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W.W. Grainger Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript


View Latest SEC 10-K Filing View Latest SEC 10-Q Filing

Participants

Corporate Executives

  • Kyle Bland
    Vice President of Investor Relations
  • D.G. Macpherson
    Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
  • Dee Merriwether
    Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Presentation

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the W.W. Grainger Third Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the conference over to our host, Kyle Bland, Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you. You may begin.

Kyle Bland
Vice President of Investor Relations at W.W. Grainger

Good morning. Welcome to Grainger's third quarter 2022 earnings call. With me are D.G. Macpherson, Chairman and CEO; and Dee Merriwether, Senior Vice President and CFO.

As a reminder, some of our comments today may include forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in our SEC filings. Reconciliations of any non-GAAP financial measures with their corresponding GAAP measures are found in the tables at the end of this presentation and in our Q3 earnings release, both of which are available on our Investor Relations website.

This morning's call will focus on our third quarter 2022 results, which are consistent on both a reported and adjusted basis for the respective quarterly periods presented. We will also share results related to MonotaRO. Please remember that MonotaRO is a public company and follows Japanese GAAP, which differs from US GAAP, and is reported in our results one month in arrears. As a result, the numbers disclosed will differ somewhat from MonotaRO's public statements.

Now, I'll turn it over to D.G.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Thanks, Kyle. Good morning and thank you, for joining us today. I'm going to provide an overview of our third quarter performance and I'll pass it to Dee to walk-through the financials. As I typically do, I'd like to start with the Grainger Edge Framework, which guides our strategy and behaviors across the company and with our customers and supplier partners.

One of our Grainger Edge principle, is to do the right thing. No word is that, commitment more obvious than when we respond to natural disasters. Grainger's long history of being there for our customers before, during and after a crisis strikes.

Last month Hurricane Ian destroys parts of the U.S., most notably in Southwest Florida. Our team spent days nights and weekends, on the frontlines working long hours to get essential products like generators sandbags and tarps to our customers. After the storm passed our sellers onsite service representatives and branch team members, on-the-ground making sure we served our customers and many of them did this while balancing their own personal recovery efforts.

We know the road ahead will not be easy, but the Grainger team will continue to be there to support the community as they recover and rebuild.

Before I get into the financial highlights from the quarter, I want to talk a little bit about what I've seen and heard during the market business with customers. I recently visited and outdoor equipment manufacturer that experienced a surge in-demand during the pandemic. As consumers had excess cash and a desire to spend more time outside during COVID we saw major uptick in revenue. They are now facing a dip in-demand as consumers begin to pull-back on spending.

I have also visited some of our Aerospace customers, who has clearly the business activity has picked-up, especially in 2022 as COVID impacts have diminished. The industry is now making investments in new airplanes at other equipment to meet ongoing changes in business and leisure travel demand.

All told, we continue to experience a dynamic market, with some industry still on the upswing, some of it is stabilized and others that are trending down. And while our customers will face different levels of impact as we navigate through this inflationary period, we know that Grainger wins because of our ability to add tangible value to our customers operations through inventory management, digital solutions and product subtitutes.

This has been true in past economic cycles and we, expect to continue as more-and-more customers turn to us for solutions, thanks to our relevant product offering, no-how, and then supply-chain.

Turning now to our results. We performed very well in the third quarter with sales growth of 16.9% or 23% on a daily constant-currency basis. This normalizes for the impact of the significantly depreciating Japanese yen. Our results this quarter include strong growth in both segments as we continue to execute well against our strategic priorities.

We outgrew the US MRO market by 700 basis-points in our US High-Touch business. And delivered over 22% sales growth in endless assortment on a daily constant-currency basis.

Total company gross profit margin finished the quarter at 38.5%, expanding 145 basis-points over the prior year third quarter. Profitability was strong throughout the quarter was especially strong in the month of September as we benefited from a confluence of factors, including some timing benefits that provided a tailwind to gross margin. Steve will outline the details in a few minutes.

Strong gross margin performance, coupled with solid SG&A leverage, helped us achieve 15.3% operating margin, an increase of 230 basis points over the prior year third quarter. We delivered adjusted ROIC of nearly 42%, up over 1,000 basis points compared to the same period last year. We also generated $380 million in operating cash flow and returned $286 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

Due to the strong results achieved in the quarter and continued strong trends in October, we are again raising our 2022 full year guidance, starting with the customer and living our Grainger Edge principles is helping us deliver value to all of our stakeholders.

