Our businesses include the production of pressure-sensitive materials, office products and a variety of tickets, tags, labels and other converted products. Some pressure-sensitive materials are sold to label printers and converters that “convert” the materials into labels and other products through embossing, printing, stamping and die-cutting. Some are sold by us in converted form as printable media, tapes and reflective sheeting. We also manufacture and sell a variety of office products and other converted products and other items not involving pressure-sensitive components, such as binders, organizing systems, markers, fasteners, business forms, as well as tickets, tags, radio-frequency identification (“RFID”) inlays and labels, and imprinting equipment for retail and apparel manufacturers.
A pressure-sensitive, or self-adhesive, material is one that adheres to a surface by press-on contact. It generally consists of four elements: a face material, which may be paper, metal foil, plastic film or fabric; an adhesive, which may be permanent or removable; a release coating; and a backing material to protect the adhesive against premature contact with other surfaces, and which can also serve as the carrier for supporting and dispensing individual labels. When the products are to be used, the release coating and protective backing are removed, exposing the adhesive, and the label or other face material is pressed or rolled into place.
Because self-adhesive materials are easy to apply without the need for adhesive activation, the use of self-adhesive materials often provides cost savings compared with other materials that require heat- or moisture-activated adhesives. When used in package decoration applications, the visual appeal of self-adhesive materials often helps foster increased sales of the product on which the materials are applied. Self-adhesive materials provide consistent and versatile adhesion and are available in a large selection of materials in nearly any size, shape and color.
We are subject to certain risks referred to in “Risk Factors” (Part I, Item 1A) and “Legal Proceedings” (Part I, Item 3) below, including those normally attending international and domestic operations, such as changes in economic or political conditions, currency fluctuations, exchange control regulations and the effect of international relations and domestic affairs of foreign countries on the conduct of business, legal proceedings, and the availability and pricing of raw materials.
No single customer represented 10% or more of our net sales or trade receivables at year end 2009 and 2008. However, our ten largest customers at year end 2009 represented approximately 13% of trade accounts receivable and consisted of six customers of our Office and Consumer Products segment and four customers of our Pressure-sensitive Materials segment. The financial position and operations of these customers are monitored on an ongoing basis. United States export sales are not a significant part of our business. Backlogs are not considered material in the industries in which we compete.
Our reporting segments are:
•Retail Information Services
•Office and Consumer Products
In addition to our reporting segments, we have other specialty converting businesses comprised of several businesses that produce specialty tapes and highly engineered labels including RFID inlays and labels, and other converted products.
Pressure-sensitive Materials Segment
The Pressure-sensitive Materials segment manufactures and sells Fasson-, JAC-, and Avery Dennison-brand pressure-sensitive materials, Avery-brand graphics and graphic films, Avery Dennison-brand reflective products, and performance polymers. The business of this segment is generally not seasonal, except for certain outdoor graphics and reflective products and operations in Western Europe. Pressure-sensitive materials consist primarily of papers, plastic films, metal foils and fabrics, which are coated with Company-developed and purchased adhesives, and then laminated with specially coated backing papers and films. They are sold in roll or sheet form with either solid or patterned adhesive coatings, and are available in a wide range of face materials, sizes, thicknesses and adhesive properties. These materials are sold to label printers and converters for labeling, decorating, fastening, electronic data processing and special applications on a worldwide basis.
Retail Information Services Segment
The Retail Information Services segment designs, manufactures and sells a wide variety of price marking and brand identification products for retailers, apparel manufacturers, distributors and industrial customers on a worldwide basis. The business of this segment is seasonal, with higher volume generally in advance of the fall (back-to-school), spring, and holiday shipping periods.
Our brand identification products include woven and printed labels, graphic tags and barcode tags. Our information management products include price tickets, carton labels, RFID tags and printing applications. Services include supply chain and security management, and retail store efficiency. Our solution enabling products include barcode printers, molded plastic fastening and application devices, and security management products.
Office and Consumer Products Segment
The Office and Consumer Products segment manufactures and sells a wide range of Avery-brand printable media and other products. The business of this segment is seasonal, with higher volume related to the back-to-school season.
This segment’s products are generally sold through office products superstores, mass market distributors, wholesalers and dealers. We manufacture and sell a wide range of Avery-brand products for office, school and home uses: printable media, such as copier, ink-jet and laser printer labels, related computer software, ink-jet and laser printer card and index products; and organization, filing and presentation products, such as binders, dividers and sheet protectors. We also offer a wide range of other stationery products, including writing instruments, markers, adhesives and specialty products under brand names such as Avery, Marks-A-Lot and HI-LITER. The extent of product offerings varies by geographic market.
Other specialty converting businesses
Other specialty converting businesses include our specialty tape, industrial, performance films and automotive products, business media, RFID and security printing businesses. These businesses manufacture and sell specialty tapes, highly engineered films, RFID inlays, pressure-sensitive postage stamps and other converted products. These businesses are generally not seasonal, except for certain automotive products due to plant shutdowns by automotive manufacturers.