Grainger, Sumitomo in Japanese Joint Venture

Share this article:
W.W. Grainger, the largest U.S. direct marketer of maintenance repair and operation products, has formed a joint venture with Sumitomo, Japan's largest trading house, to start a DM-based MRO business in Japan.


The joint venture, Sumisho-Grainger, has started testing in the western part of the country and, Japanese DM sources report, plans to roll out across Japan in the fall from its base in Osaka.


It has put up a Sumisho-Grainger Web site that contains about 250,000 MRO items. A print catalog is due soon. The company is sourcing products on the Japanese domestic market rather than shipping them from the United States.


Sumitomo, which has joint ventures worldwide, usually takes a majority stake in companies aimed at the Japanese market.


Grainger has been interested in entering Japan for several years, the sources reported, because "there are so few players in Japan's MRO market, making it attractive for a western DM company."


Sumitomo has also considered expanding into the MRO market, but lacked local partnership talent.


Neither company would comment on the progress of the joint venture nor reveal any other details.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Multichannel Marketing

7 Ways to Take Your Marketing Strategy to the Big Leagues

7 Ways to Take Your Marketing Strategy to ...

A game-winning omnichannel strategy must be seamless, synchronous, and symbiotic.

Pet World's Multichannel Marketing Is a Whole Other Animal

Pet World's Multichannel Marketing Is a Whole Other ...

The family owned pet store redesigns its website to bring the in-store experience online.

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Customer insights managers want campaign management tools to remain easy to use, even as they up their games with multi-layered campaigns.