With that, I will turn it over to Dee to discuss the details.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Thanks, D.G. As D.G. highlighted, it was another quarter of exceptional results, which are summarized at the total company level on Slide 7. We delivered strong growth and gross margin performance across both segments and also manage our SG&A well, driving 85 basis points of leverage in the quarter as we continue to stay disciplined while investing to support long-term sustainable growth. This growth in profitability resulted in diluted EPS for the quarter of $8.27, up 46.4% versus third quarter of 2021.

Turning now to our High-Touch Solutions segment for the third quarter. We continue to see strong results with daily sales up 19.4% compared to the third quarter of 2021. We saw a broad-based double-digit growth across all geographies and over 20% growth with both midsized and large customers in the U.S. Daily sales growth in the U.S. of 20% was fueled by broad-based volume growth and strong price realization of over 12% in the quarter. Canadian daily sales were also strong, up 11.4% or 15.5% in local days and local currency.

For this segment, GP margin finished the quarter at 40.6%, achieving 125 basis points of margin expansion. The increase is primarily due to product mix as well as favorable price/cost spread, realizing a timing benefit as we continue to work through cost discussions with our suppliers.

Price/cost was also aided by some targeted customer and product actions as we work to ensure we are receiving the right economics for the value we provide to customers. These favorable contributors to gross margin were partially offset by heightened freight costs in the quarter.

Our pricing team continues to do a really nice job managing through this highly inflationary environment. And while the timing will always be choppy from quarter-to-quarter, we remain focused on our core pricing tenets of achieving price/cost neutrality over time while ensuring our prices remain market competitive.

Increased SG&A spend in this segment was driven primarily by higher headcount to support growth and compensation costs as well as continued investments in marketing. Even with the increased investment, we delivered 150 basis points of SG&A leverage year-over-year, and we're combined with the continued gross margin expansion, Q3 operating margin of 17.3% was up 275 basis points versus the prior year.

Overall, a very strong quarter for the High-Touch Solutions business.

Looking at market outgrowth on Slide 9, we estimate that the U.S. MRO market, including volume and price inflation, grew between 12.5% and 13.5%, indicating that we achieved roughly 700 basis points of market outgrowth in the quarter.

As you heard at Investor Day last month, we're having great success gaining share as we execute against our strategic growth engine. Given our recent performance and go-forward expectations, as announced at Investor Day, we are now targeting 400 to 500 basis points of annual outgrowth going forward, a 100-basis point increase from our previous outlook target.

The strength of our initiatives, coupled with our supply chain advantage, gives us confidence in our ability to deliver against this commitment.

Moving to our Endless Assortment segment. Reported and daily sales increased 8.6% or up 23.7% on a daily constant currency basis after normalizing for the significant impact of the depreciating Japanese yen, which is down over 23% versus last year. In local currency and local days, MonotaRO achieved 19.8% growth and Zoro U.S. was up 27.4%.

Revenue growth continues to be driven by strong new customer acquisition and repeat business for this segment as well as enterprise customer growth at MonotaRO.

Gross margin expanded 130 basis points versus the third quarter of 2021 as we continue to see freight efficiencies from increased average order value. We also benefited from favorable business unit mix as Zoro grew faster than MonotaRO in the quarter.

Segment operating margin declined 95 basis points in the quarter as favorable gross margins were offset by continued investments to support growth in both businesses as well as DC start-up costs at MonotaRO for the new and a valid DC. The new facility is ramping nicely. As we exit our legacy facility in the first quarter of 2023, we anticipate that the business will return to normal operating margins thereafter.

On Slide 11, we continue to see positive results with our key Endless Assortment operating metrics. Total registered users are tracking nicely with Zoro and MonotaRO combined up 17% over the prior year period.

On the right, we show the continued growth of the Zoro SKU portfolio, now at over 10.3 million SKUs. You'll see a more modest increase between the second and third quarter as Zoro backend offering of SKUs that could not meet our service level expectations. We continue to target around 2 million SKU additions in 2022 and have a robust pipeline to meet that goal as we finish the year.

