CONSUMERS UNION OF UNITED STATES INC

Consumers Union of United States (CU) inspires both trust and fear. Best known for publishing Consumer Reports magazine, the independent not-for-profit organization also serves as a consumer watchdog through other print publications and the Web (ConsumerReports.org). Its subscription site rates products ranging from candy bars to cars. CU tests and rates thousands of products annually through its National Testing and Research Center. CU accepts no advertising and derives income from the sale of Consumer Reports and other services, and from non-commercial contributions, grants, and fees. CU traces its roots to 1926, when engineer Frederick Schlink organized a "consumer club" to rate products.

Geographic Reach

CU's magazines, websites, and newsletters have a combined subscription base of more than 8 million.

At its headquarters in Yonkers, New York, CU houses the Testing and Research Center, which consists of 50 labs and offices. The organization also has an Auto Test Center in Connecticut; and three advocacy offices, in Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; and San Francisco, California.

Operations

CU testifies before legislative and regulatory entities and files lawsuits on behalf of consumers. The organization is governed by an 18-member board. Board members are elected by CU members and meet three times a year.

Sales and Marketing

The company's major industry markets include energy, health care, media, and safety.

Financial Performance

CU reported revenue of $253.19 million in fiscal 2012, which was a slight increase compared to the previous year due to increased subscription, newsstand, and other products sales.

Strategy

To preserve its independence, CU does not permit its ratings or comments to be used commercially.

In addition to its Consumer Reports publication, CU publishes ShopSmart, a magazine aimed at women who want a quick read on consumer items such as food, beauty products, and home and yard products. CU also covers health information through its ConsumerReportsHealth.org website and the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. It has a presence in the blogging world with Consumerist.com, which provides snarky coverage of retail markups and shopper complaints. Rounding out its portfolio of offerings, the organization delivers ratings of product categories to smart phones via its Consumer Reports Mobile service.

CU implemented cost-cutting measures in 2012 in order to reduce operating losses and position the organization for a return to operating profitability.

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CONSUMERS UNION OF UNITED STATES INC


101 Truman Ave
Yonkers, NY 10703-1057
Phone: 1 (914) 378-2000
Fax: 1 (914) 3782904
www.consumersunion.org

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private Non Profit
  • President and CEO: James Guest
  • President and CEO: James Guest
  • Director Policy Outreach and Southwest Office: Reggie James

Major Office Locations

  • Yonkers, NY

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