Magla’s All-in-One and Pearlescent pad and covers are among the products esteemed by Seymour. “Herb Glatt has very specifically done a lot of work in the chemical side and coatings side, so there are products we haven’t enjoyed,” Proulx continues.
Magla, founded 40 years ago, is particularly proud that about eight out of every 10 of its products is patented, Jordan Glatt notes.
According to Proulx, Seymour won’t tamper with Magla’s manufacturing facilities. One of the keys to Seymour’s strength, he says, “is a tenured work force, a group of people who have worked for the company many years and are good at what they do.” Seymour runs three plants in Indiana.
The company has found an experienced work force at Magla. “You can’t transfer that strength,” Proulx says. “We’ll keep the skills in place.” The Reynosa facility, he adds, is beneficial as Seymour continues to penetrate the Mexican and Latin American markets.
Magla’s sales and marketing staff, which had handled cleaning products as well as laundry care, will remain in New Jersey as employees of Magla.
Seymour’s sales and marketing staff, based here, are taking responsibility for the acquired Magla line
Magla products involved in the purchase will be displayed in Seymour’s booth at the International Housewares Show in Chicago next month. Seymour has use of the Magla brand name through March 31, 1996, and will continue to ship Magla’s current product line until then. Eventually, Seymour will convert Magla products to the Seymour label, according to Proulx.
“We felt if any customers had planogram changes on a certain time frame, we wanted them to be able to make the transition on their time frame, not ours,” Proulx says of the extension.
“Obviously we can get consolidation faster than that, so if customers wanted to get Magla products quicker they could.”
As Seymour salespeople hit the stores, the underlying question is how planograms will change in reaction to the acquisition.
Many retailers are with-olding judgment until they can meet with company executives, either prior to or at the housewares show.
What industry sources do agree on is that–almost in spite of companies’ eagerness to be known as singlesource suppliers–retailers buy products, not labels.
In this respect, at least one competitor sees an underlying opportunity in the laundry-care marriage between Seymour and Magla.
“Everyone is able to make choices,” Ironees vice president Alan Lehrman says of buyers. “I don’t think someone should assume that because an account is purchasing from Magla, they should automatically go to Seymour.
“Retailers have a right to look at a program and assess where they would like to go.” Lehrman adds that his company has thrived on placing patented, innovative products, and will continue to do so.
At the same time, industry sources also see little reason for stores to reduce the space given Seymour/Magla as product labels begin to reflect the acquisition.
“Major retailers…need larger players to keep up with their growth to be in business,” offers Glatt. “I think the Kmarts of the world don’t want single-item vendors or ballplayers, they need substantial companies. This [purchase] allows Seymour to put the management behind them to support major retailers. There won’t be a loss of planogram space due to a competitor.”
Another acquisition under his belt, Norman Proulx has grand visions of the year 2000 and beyond, when Seymour’s customer service will include managing retail planograms filled with products and ideas pooled from Magla.
“There are more buyers buying more categories and if a product is not selling well, I want to be the one to say, we have to change it,” he says.