable foreign exchange.

Looking forward, daily sales growth in November is currently trending above the 6% daily sales growth in the month of October. The recent improvement is, in part, related to increased sales of generators, heaters, electrical and assorted product categories provided to customers for recovery efforts from the superstorm in the Northeast United States.

Finally, please mark your calendar for the following events: Grainger's Annual Analyst Day, which will be held on Wednesday, November 14. The event will be webcast live beginning at 12 p.m. Central Time and 1 p.m. Eastern Time and may be accessed on Grainger's website at www.grainger.com/investor. On Wednesday, December 12, we are scheduled to report November sales results.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (847) 535-0409; or Bill Chapman, Senior Director, Investor Relations at (847) 535-0881.

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