Grainger shutters procurement subsidiary

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Lake Forest, Ill.--W.W. Grainger Inc., one of the most successful industrial suppliers on the Internet, confirmed Wednesday that it is closing its Material Logic subsidiary. The shutdown of Material Logic, which aimed to provide e-procurement services similar to those offered by Commerce One Inc. and Ariba Inc., will result in 178 layoffs and after-tax charges of $38 million. The unit was created in January, and Grainger had been seeking a partner to take a stake in the operation. Grainger said its b-to-b sales efforts through are not affected by the move.
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