Newell Rubbermaid opens Design Center in Michigan
Newell Rubbermaid opened a 40,000-sq.-ft. Design Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a move it says will boost its numerous brands.
"The opening of our new Design Center represents another step forward in our ambition to become a design- and innovation-led company," said CEO and president Michael Polk. "Our pipeline of new products is strengthening, and with the Design Center now operational, we will further the development of new ideas that distinguish our brands in the marketplace. Newell’s new Design Center is a great example of our Growth Game Plan in action."
The facility is made up of a large, open studio space where designers can easily collaborate, as well as immersion labs for each of the company’s business segments, where design and marketing teams can evaluate and conceptualize product prototypes. An on-site model shop provides space to build, test and paint new designs, and a usability lab will enable the newly created usability team to interact with consumers and end-users to create better product experiences. A professional photography studio rounds out the lineup of amenities.
"We have conversations with millions of consumers through our products every day, and through great design and innovation we will elevate these conversations to a new level," said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid’s chief design and research & development officer. "Our new Design Center brings together all the disciplines in design and innovation under one roof to collaborate across our entire portfolio of great brands."
In its finished state and at full capacity, the facility will host approximately 100 professionals.
Stanley launches Build Your America Contest
Stanley Tools’ Build Your America Contest isn’t your average seasonal affair. Having opened May 15, the contest will be accepting submissions all the way through Dec. 31, 2014 to name an eventual winner in March of 2015.
The slow pace of the initiative matches the driving sentiment behind it: that through a slow and earnest effort, communities are built from the ground up using local resources and ingenuinty.
Build Your America, which puts the spotlight on American-made hand tools, will ultimately award $10,000 to a charitable organization, non-profit or local government agency with a good idea for a neighborhood improvement project. Stanley will also donate tools in support of the project.
“This year alone Stanley Tools is introducing hundreds of new tools, some the world has never seen before,” said Jon Michael Adinolfi, construction and DIY president of Hand Tools & Storage. “We are building millions of tools in the United States with global materials. America is the place where we founded Stanley in 1843, and ever since we have built our company on the American values of reliability, quality, and innovation. We are continuing that tradition as we design, innovate, and manufacture tools hardworking people all over the world count on day in, day out.”
Five finalists will be selected next January, with a Grand Prize winner determined in Februray and announced in March. By next spring or sumnmer, the community project will be underway.
Entrants can visit the Build Your America website to submit a brief essay summarizing their proposed projects. They can also enter the contest by scanning a QR code at some retail locations where Stanley tools are sold.
Stanley is also partnering with Minor League Baseball to sponsor "Stanley Build Your America Nights" at games with the New Britain Rock Cats, Charlotte Knights, and the Kane County Cougars. The games will feature Stanley tool giveaways and more.
Valspar’s Q2 sales up 9.6%
On the brink of further growth given its recent debut with Ace’s Paint Studio concept, Valspar made solid gains in the second fiscal quarter of 2014.
Net sales of $1.13 billion reflected a year-over-year increase of 9.60% for the quarter ended April 25. The boost was carried mainly by the Coatings segment, which was up 12%; the Paints segment was also up 8%.
Net income came in at about $86.0 million, an 11.8% jump from last year’s net of $76.9 million.
“We are pleased to report another strong quarter of volume and sales growth from both our Coatings and Paints segments,” said chairman and CEO Gary Hendrickson. “We are successfully executing our growth plans by integrating acquisitions, scaling new business wins and improving productivity. These efforts are evident in our results as sales for the first half of the fiscal year increased 9% and adjusted diluted EPS is up 17%. We remain focused on executing these initiatives to achieve our full year sales and earnings growth objectives.”