Newell Brands (formerly Newell Rubbermaid) wants to get its products into your drawers, your kitchen cabinets, and your workbench. The go-to company for men, women, and children makes housewares (Rubbermaid plastic products, Calphalon cookware), home furnishings (Levolor blinds), juvenile products (Graco), hair products (Goody), and office items (DYMO and Sharpie). Newell Brands sells its items to mass retailers (Target) and home and office supply stores (Staples). As a result of a more than $15 billion acquisition of consumer products giant Jarden in mid-2016, Newell Brands inherited popular products such as Bicycle Playing Cards, Mr. Coffee, Coleman, Jostens, Oster, Rawlins, Sunbeam, and Yankee Candle.
Newell Brands boasts a global operation. The company operates in more than 100 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. About 70% of the company's business comes from the US, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region generates just over 10% of sales. Latin America and the Asia Pacific region split nearly 15% of revenue, while Canada brings in the remainder of total sales.
Newell Brands operates its business through five core business segments: Home Solutions, Writing, Tools, Commercial Products, and Baby & Parenting.
The Home Solutions segment, which brings in nearly 30% of total sales, makes and distributes a wide range of consumer products - tubs, bins, containers, and other storage tools - under multiple brand names. It primarily targets the female head of household. Its indoor/outdoor organization items and food and home storage products are primarily sold under the Rubbermaid, Roughneck, and TakeAlongs names.
Newell Brands' Writing business, which generates 30% of revenue, makes writing instruments for use in business and at home. It markets its products directly to mass merchants, warehouse clubs, grocery/drug stores, office superstores, office supply stores, contract stationers, and travel retail and other retailers.
The Tools segment makes up 15% of sales, and includes hand tools and power tool accessories, industrial bandsaw blades, cutting tools for pipes and HVAC systems, and industrial labeling solutions. Commercial Products brings in another 15% of sales, and covers cleaning and refuse products, hygiene systems, material handling solutions, and medical and computer carts.
Newell Brands' Baby & Parenting segment, the smallest with just over 10% of sales, makes infant and juvenile products (such as swings, highchairs, car seats, strollers and play yards) sold under the Graco, Baby Jogger, Aprica, and Teutonia names.
Sales and Marketing
The office products maker sells its products in more than 100 countries through large mass merchandisers, such as discount stores, home centers, warehouse clubs, office superstores, commercial distributors, and e-commerce companies.
Newell Brands relies on the largest retailer in the world to help it peddle its products. Sales to Wal-Mart and its subsidiaries, which include Sam's Club, have slipped a bit in recent years. In 2015, however, the behemoth retailer generated 11% of consolidated net sales.
Revenue grew 3% from $5.73 billion in 2014 to $5.92 billion in 2015, thanks to growth in three of its segments: Baby & Parenting (13%), Home Solutions (8%), and Writing (3%). These segments in 2015 were aided by growth from North America and the Asia/Pacific region.
Despite the higher sales, net income dipped 7% from $379 million in 2014 to $350 million in 2015, mostly because the company spent more on SG&A expenses related to increased advertising and project renewal related costs.
Newell Brands has been making strategic cuts to dispose of under-performing brand and business lines. In 2014, the company discontinued its Endicia and Culinary electrics and retail businesses, which were part of its Writing division. Also in 2014, in effort to simplify its operations in the EMEA region, it closed a manufacturing and a distribution center, exited certain markets and product lines (including its baby and parenting products in nearly 20 EMEA countries), and ended its direct sales channels in more than 50 of the 120 countries in the region.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company has been pursuing strategic acquisitions to expand its product lines and significantly add to its revenue stream. In a sweeping move for the consumer goods industry, Newell Brands purchased Jarden for around $15 billion in mid-2016. The mega-deal gave the company access to popular brands such as Sunbeam and Oster appliances, Coleman outdoor gear, First Alert home safety products, Ball canning jars, Diamond matches and plastic cutlery, Loew-Cornell art supplies, K2 snowboards, and Bee and Bicycle brand playing cards. It estimates that the combined company will earn $16 billion in revenue.
Newell Brands made another important deal in late 2015, when it purchased Elmer's Brands for $600 million. Through the purchase, the company inherited popular brands Elmer’s, Krazy Glue, and X-Acto and significantly enhanced its Writing segment.
In late 2014, Newell Brands acquired Ignite Holdings' Contigo and Avex beverage container brands, with the purchase aimed at transforming the company into a larger, faster growing, more global, and more profitable company. That year it also acquired Baby Jogger Holdings to expand its line of activity strollers and accessories.
Previously in 2014, Newell Brands leaped into the durable beverage container market (think travel mugs and reusable water bottles) when it purchased Ignite Holdings, maker of the Contigo and Avex brands, for about $125 million. Later the same year it paid $83 million to strengthen the group with the purchase of bubba brands, maker of the 52-ounce Bubba Mug and 128-ounce Bubba Jug, from Zone Holdings.