Turning to guidance. With another very strong quarter and with sales in October trending up over 16% on a daily reported basis or over 21% in constant currency, we are raising our 2022 full year outlook. While we acknowledge that the broader market conditions remain uncertain and the risk of a potential recession has certainly increased, we have not seen any meaningful slowdown in our business and continue to outperform our normal seasonal trends.

Our updated outlook for the full year 2022 includes: expected daily sales growth between 15.5% and 16.5% and EPS between $29.10 and $29.70, a 48% increase year-over-year at the midpoint. This implies Q4 daily sales, which normally slowed due to seasonality, will grow roughly 9% to 13% as we face into difficult comps over the fourth quarter 2021, especially in November and December.

We also continue to see further FX headwinds from the depreciation of the Japanese yen. We've included updates to our supplemental guidance as well, which can be found in the appendix.

While it is not our typical practice to change guidance each quarter, doing so provides our most up-to-date expectations in light of the current economic environment.

With that, I'll turn it back to D.G. for some closing remarks.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Thank you, Dee. Before I open it up for questions, I would make just a few comments. While this quarter brought more market fluctuation and potential uncertainty broadly, both our market and our performance was strong. I remain confident in Grainger's ability to create tangible value, deliver flawless experience and gain share profitably over the long haul.

We are grateful for our customers' continued confidence in Grainger. No matter what comes next, we will remain a trusted resource ready to help them navigate any cycle. I would also like to thank the Grainger team for all they've done and continue to do to support our customers. With our team's continued commitment to focusing on the things that matter, we are well poised to deliver a very strong finish to the year.

And with that, we will open the line for questions.


Questions and Answers

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Tommy Moll with Stephens. Please state your question.

Tommy Moll
Analyst at Stephens

Good morning and thanks for taking my question. Dee, I wanted to circle back to your comments on High-Touch gross profit in the third quarter. You called out price/cost was a tailwind in the period, and there were some timing impacts, I think, related to discussions with suppliers, but if you could elaborate on what you were referencing there around the timing and whether that implies that it may look different next quarter or at some point in the future, that'd be helpful? Thank you.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Thanks for the question, Tommy. So yes, we did perform well in the quarter, both top and bottom line and specifically related to the gross margin expectations. We did experience significant product mix tailwinds as well as favorable price/cost spread. And I did note that, that was due to a couple of factors: price/cost being favorably as we realize the timing benefit that we -- as we continue to work through cost negotiations with our suppliers, we do expect that benefit to normalize over the next couple of quarters. And so that really aided in some of the outperformance.

In addition to that, from time to time and how we continue to work with customers to make sure that we are receiving the value that we provide to them from an economic perspective. And so we also received some benefits in the quarter for that. We also expect that to continue. That's helpful. Thank you, Dee. Shifting gears to capital allocation. If I'm looking at your guidance for this year correctly, I think in terms of operating cash flow, there's no update to your prior guidance, but it looks like capex and share repurchases have been pulled in a little bit. So I'm curious for any commentary you can give there. And then also as you think about capex for next year and some of the capacity expansion initiatives you talked about at Investor Day, if there's any early peak you can give us about priorities for 2023, that'd be helpful as well? Thank you. Sure. Yes, that is correct. We did -- based upon the range we had out there for operating cash flow less that as is. And just based upon where we were trending with share repurchases as well as we looked at what we thought will fall through capex by the end of the year, we made some tweaks in those numbers as well since we have the opportunity to do so. As it relates to 2025, we'll talk a little bit more about what we expect capex to look like in February.

Operator

Our next question comes from David Manthey with Baird. Please state your question.

David Manthey
Analyst at Robert W. Baird

Thank you. Good morning. At the Investor Day, you discussed seller coverage and seller effectiveness as two of your strategic growth engines. I'm wondering if you can talk about the trajectory there. How many outside sellers do you have today versus what you had last year? And what is the plan for 2023?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. Sure. So thanks, Dave. We have -- we talked at Investor Day, based on our improved customer information, we have been able to identify a potential to add some sellers. We've added them relatively small percentages overall to a couple of pilot areas that we're running now, and we expect to have results of that early in the year, and that will inform what we do going forward. We do think we're going to have the ability to consistently add sellers and also improve the effectiveness of sellers based on the information we've now built and have on customers. And so that's a pretty exciting path.

We won't have details for you in terms of what that looks like in the aggregate probably until second quarter next year when we start to hear -- get all the results back from the pilots.

