The Newell Rubbermaid Story
Newell Rubbermaid completed its acquisition of Elmer’s Products, Inc. from an affiliate of Berwind Corporation, a family-owned investment management company. Elmer’s, whose brands include Elmer’s®, Krazy Glue®, and X-Acto®, is the leading provider of activity-based adhesive and cutting products that inspire creativity in the classroom, at home, in the office, in the workshop and at the craft table.
Newell Rubbermaid completed its first major acquisitions since 2008, with the additions of Contigo®, bubba brands® and Baby Jogger®, representing tremendous opportunities to strengthen the company’s growth agenda and drive its Growth Game Plan strategy into action.
Newell Rubbermaid opened its state-of-the-art Design Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., making a significant commitment to create a brand-led company famous for innovation, design and product performance. The Design Center brings together all the disciplines in design and innovation – including graphic and industrial design, prototyping, usability, color, material and trend analysis – under one roof to collaborate across our entire portfolio of great brands.
Newell Rubbermaid implemented the Growth Game Plan, a new multi-year corporate strategy to accelerate into a bigger, faster growing, more global and more profitable company. Newell Rubbermaid is driving the Growth Game Plan into action through a brand-led strategy, a commitment to superior products and differentiated high-impact innovation, supported by an executional powerhouse on the ground in countries around the world.
Michael B. Polk joined Newell Rubbermaid in July as president and CEO. With a proven record of growing global brands, driving change, and delivering superior financial performance at leading consumer products organizations, he is building on Newell Rubbermaid’s successful transformation to accelerate global growth. He has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since 2009.
The company continued its acquisition strategy with the addition of Aprica Kassai, a Japanese maker of strollers, car seats and other children's products, to its portfolio of global brands. Newell Rubbermaid's new global headquarters building opened in Atlanta in the summer of 2008 – consolidating numerous brands and functions under one roof, enabling greater collaboration and a common culture.
Newell Rubbermaid acquired DYMO, a global leader in on-demand labeling solutions. The company expanded its presence in this market with the 2006 purchase of CardScan business card scanners.
Mark Ketchum was named president and CEO. Under his leadership, the company successfully transformed its business model to generate sustainable growth through consumer-driven innovation, branding and marketing. The tagline “Brands That Matter™” was added to the company logo to emphasize this change.
The company welcomed the Lenox brand with the purchase of American Saw & Manufacturing Company, a leading manufacturer of linear edge power tool accessories, hand tools and band saw blades for the professional user.
The 2002 acquisition of American Tool Companies added globally recognized Irwin, Vise-Grip and Marathon brands to Newell Rubbermaid's portfolio.
The company created the world's broadest assortment of writing products with the purchase of Gillette's stationery products business, including Paper Mate and Liquid Paper. The acquisition also included the Parker and Waterman brands, the most global of the company's brands to date, positioning Newell Rubbermaid in the luxury writing instruments category.
The company made the most significant acquisition of its history by purchasing Rubbermaid, a leading manufacturer of high-quality and innovative home, commercial, juvenile and infant products, including the Rubbermaid, Graco, and Little Tikes brands. The deal doubled the size of the company and the company changed its name to Newell Rubbermaid.
Newell's cookware family expanded into the gourmet channel with the acquisition of Calphalon Corporation, marketed primarily to upscale retailers and department stores. The company also purchased Panex, the number one cookware maker in South America.
Newell strengthened its position in the window treatment market with the acquisition of Kirsch, a leading manufacturer and distributor of drapery hardware and custom window coverings. The company also added Rolodex and Eldon to the Office Products division.
Returning to its roots, Newell purchased Levolor, a leader in the window treatment industry. The company entered the beauty and style category by purchasing Goody hair care accessories, which included Ace men's grooming accessories.
Newell entered the office supplies business with the 1991 acquisition of W.T. Rogers and the 1992 purchase of Sanford, a leading manufacturer and marketer of writing instruments.
The company entered the cookware market with the purchase of Mirro Corporation, followed by WearEver and Rema in 1988.
The Newell Company went public in 1972, opening on the NASDAQ at $28 per share. In 1979, Newell moved to the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the NWL symbol. Dan Ferguson, center, and William Cuthbert, right, watch as the first NWL trade appears on the ticker tape.
The Newell Company went public in 1972, opening on the NASDAQ at $28 per share.
Dan Ferguson was named President in 1965. Using his growth-by-acquisition strategy, Newell grew from a small, one-category private company to a powerful hardware and housewares company that catered to large national retail chains with dozens of brands. Over 70 acquisitions in 30 years!
During World War II, Western Newell converted factories to assist with the war effort, earning the prestigious Army/Navy "E" award for excellence in wartime production. After the war, Western Newell saw immediate success in sales and manufacturing of drapery pin-on hooks, extension rods, sash rods, curtain holdbacks thanks to a deal with Kresge.
In 1921, the company purchased Barnwell Mfg. Co. in Freeport, Ill., 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.
In 1912, the company hired Ben Cuthbert to grow the struggling Canadian business and build relationships with the Woolworth Company, paving the way for Newell's mass merchandising strategy. As business boomed, the company built a new 15,000-square-foot facility in Ogdensburg, N.Y.
Newell Manufacturing distinguished itself by focusing on technology and production improvements. In 1908, the company boosted profits by investing in machines that produced curtain rods better and faster than any other manufacturer.
The story of Newell started in 1903 in Ogdensburg, N.Y., when the W.F. Linton Co., a manufacturer of metal curtain rods, defaulted on its loan. Prominent local businessman Edgar A. Newell purchased the company and renamed it the Newell Manufacturing Company.