|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2012)|
"Brands That Matter"
|Traded as||NYSE: NWL
S&P 500 Component
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
 Michael T. Cowhig, Chairman of the Board
|Products||Consumer and commercial products|
|Revenue||$5.9 billion (12 months, 31-12-2012)|
Newell Rubbermaid is an American worldwide marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of well-known brands including Rubbermaid food storage, home organization and refuse container products; Sharpie markers; Paper Mate, Parker and Waterman pens; Aprica and Graco children's products; Calphalon cookware and kitchen electrics; Irwin, Lenox and hilmor professional tools; Levolor window décor; and Goody hair care accessories.
In 1908, the company boosted profits by investing in machines that produced curtain rods better and faster than any other manufacturer.
The F. W. Woolworth retail chain became the first customer for Newell's bronze–plated curtain rods in 1916, making them the first Newell products to be distributed nationally. This marked the beginning of Newell's mass merchandising strategy. As the business grew, the company built a new 15,000-square-foot facility in Ogdensburg, N.Y.
The company purchased Barnwell Mfg. Co. of Freeport, Ill. in 1921, renaming it Western Newell Manufacturing Company. Freeport's access to railroad lines made it easier to ship products west. Kresge, the department store chain that later became Kmart, was one of Western Newell's larger accounts.
During World War II, Western Newell converted factories to assist with the war effort, earning the Army/Navy "E" award for excellence in wartime production.
Daniel C. Ferguson was named president in 1965 and developed a growth-by-acquisition strategy based on his intention to build a strong, multi-product company.
The Newell Company went public in 1972, opening on the NASDAQ at $28 per share. In 1974 they acquired EZ Paintr Corporation, then the world's largest maker of paint applicators. Newell was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol NWL in 1979.
In 1979, Newell moved into its first corporate headquarters in a historic former bank building in Freeport, Ill.
In 1983 the company entered the cookware market with the purchase of Mirro. In 1987, the company acquired Anchor Hocking Corporation, a specialty manufacturer of glassware, flatware, cookware and other products. The deal included the purchase of Amerock, a maker of cabinet hardware and window components.
In 1992, they acquired Sanford, a leading manufacturer and marketer of writing instruments, including the Sharpie and Expo brands. A year later, they acquired Levolor, a leading manufacturer and marketer of window treatments. Additionally, they entered the beauty and style category by acquiring Goody hair care accessories, which included Ace men’s grooming accessories.
In 1998 the company expanded cookware family with the purchase of Calphalon Corporation, a manufacturer of gourmet cookware marketed primarily to upscale retailers and department stores. The company also purchased Panex, the number one cookware maker in South America.
Newell Rubbermaid has been criticized in the UK for systematically closing British factories including those of Parker Pen, Berol, Record and Marples tools.
The Newell Rubbermaid Merger
In 1999, Newell Company acquired the Rubbermaid and Graco brand names in a megamerger deal worth $5.8 billion, and later renamed the combined firm Newell Rubbermaid. This was an acquisition ten times as big as the last biggest acquisition Newell had made before. This nearly doubled the company's size, and significantly increased Newell's portfolio of brands. According to the November 10, 2004 Frontline documentary series' "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" episode, Newell's chance to buy the Rubbermaid brand resulted from the original Rubbermaid corporation's bankruptcy and fire sale-style liquidation of its remaining assets. The original Rubbermaid had risen to enormous market share and profits by making Wal-Mart the near-sole distributor of its products—shifting away from a previous, years-long policy of diversifying its product distribution by using multiple retailers. At some point after it had become dependent upon Wal-Mart for almost all of its sales, Rubbermaid claimed that it needed to raise the retail price of its products by a small, single-digit percentage. Rubbermaid said that this price increase was needed to keep pace with operational costs and inflation, without sacrificing its legendary product quality. Despite Rubbermaid's insistence that it couldn't afford to stay in business without it, Wal-Mart—citing its strict commitment to its "everyday low price" (EDLP) policy, and language in their contract with Rubbermaid allowing it to control pricing—refused Rubbermaid's request. Rubbermaid's business collapsed shortly thereafter. Most of its physical assets had to be sold off at discount prices to satisfy its creditors; its biggest remaining asset was the Rubbermaid brandname itself.
However, the merger in 1999 was dubbed as the 'merger from hell' by Business Week magazine. Newell shareholders lost 50 percent of their value in the two years following the closing and Rubbermaid shareholders lost 35 percent. In 2002, Newell wrote off $500 million in goodwill.
In 2000, Newell Rubbermaid acquired the world’s broadest assortment of writing products with the purchase of Gillette's stationery products business, including the Paper Mate, Parker, Waterman and Liquid Paper brands.
In 2002, they acquired American Tool Companies, adding the globally recognized and powerful Irwin, Vise-Grip, and Marathon brands to their portfolio.
In 2005, the company acquired DYMO, a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing on-demand labeling solutions. The company expanded its presence in this market with the 2006 purchases of CardScan business card scanners and Mimio interactive whiteboard products along with the 2007 acquisition of postage leader Endicia and its Picture-it-Postage brand.
In 2005, Mark Ketchum was named president and CEO and the company transformed their focus toward consumer-driven innovation and marketing. The company added the slogan of "Brands That Matter" to their logo to emphasize the change.
In February 2008, Newell Rubbermaid acquired Aprica Kassai, a Japanese maker of strollers, car seats and other children’s products and Technical Concepts, a leader in the away-from-home restroom market. The company created a global headquarters in metro Atlanta to consolidate numerous brands and functions under one roof for greater collaboration and a common culture.
In July 2011 Michael B. Polk joined the company as president and CEO. After eight years at Unilever, he had a record of successfully instituting change, enhancing performance and delivering improved financial results.
In 2012 the company implemented the Growth Game Plan, a new long-term strategy to make Newell Rubbermaid bigger, more dynamic and more profitable.
On July 21, 2014, Newell Rubbermaid Inc. said it would pay $308 million for a Chicago-based maker of reusable water bottles and thermal mugs, Ignite Holdings LLC.
- Dymo Industrial
- Rubbermaid Commercial Products
- Rubbermaid Healthcare
- Technical Concepts
- Paper Mate
Baby and parenting
- Ashland Hardware
- "Newell Rubbermaid Announces New Organization and Leadership Team to Accelerate Growth Game Plan". Newell Rubbermaid.
- "Newell Rubbermaid Reports Solid Fourth Quarter 2012 Results and Provides 2013 Guidance". Newell Rubbermaid.
- "Contact Us." Newell Rubbermaid. Retrieved on January 5, 2009.
- "Newell Rubbermaid: Why It'll Bounce Back". Business Week. Oct 19, 2003. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- Kass, Arielle (2011-06-24). "Newell Rubbermaid names new CEO". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
- Ng, Serena (2014-07-21). "Newell Rubbermaid to Buy Maker of Reusable Water Bottles". Retrieved 2014-07-21.
- Brands and Products