News

Chase Products aims at quality

BY Seth Mendelson

More than 90 years of “doing things right the first time” tends to pay off.

Just ask officials at the Chase Products Co., the Broadview, Ill.-based manufacturer of private label aerosol items that continues to produce robust sales and profit growth for themselves and their retailer partners as it closes in on the century mark in business.

Chase has long had a strong reputation in the industry as a company that does not cut corners when it comes to manufacturing products. The result has been a steady rise in sales, including double-digit unit and dollar volume growth over the last two years, the highest growth rate in company history.

“One of the reasons for this double-digit growth rate in the last two years was our success with ‘Made in America’ household cleaners to compete with China. We came out with 18 new aerosol products, Chase’s Home Value brand, for the dollar price point,” said Judy Albazi, Chase’s president and CEO. “There are other reasons too, including our great sales team and our consistency in the marketplace. We have some clients that have been with us for 60 years and have no hesitations in marketing products manufactured by our company. That means a lot to us.”

But private label can be a tricky business for manufacturers and retailers alike. While the category tends to pop during difficult economic periods, it can struggle when the economy gets stronger and consumers, especially those searching for quality, are willing to spend more money on the national brand choices. That often leaves retailers wondering just how far they want to go with a private-label or store-brand assortment.

“We know we have to make a statement that our products are just as good as the national brand equivalent,” Albazi said. “Private label is no longer just about having a much better price. Now it is about having a great price and great quality so that consumers will always consider all of the alternatives.”

Retailers, she said, must do their part too, noting that merchants must place the store brand product right next to the national brand equivalent so that consumers understand the price difference and can read the labels of both products.

Established in 1927, Chase Products initially manufactured and distributed insecticides and pesticides. In 1948, it was one of the first three companies granted a license by the Department of Agriculture to provide mosquito abatement solution in pressurized containers to protect American soldiers stationed in jungles overseas.

After that, Chase became the first to manufacture spray paint. Ed Seymour, founder of Seymour of Sycamore, based in Sycamore, Ill., had paint, a prototype spray gun, and a clever idea, and Carl Svendsen, founder of Chase Products, had a manufacturing plant equipped with aerosol filling equipment.

Things moved quickly after that venture. Company officials say that Chase went on to become the first company in the country to develop hair spray and the second to formulate and package spray snow. Other achievements included being the first company to package natural starch in aerosol form and to formulate and manufacture an antiperspirant deodorant in an aerosol can.

In 2011, Chase introduced Champion Sprayon Green World N products, the first full line of Environmental Protection Agency Safer Choice-certified continuous spray Jan-San products. Chase also provides its own national-brand equivalent formulas to wholesalers and retailers across the country and around the world, Albazi says. These products bear the Champion Sprayon name, or carry another of Chase’s nationally-recognized labels such as Champion’s Choice, Green World N, Chase’s Home Value, ProsALL, Kill Zone, Smooth Track, ColorSpray, Decorating Magic, or Santa.

All told, Chase manufactures and distributes around 600 SKUs at its factory in Broadview. Along with a distribution center in nearby LaGrange, Ill., the company operates more than 200,000 square feet of production/distribution space and employs about 100 workers. The product lines are for such categories as aerosol household products, spray paints, insecticides, automotive and bench sprays, personal care, and craft products. The company partners with more than 50 different retailers, ranging in size from single shops and small merchants to some of the largest retailers in the country, said Albazi, who has been with Chase Products for 43 years.

“I think what really got us on the right track was back in the 1980s when generic products started to become such a big deal and many were just terrible,” Albazi noted. “We came on the scene with products with national-brand equivalent quality and at a lower cost to the shopper. We were squarely positioned between the generics and the national brands and it gave consumers a legitimate choice to pick from.”

The future looks bright for the company, particularly as more retailers, and consumers, look for American-made products. “We think that a lot of consumers are searching for American-made merchandise and we are right in step with that philosophy,” Albazi added. “All of our raw materials are from the United States and that helps us a lot. Plus the new line of dollar store aerosols shows the industry our ability to innovate.”

So what is the goal? “We just want to get bigger as a company and better as a marketer and manufacturer,” Albazi said. “Over the years, we have done all we could to make this a great company and a company that every employee here can be proud of. And, we have done all we could to help our retail partners make more profit and build a better image with their customers. We are proud of what we have become.”
 