David Manthey
Analyst at Robert W. Baird

Okay. So TBD. And then as a follow-up, could you tell us specifically when the MonotaRO occupancy expenses that are duplicate today drop off and approximately what the magnitude of that overage is right now?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Sure. I was over there...

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

I was over there four weeks ago. I'll let Dee answer the sort of exact timing. But just to give you sort of a magnitude, they're operating two buildings in the Osaka area. The new ones, a 6-story enormous building that is coming up to speed and getting up to the line volumes to take over entirely, and they expect that to happen mostly by the end of the year. The other one has been running at the same time. So that's a duplicate cost. And Dee, I'll turn it over to you for the numbers.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. So just to add on what D.G. says, we expect the duplicative cost to drop off after Q1 of 2023.

Operator

Our next question comes from Josh Pokrzywinski with Morgan Stanley. Please state, your question.

Joshua Pokrzywinski
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Hi, good morning, folks. I just wanted to focus on a little bit more on the outgrowth. I mean I think we've sort of transitioned here from a period of time with kind of more hyperinflation and a little bit more scarcity supply chain-wise to what sounds like it's sort of an improving supply chain environment today just based on what some of your peers and broader industrial cohort have said. Any sort of change in the way customers or competitors are sort of interacting with the marketplace? Clearly, the background circumstances are changing. Just wondering if their needs or their priorities are changing as well?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

I think that there's been a fairly significant increased attention to supply assuredness given what's happened in the last few years. And supply chain is improving. They've improved. They aren't fully back, but they are improving for sure, hasn't really changed those discussions. Customers still want to understand how they can make sure that they have what they need to get their jobs done. Obviously, we've always done that through different ways, whether having inventory in a branch or managing inventory on site or having next day delivery.

All those things help customers, but we're still having a lot of conversations with customers about -- based on our ability to serve them during these challenging times, how can we continue to help them. And we think a lot of the performance we've had in our supply chain is going to be pretty sticky moving forward based on what we're hearing.

Joshua Pokrzywinski
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Got it. That's helpful. And then, Dee, just a follow-up question for you on the margin tailwinds and those kind of, I'll call it, extra conversations you're having with your suppliers about that economic value, which -- it sort of sounds like a different way of saying rebate. Maybe I'm mischaracterizing it, but is that something that's on more of an annual cycle where that normalizes when the calendar flips? Or what's the time line that we should think about there?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. I wouldn't think about it so much as rebates, but just we're constantly negotiating on price take timing with our supplier partners. And some of that timing, some has moved up, some has slipped out. And that's why we continually and talk about the lumpiness of GP because it's very difficult to time everything perfectly both from a price perspective and a cost actualization perspective. So it's nothing more than that. It isn't. We really aren't focused on supplier rebates as a reason for this.

Joshua Pokrzywinski
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Got it. That's helpful. Nice quarter, I'll leave it there.

Operator

Our next question comes from Jake Levinson with Melius Research. Please state your question.

Jacob Levinson
Analyst at Melius Research

Good morning, everyone. D.G., if we did a postmortem, if you will, on the pandemic period over the last couple of years, do you have a sense of how many of these new customers that you picked up during COVID are still buying from you? Or maybe just any color you have on kind of the retention rates?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. Sure. So it's inherently tricky thing to figure out. What I would say is that our customer file has increased substantially versus 2019. So a lot of the new customers have stuck around. Our customer file was at its peak in the heart of the pandemic in 2020, both for Grainger and for Zoro and for MonotaRO. They all had sort of a similar pattern. And what was going on there was, there was a lot of consumers buying and just trying to find whatever they could find for safety reasons. That's all gone back to normal.

And so, we think that what we see now is all of the business customers that we were able to acquire during the pandemic, either for pandemic reasons or other reasons. And we've had really healthy growth of the customer file. And I think that's probably the biggest signal that make -- that matters the most.

Jacob Levinson
Analyst at Melius Research

Okay. That's helpful. And just shifting gears on price. Are your suppliers -- I mean, certainly, you're still seeing price increases for you worked on a year-over-year basis. Are your suppliers still putting through broad-based increases? Or is what we're seeing in the P&L today mostly just reflecting what's already been actioned?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. So -- and Dee, you may have other adds to this. We continue to see through our cost cycle this year increases from a number of suppliers. I would say it's less intense now than it was certainly in the first half of the year. But most -- and what you're going to see in terms of price increase, a lot of it is sort of what's already been taken before. And so, you're just seeing the impact of that. But we do expect some increases to continue to flow in as things continue to roll forward, but just not as intense.

