Boston Warehouse executives are so enthused about the potential sales opportunities for stick goods that they consider the recent acquisition of the Farberware license for cleaning products to be the company’s “most significant achievement” in its 37-year-history.
The company is busily preparing a Farberware-branded line of cleaning products that will provide entrée to new channels of distribution, link it to a big-name brand, and allow it to innovate while adding a dose of fashion to a fairly staid category. Boston Warehouse has long been known for its whimsical and light-hearted housewares and tabletop items made from ceramic and resin. Its launch five years ago of Animal House, a line of animal-themed cleaning products, was a “game changer,” according to Jennifer Dwyer, vice president of product development and marketing, because it introduced the company to new materials and products and taught them that “the cleaning market was a viable market for the fun, whimsical products we’re known for.”
The company also recently acquired the Spotless Goddess brand of trendy cleaning items that have a feminine flair (think ruffled rubber gloves), launching that line at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago last year.
With the goal of expanding its cleaning business, Boston Warehouse began looking for a national brand that would enable it to be a player in the cleaning goods world, Dwyer said.
Farberware fit the bill. Well known and respected by consumers for its kitchen electrics, cookware and other housewares goods, the Farberware name presented a good opportunity in the complementary business of stick goods. Chief Operating Officer Chuck Hoffman believes this to be “the most dynamic opportunity Boston Warehouse has had in its 37-year-history of being in business. The Farberware Brand has one of the strongest name recognitions in our industry and we are very excited to partner with this brand.”
In designing the Farberware line, Boston Warehouse is hewing closely to the brand’s heritage. For example, chrome coloration will refer back to Farberware’s many stainless-steel products. A fashionable dose of color will be added to components like bristles and sponge heads, but this collection will not have the same whimsical flavor of some of the company’s other collections. “It’s a departure from what we’re known for, but definitely within our core competency,” Dwyer said.
The official launch of approximately 50 SKUs of brooms, mops, dust pan sets and household brushes will take place at the Housewares Show next year, according to Dwyer, but it will have a soft launch for select retailers before that. Boston Warehouse is targeting supermarkets, a new channel for the company, which is well-established in the specialty independent channel with its Boston Warehouse and Spotless Goddess brands.
Price points for the Farberware line will range from $2.99 to $29.99, but the sweet spot, Dwyer said, will be between $9.99 and $19.99.—Allison Zisko