Wahl Clipper has built a business providing products that groom globally. The company makes and markets electric hair clippers, massagers, beard trimmers, and other accessories. While it sells to the professional services and veterinarian markets, Wahl also peddles its products through retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon.com, and others, to reach consumers nationwide and globally. The grooming products giant also operates four operating divisions: Professional, Home Products, Animal, and International. Founded in 1919 by Leo Wahl, the family-run manufacturer is headed by Wahl's grandson, Greg, as its president and CEO.
Illinois-based Wahl currently employs some 2,000 people worldwide (800 in the US) in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the US. Wahl products are available in more than 165 countries worldwide.
Sales and Marketing
The company serves several sectors, such as cosmetologists and barbers, pet owners, professional pet groomers, farmers, veterinarians, and domestic and international consumers. It sells its products through its online store, e-tailers, in-store retailers, retailers in Mexico, and beauty and barber distributors.
The grooming products company runs four operating divisions: Professional, Home Products, Animal, and International.
Wahl has boosted promotion of its home haircutting kits. It's also pushing newer products, such as its Wahl Lithium Ion Grooming Kit that is said to be the first grooming tool to be powered by rechargeable lithium ion. The fastest-growing segment also rolled out men's-specific items in 2013 and in 2014 the PRO ION Clipper with Lithium Ion, BravMini+, and KM5 Professional 2 Speed Clipper products.
Wahl has concentrated on increasing its presence overseas. In recent years the company has opened subsidiaries in Brazil, Russia, and South Africa. In 2011 Wahl established a subsidiary in Mumbai to market its products in the highly populated country. India presents hurdles for Wahl as it plans to spend time upfront educating stylists -- seeking early adopters to its products -- before it launches into selling and even manufacturing in the country.
It's also expanding its footprint in the US by recently completing a 124,000-sq.-ft. expansion at its primary Sterling, Illinois, plant.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Besides strategically adding subsidiaries to secure its foothold globally, Wahl has grown internationally in recent years through acquisitions. Its purchase of UK-based Kim Laube & Company added pet clippers to its products portfolio and its Swenson Canada buy brought grooming appliances.