Grainger's Internet sales hit $100 million Continuing to drive more sales through its Web-based businesses, W.W. Grainger Inc., Lake Forest, Ill., reported that sales through the Internet reached $100 million during the third quarter, up 233% from the same period a year ago.

Sales through the company's Web sites (FindMRO.com, Grainger.com, Grainger Auction, the OrderZone.com/Works.com partnership and TotalMRO.com) ended the quarter with an annualized run rate of about $385 million. Grainger now estimates sales from all its Web businesses in 2000 will be $350 million to $400 million.

"We expect our Internet businesses to process sales of between $500 and $600 million in 2001," said Richard Keyser, Grainger's chairman and chief executive officer. "We continue to believe that the Internet will allow Grainger to increase its market share."

Grainger's Web sales have grown from $19 million in the second quarter of 1999.

GE Supply launches new Web site GE Supply, Shelton, Conn., recently powered up a new business-to-business Web site as a successor to its SupplyNet online ordering system. GE Supply's 250,000 electrical and voice/data products are available for purchase directly through the site.

The site, gesupply.com, also has incorporated some new features to ease the purchasing process. For example, QuickPix is a patent-pending system that lets users buy conduit by simply choosing type, diameter and number of 10-feet lengths. QuickPix has similar features for branch circuit breakers, rigid conduit and fittings, stranded circuit wire and solid circuit wire. QuickPix then adds the order directly to the user's shopping cart and prices it.

Other features let customers establish new credit accounts through the site or ask questions of GE Supply's team of technical experts.

Go Controls merges with SupplyWave Go Controls, a Denver-based provider of project management tools for the electrical construction field, has merged with SupplyWave.com, Salt Lake City.

SupplyWave, a developer of software that integrates distributors' back-office systems such as pricing, quotations, inventory management and shipment tracking, will work with Go Controls to customize Web-accessible business management systems for users of the Go Controls system.

According to Go Controls' president, Larry Fletcher; and Keith Denning, SupplyWave's director of business development, the companies will take on the SupplyWave.com name in 2001.

September housing starts match August Privately owned housing starts in September 2000 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,530,000. This is virtually unchanged from the revised August rate of 1,525,000, but is 6% below the same month a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Single-family housing starts nationwide in September were at a rate of 1,233,000, which was 1% below the August figure of 1,249,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five or more units was 262,000.

During the first nine months of 2000, the number of housing units started was 1,232,300. This figure was 4% below the 1,277,500 units started in the same period in 1999.