Newell Brands is an American worldwide marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of brands including Rubbermaid food storage, home organization and reusable container products; Contigo and Bubba water bottles; Coleman outdoor products; Diamond matches; Sharpie, Expo Markers, PaperMate, Dymo, Elmer's, Krazy Glue, Mr. Sketch, Parker Pens, Uniball, Prismacolor, Rotring, Xacto, Waterman, Berol stationery products; Bicycle and Bee Playing Cards; Aprica, Nuk, Tigex, Babysun, Baby Jogger and Graco children's products; First Alert alarm systems; Calphalon cookware and kitchen electrics; Sunbeam, Rival, Crock-Pot, Holmes, FoodSaver, Oster, Osterizer, Mr. Coffee small kitchen appliances; Yankee Candle candles; and Goody hair care accessories.
The company's global headquarters was located immediately north of Atlanta in the Perimeter Center edge city. The company announced plans in 2016 to relocate HQ to New Jersey, United States.
The Newell Manufacturing Company was founded by Edgar Newell in Ogdensburg, New York, in 1903 as a manufacturer of metal curtain rods.
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 1997 the company acquired Kirsch, a leader in branded drapery hardware and custom window coverings.
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.
In 2016 Newell moved its corporate headquarters to Hoboken, NJ.
Newell Rubbermaid has been criticized in the UK for closing British factories, including those of Parker Pen (relocating them to Nantes, France and China) as well as toolmakers Berol, Record and Marples.
In August of 2017, Michael Polk of Newell Brands faced criticism on Twitter for serving on the American Manufacturing Council, at the behest of Donald Trump.
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. 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 brand name.
However, the merger in 1999 was dubbed as the "merger from hell" by Businessweek 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 2003, Newell Rubbermaid acquired American Saw and Manufacturing Company, a leading manufacturer of linear-edge power tool accessories, hand tools and band saw blades marketed under the Lenox brand.
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 the Atlanta metropolitan area 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.
On July 21, 2014, Newell Rubbermaid announced a $308 million acquisition of Ignite Holdings, a Chicago-based maker of reusable water bottles and thermal mugs.
On October 5, 2015, Newell Rubbermaid announced that it would acquire Elmer's Products, the makers of Elmer's glue, Krazy Glue, and X-Acto, amongst other brands, for $600 million. The company also announced plans to divest its window covering brands Levolor and Kirsch.
On December 14, 2015, Newell Rubbermaid announced that it would acquire Jarden for over $15 billion of cash and stock. The combined company will be known as Newell Brands, and 55% will be owned by Newell's shareholders. The combined company will have an estimated annual sales of $16 billion.
Newell's brands include: