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Newell Rubbermaid honored for innovation

BY HBSDealer Staff

Newell Rubbermaid was recognized by Consumer Goods Technology magazine as the "2011 Most Innovative Company."

Newell Rubbermaid was selected for the award by industry peers based on multiple innovative new product launches in 2010 and 2011. Among them, the Rubbermaid Commercial Products Hygen Clean Water System, Calphalon, the Lenox Bi-Metal Speed Slot Hole Saw.

Each year the award honors the consumer goods company that best demonstrates excellence in driving growth through product and process innovation.

Newell Rubbermaid is the parent company of a variety of brands, including Irwin Tools, Lenox and Shur-Line. 

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Fastenal sees strong sales and earnings growth

BY Ken Clark

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal Co. reported sales and earnings gains both in excess of 20% in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The company’s net sales increased 20.4% to $726.7 million, while net earnings increased 29.1% to $96.8 million.

The distributor and retailer of specialty building products and fasteners slowed down its aggressive store growth plans, but still opened 94 stores in the first three quarters. Meanwhile, the company’s vending machine initiative, where Fastenal machines are placed in factory locations to distribute key products to workers, continues to grow rapidly.

The company previously announced plans to open 150 to 200 stores in 2011, which would have been an annualized growth rate of 6% to 8%. The company now expects to open 115 to 125 total news stores in 2011, an increase of 4.6% to 5%. In 2012, the growth rate is expected to be 4% to 6%. 

The company had 2,584 stores at the end of the quarter.

The trimmed-down growth rate is in keeping with a metric that Fastenal follows closely: the Purchasing Manufacturers Index, a composite index of economic activity in the manufacturing sector, published by the Institute for Supply Management. The figure was 51.6 in September 2011, compared with 55.3 in September 2010.

The importance of vending machines as a distribution tool is growing, the company said. 

The number of vending machines installed in the third quarter were 5,732. The number has grown rapidly, up from 4,009 in the second quarter, and up from 148 in the first quarter of 2009. Percent of total net sales to customers from vending machines increased accordingly to 13.3% in the third quarter.

"We have made significant progress in the development of automated solutions (industrial vending) for our customers," according to the company’s statement. "We believe these solutions have the potential to be transformative to industrial distribution."

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Obituary: Wallace F. “Wally” Taylor

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wallace F. "Wally" Taylor died Sept. 22 at the age of 84. Taylor was the founder and former owner of W.F. Taylor of Fontana, Calif. 

Known as Wally in the industry, Taylor is described as a pioneer in the formulation of adhesives for the floor covering industry with the advent of glue down carpet applications. His Taylor Co. also became a market force in tackless strip, hot melt tape and tool manufacturing. These product lines were eventually sold to other flooring accessory entities and are still sold today. 

Taylor served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and returned after his service and received his degree in chemistry from the University of Arizona.  He worked for several large adhesives manufacturers before forming the W.F. Taylor Co. in 1977. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter and several stepchildren and many grandchildren.

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