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Enabling patient-facing care: Pharmacists at the top of their licenses

BY David Orgel

Pharmacists still are waiting for the handcuffs to come off. That’s the consensus of industry leaders who are frustrated with the challenges of getting reimbursements for a wider range of services these professionals can perform. It’s a topic at the center of enabling patient care in community-based pharmacy.

“We talk about pharmacists being able to practice at the top of their license,” said CVS Health executive vice president of retail pharmacy and supply chain Kevin Hourican.

“What’s disappointing is that the regulations sometimes significantly lag [with] what the customers actually want.”

He pointed to point-of-care testing as a key area where pharmacists could rise to their full potential.

“A patient could come to a 24-hour pharmacy when a doctor isn’t available to have tests completed. There would be prescriber authority to be able to write for antibiotics, for example, for a positive strep throat test.”

Further, pharmacists could play bigger roles in helping patients determine if they need cholesterol medications, or hypertension medications, he said.

“We believe the pharmacist can play an even more important role in this space,” he said, especially given the convenient locations for patients.

Hourican emphasized that the industry is collaborating to make progress on this goal.

“We are working with many industry partners and NACDS to help advance forward improvements to select regulations, so we can serve the communities and our patients more appropriately.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Upping your inventory protection game

BY Del Williams
For retailers of such high-end consumer electronics as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, drones, digital cameras and fitness watches, the customer’s retail experience can be just as important as loss prevention. Often the look, feel and performance of a product on display in a store, including the ability to interact and fully experience features, such as menus and apps, can be crucial to a customer’s purchasing decision. 
 
Yet, retailers cannot let expensive merchandise walk out the door due to shoplifting or employee theft. Electronic loss prevention devices, which typically involve an alarm console, sensors and related accessories, are the ideal way to display this type of merchandise.
 
As an increasing number of new consumer electronics products hits the market, and retailers face competitive pressure to reduce costs and staffing, a greater array of options is further improving this category’s appeal in the industry.
 
“Customers need to interact with our latest smartphones to see what has changed and how the devices perform,” said Bill Jones, an AT&T regional director of asset protection. “But it is a balancing act between customer-product interaction and theft deterrence.”
 
According to Jones, who evaluates loss prevention system cost and effectiveness, in today’s competitive retail environment, how a product looks and feels when displayed can affect a retailer’s bottom line just as much as theft prevention.
 
“We want the focus to be on the product, rather than on the power and security cords,” Jones said.
 
Improving product presentation

Any electronic loss prevention device — whether it be an alarm console, sensor, pedestal stand, grippers, tethering or charging cable — should not overshadow the product itself or be cumbersome or difficult to maintain by employees. To meet this need, innovators offer a variety of loss prevention devices that secure electronic products without the mess and clutter.[pb]
 
A growing number of retailers are turning to such electronic merchandise display security systems as the Vantage II by Se-Kure Controls, a Franklin Park, Ill.-based manufacturer of retail product security devices. While most systems require separate wires for security and charging the electronic device it protects, this system utilizes a single wire to provide both security and power.  
 
“One of the things that drew us to our display security system is how nice, clean and modern it looked to have the one cord,” said Kevin Lasky, project manager at Austin, Texas-based Arch Telecom, a wireless retailer with 140 locations in 13 states. “There is no separate cable running up the side of the pedestal or coming out of the display to charge the phone. That was important to us.”
 
To facilitate customer-product interaction in stores, retailers can pair each smartphone with a retractable cord, so it can be pulled off its pedestal and easily viewed several feet away. When the shopper returns the phone to the pedestal, the cord retracts and a magnet enables ideal product positioning.
 
AT&T’s Jones said he also is impressed with the simplified, cleaner look of the single-cord approach. It also simplifies removal of electronic products to a more secure location each evening to prevent “smash and grab” robbery attempts.
 
“At the end of each day, we put all our devices in an inventory room, and then each morning we put them back on the display counters,” Jones said. “Having just one cord helps us close down and set back up faster.” According to Jones, Se-Kure Controls’ systems also are very sturdy and durable. He estimates that not having to repair or replace such items as the alarm box or power/security cords often can lead to significant savings annually. “In an organization as big as ours, it can add up to millions of dollars over time,” Jones said. 
 
For more info, visit se-kure.com.
 
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?