Operator

And our next question comes from Deane Dray with RBC Capital Markets.

Deane Dray
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. I want to touch back on price realization. And D.G., can you give us a sense of how much of your price now is being driven by what you would call the value-based pricing as opposed to standard markup?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Deane, what do you -- what are you trying to understand? Go ahead. Go ahead, Dee. You can take that one.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. Deane, I want to -- first, I want to clarify, I want to make sure I understand the question. So, do you want to add a little bit more color? Is there a question...

Deane Dray
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

It's more of a holistic question, but just give us a sense on pricing traditionally, historically with distributors was much more of a standard markup. And what you've seen is with the advent of more services being added and then understanding exactly the kind of value that Grainger is providing, you're actually able to gain more pricing and, under this umbrella, value-based pricing and wanted to get a sense of where you are in that transition. Do you feel like you've done as much as you can? Are you halfway through? Just any color there would be helpful.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Sure. Well, I would say I think if you go back several years to the pricing strategy change to ensure that we could provide competitive pricing to all size customers, we're through that cycle. Now we're in more of a cycle, I would say, with higher sophistication related to using our own internal information, product information and coupling that with market information to get to the best price for customers. And if it's High-Touch business, as you kind of articulated, it is making sure we get to the best price based upon the value we provide to those customers. And if it's like a midsized customer that has less -- with less services from us, price is relevant for them as well. So I will say we are there.

However, we always have opportunities with the broad assortment that we have, over 1.7 million SKUs, 2 million SKUs. Things are constantly changing. The market is changing. Costs are changing. And market price is changing. So, I will say our pricing sophistication continues to get better. From time to time, that leads to us being able to have some pricing levers in our benefit while we still remain competitive.

Deane Dray
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Okay. That's helpful. And then, look, supply chain has come up a number of times. How would you characterize it in terms of product availability, lead time, stock outs? And just also, if you could weave in if that's been the same for your private label offerings?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. So, what I would say is that certainly, portions of the supply chain, I would say, are pretty much back to normal. But the portions that we control being able to pick back and shipping at things out were clean pretty much every night. A year ago, we had labor challenges and all kinds of challenges. Those have pretty much gone away in terms of our own supply chain. And then the outbound transportation is also pretty strong at this point and less of a problem.

From a supplier standpoint, there's still suppliers that are catching up to challenge that they've had. And so, lead times are elongated in some cases. What I would say is that our service levels in terms of having product and being able to get to customers are high on a relative basis and getting back -- moving back towards what we'd expect to have from an absolute basis. So, we do see a lot of improvement.

There's still long ways to go. I mean this is -- that was -- it's been quite a shock to the supply chain, and there's still a long ways to go from our suppliers and from transportation entities.

Coming from -- I think your question on global sourced product. Certainly, we're seeing it become much easier to get sailings from Asia into the U.S., and the cost of debt is coming down substantially permits, maybe back to where it was, but certainly coming down. And so, we do see that starting to flow much better than it had earlier in the year.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ryan Merkel with William Blair. Please state your question.

Ryan Merkel
Analyst at William Blair

I had a follow-up on gross margin. Can you help quantify the price/cost timing benefit in 3Q and just speak to sustainability into 4Q?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Sure. Well, if you look at -- maybe if I take it to the [Indecipherable] in the U.S., gross margin was up like in the 125 basis points. About half of that, I would call it, some of the price/cost benefit. And again, we see that price/cost benefit normalizing as we get into 2023. So, through the fourth quarter.

Ryan Merkel
Analyst at William Blair

Got it. That's helpful. And then I had a follow-up on price. Really, I'm trying to get at how much price is going to carry over into '23 just based on what you've passed through so far. And when do you lap sort of the bigger price increases that you took in '22?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Well, let me start '21. Like when you look at this quarter here, it's going to be -- especially November and December, we'll be lapping 2021. That's our first, I would say, significant price inflation period. So that's why it's going to be a little bit tougher comps for us, we believe, the last two months of this year. Our rent for price, we're thinking it will be in the single -- mid-single digits, low to mid-single digits will -- looks like what the rent will be heading into 2023.

