Grainger Recognized As One Of America’s Most Admired Companies

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CHICAGO (February 25, 2002) – Grainger, the leading North American industrial distributor of products used by businesses to maintain, repair and operate their facilities, has been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of “America’s Most Admired Companies.” This distinction was afforded Grainger in Fortune magazine’s March 4 listing, selected from the largest U.S. companies and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies. Grainger was ranked fourth among the country’s largest diversified wholesalers.

Companies were selected from 58 different industries, based on their industry rank in eight key categories, including: innovation, financial soundness, employee talent, use of corporate assets, long-term investment value, social responsibility, quality of management, and quality of products and services. Industry rankings were established by a panel of industry executives, directors and securities analysts.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary as a company, Grainger is based in Lake Forest, Ill., and had sales of $4.8 billion in 2001. The company has over 15,000 employees and an extensive distribution network of nearly 400 branches located throughout the U.S., with additional locations in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“We are honored to be chosen by a panel of industry experts as one of America’s most admired companies,” said Richard L. Keyser, chairman and chief executive officer at Grainger. “This recognition is a testament to our commitment as an organization to serving our customers to the best of our ability.”

About Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2001 sales of $4.8 billion, is the leading North American industrial distributor of products used by businesses to maintain, repair, and operate their facilities. Grainger shares are traded on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges. For more information, visit Grainger online at www.grainger.com.

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