Operator

Our next question comes from Chris Snyder with UBS. Please state your question.

Chris Snyder
Analyst at UBS Group

So, in the past, the company has spoken to an ability to hold North American High-Touch gross margins. So, does the fact that 2022 is running a bit harder than expected change that at all? Should we expect maybe some slight easing or normalization lower in 2023?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. Maybe let's just talk about philosophy here, and Dee, if you want to add to it again. I think that we -- as Dee mentioned, there have been some tailwinds that are probably modest and might come back -- drop down a little bit. I think the overall algorithm hasn't changed at all. There's been a lot of messiness the last two years. Obviously, we had deflated GP given all the pandemic product and challenges with that, which was all the right things, and right things to do to serve our customers.

And now you're seeing sort of the normal GP with probably a little bit of tailwinds that may bleed off. But the algorithm is still the same. We're going to -- our plan is to grow faster than the market in the High-Touch model, 400 to 500 basis points, to have consistent GP and slight SG&A leverage as we go forward. And that's the algorithm for the High-Touch that's the survey models exactly the same as well.

Chris Snyder
Analyst at UBS Group

Appreciate that. Thanks for all the color. And then my follow-up on that outgrowth in the U.S. So obviously, the company raised the target to 400 to 500 bps, and its really substantially above kind of the pre-COVID run rate for the business. But I guess my question is, year-to-date, the outgrowth is running in the 700 or so bp range. When we think about that compression from, say, 700 down to 400 or 500, what does that reflect? Is it just maybe some level of conservatism? Is it the fact that maybe 2022 is seeing outsized pricing versus the market? Or that some -- maybe some of the product availability share gains that the company has realized is going away? What's that kind of delta, that compression back? Thank you.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. I mean it's a great question. So I think we mentioned this at Investor Day, but just to put maybe a finer point on it. When we look at what we get from a share gain perspective, we're looking at cause and effect for the actions that we take. This year is higher, obviously, than our target. And we've actually been able to determine that we think some of that might be availability-related just having product when others didn't. And some of that becomes sticky, as we've mentioned before. But when we look at the 400 to 500 basis points, that's looking at the actions we take around merchandising and marketing and seller coverage so effectiveness and keep stock to drive share gain, and that's where that number comes from. So, we've had a little bit of benefit, we think, this year that's due just to having a better execution around the supply chain than maybe others have had.

Operator

Our next question comes from Christopher Glynn with Oppenheimer.

Christopher Glynn
Analyst at Oppenheimer

Thanks. Good morning. So D.G., building off the immediately prior question for Chris, I want to kind of bridge that to the medium customer discretely. The large customer is obviously a bigger revenue base, but you have lower share there. You're doing 20% on 20%, and a lot of your capabilities do seem to be ramping as you've hit on some nice algorithms. And you have a long-term CAGR for the Endless Assortment. Should we start to think about medium customer along those lines? Can you hold the 20% with that lower share demographic?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

What I would say is that we think we can grow midsized customers faster than large customers through the cycle. A lot of that has to do with the lower share we have, but also some of the actions we're taking are allowing us to acquire and penetrate midsized customers. Whether that's 20% or not, I won't comment on that. But I'll just -- if you recall, we were in the high 1.5 -- 1.8 billion number 10, 15 years ago, and we're going to break through 1.5 billion here in the next year or so, we think. And so we're getting back to where we were, but there's still a long ways to go. So we do feel comfortable that there's going to be faster outgrowth of midsized customers than there are for.

Christopher Glynn
Analyst at Oppenheimer

Okay. And then just to revisit the gross margin algorithm. You had the 37% target in 2025 that was based on a 30% -- or a 30 basis point kind of tiny mix impact over the interim based on kind of a 37.3% this year. Should we just shift that algorithm thinking about the multiyear target?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Are you talking about the GP mix [Indecipherable]?

Christopher Glynn
Analyst at Oppenheimer

Yes. Using the minus 30 basis points as the driving force, and maybe you want to shift my thoughts relative to that.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Not necessarily. I think the only thing that's probably changed on a consolidated basis is the yen continues to depreciate, but that's going to impact on the top line. The GP rate should be the same algorithm that we've discussed.

Operator

Our next question comes from Patrick Baumann with JPMorgan. Please state your question.

Patrick Baumann
Analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove

Can you hear me?

Operator

Yes.

Patrick Baumann
Analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove

Sorry about that. So, you mentioned product mix as a favorable factor in the quarter year-over-year. Can you elaborate on that at all? I thought we'd move past kind of the pandemic versus non-pandemic stuff. So, I'm just wondering what that might be now related to?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

That is true, but don't forget that the pandemic stuff that was also safety equipment, which is a significant piece of our business, and we continue to sell more safety. But the other piece is that we're also selling a whole lot more technical product. And technical product, that's also a product mix for us. And generally, those SKUs have a little bit better margin rate for us.

Patrick Baumann
Analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove

I'm sorry. What are some examples of that, technical product? What is that?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Material handling products, things that are more technical, help in manufacturing processes, pieces and parts as it relates to assembly lines and things like that are the more technical product. When we say safety product, I think a lot of people think about vest and gloves and things of that nature. So, these are more products that are utilized or adjacent to manufacturing.

Patrick Baumann
Analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove

Do you view that piece of the expansion that you're seeing as more sustainable? Like is that a function of like maybe some of your remerchandising efforts or anything else? Or is that temporary?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Absolutely. You hit it on the head. Our remerchandising efforts are making sure that those products are much easier for our customers to find and are helping them solve their business problems.

Patrick Baumann
Analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove

Okay. And my follow-up is on Zoro. Can you give a sense of how fast you think that market for Endless Assortment, that, that business model is growing in the U.S.? The Zoro growth in kind of the 27% range this quarter, obviously very strong. Just curious like how you think that market itself is growing. It's obviously taking share from, like, I think, traditional distribution. But I don't really have a good sense of how fast it's growing?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. I mean we don't -- we think that market is growing similar to what the whole market is growing, which would be sort of low double digits, 10% to 13% in the quarter is kind of the market growth that we saw.

Operator

And our next question comes from Nigel Coe with Wolfe Research. Please state your question.

Nigel Coe
Analyst at Wolfe Researdh

Yes, thanks. Good morning, everyone. So, I'm guessing the mix of -- heat manufacturing has grown high 20s. Light manufacturing, mid-20s. Commercial, up low 20s. Government, up mid-teens. I'm guessing that -- you talk about technical products and payable mix. I'm guessing that's what comes down to. But I do want to go back to the -- this kind of mix or temporary kind of gross margin benefit. Did you say 25 bps, Dee? Did I get that right?

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

No. What were you -- you're talking about how much the price/cost versus...

Nigel Coe
Analyst at Wolfe Researdh

Yes. That's just the temporary supplier negotiation benefit.

Dee Merriwether
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at W.W. Grainger

Yes. Well, I noted was the U.S. over make year-over-year was about 125 basis points, and I said about half of that -- roughly half of that, so call it, 50 basis points -- 50 so basis points is what we're saying is the price/cost favorability that we believe will normalize heading into...

Nigel Coe
Analyst at Wolfe Researdh

50 basis points. Okay. So about $20 million. Okay. Got it. That makes a lot more sense. And then just thinking about your sort of APAC supply chain, we're seeing some big movements in currencies, the Chinese yuan. So, to the extent that you still manufacture -- sorry, source white label products from China, given the move in the yuan, given the move in ocean freight rates, what kind of benefit do you realize? Or does that benefit get fully captured by your suppliers?

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

So, what I would say is that as we think about next year, as we think about any year, we try to think about the total cost we're going to see and the -- make sure we're pricing the market and get the best cost we can get. In many ways, those cost improvements will be embedded in price/cost because we will understand how those movements, and everybody else is going to have similar movements. The portion of product that comes from China is actually pretty similar across major competitors today. And so, we don't think we are disadvantaged or advantaged necessarily on that. So, we would expect that to sort of flow through in sort of normal ways from the competitive environment.

Operator

Thank you. And we have reached the end of the question-and-answer session. I will now turn the call over to D.G. Macpherson for closing remarks.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at W.W. Grainger

All right. Thanks for joining us today. We really appreciate you being on the call. As we said, we're certainly happy with the quarter, probably happier with sort of our longer-term ability to consistently gain share and do it in a profitable way and feel really good about the things we're doing in -- as we face into an uncertain market.

I hope all of you have a great weekend and a great rest of the year and look forward to talking to you in 2023. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks].

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