WD-40 Company is a global consumer products company dedicated to delivering unique, high value and easy-to-use solutions for a wide variety of maintenance needs of “doer” and “on-the-job” users by leveraging and building the brand fortress of the Company. The Company was founded in 1953 and its headquarters are in San Diego, California. For more than four decades, the Company sold only one product, WD-40®, a multi-purpose product which acts as a lubricant, rust preventative, penetrant, cleaner and moisture displacer. Over the years, the Company has developed the WD-40 product and acquired several brands worldwide as part of its strategy to build a fortress of brands that deliver a unique high value to end users.
In fiscal year 1996, the Company acquired the 3-IN-ONE® brand of general purpose and specialty maintenance products. The acquisition of the 3-IN-ONE brand provided the Company with an existing network of distribution in 17 countries, including several markets in which the WD-40 brand had not been sold. The Company used this distribution network to introduce the WD-40 brand to these markets and to add distribution channels in some of the markets that had been previously established.
In fiscal year 1999, the Company acquired the Lava® brand of heavy-duty hand cleaners, which is more than 100 years old and is well recognized by U.S. consumers. When the Lava brand was acquired, the Company identified that the Lava consumer and the WD-40 consumer shared similar characteristics. At the time of acquisition, the brand consisted of two sizes of bar soap and one size of liquid cleaner. Prior to the Company’s acquisition, the brand had been sold in a limited number of domestic trade channels, notably supermarkets and drug stores. Because of its heavy-duty characteristics, the Lava brand also has appeal to consumers who shop in hardware, automotive and mass retail chains.
In fiscal year 2001, the Company acquired the business, brand trademarks, patents and other tangible and intangible assets known as Global Household Brands. The acquisition included three principal brand trademarks, 2000 Flushes® automatic toilet bowl cleaners, X-14® automatic toilet bowl cleaners and hard surface cleaners and Carpet Fresh® rug and room deodorizers. The acquisition was made to move the Company forward in its fortress of brands strategy, while also providing economies of scale in sales, manufacturing, and administration. The Global Household Brands’ broker network and grocery business, combined with the Company’s do-it-yourself distribution, gave the Company growth potential for all brands across new trade channels.
Also in fiscal year 2001, the Company acquired the Solvol® brand of heavy-duty hand cleaners in Australia. The Company extended the brand by introducing liquid products, a benefit from the technology obtained in the acquisition of the Lava brand.
In fiscal year 2002, the Company completed the acquisition of the business, worldwide brand trademarks and other intangible assets of Heartland Corporation (“Heartland”). The principal brand acquired by the Company was the Spot Shot® brand, whose primary product was a carpet stain remover. The acquisition of this brand expanded the Company’s product offerings for homecare and cleaning products. The acquisition also included related Spot Shot products and a group of developing brands, which were subsequently sold to former employees of Heartland.
In fiscal year 2004, the Company purchased the 1001® line of carpet and household cleaners in the United Kingdom (“U.K.”). The Company acquired this line of products to gain a presence in the U.K. market and to facilitate an introduction of the Company’s Spot Shot and Carpet Fresh brand formulations through the use of an existing brand currently recognized by market consumers.
The Company is focused on and committed to innovation and renovation. The Company sees innovation and renovation as important factors to the long-term growth of its brands, and it intends to continue to work on future product, packaging and promotional innovations and renovations. The Company is also focused on expanding its current brands in existing markets with new product development. In fiscal year 2003, a new-product development team, known as Team Tomorrow, was created to support new product development and current product improvement for all of the Company’s brands. Since its inception, Team Tomorrow has made an innovation impact on most of the Company’s fortress of brands. Key innovations for the Company’s multi-purpose maintenance products include WD-40 Smart Straw®, WD-40 No-Mess Pen™, WD-40 Trigger Pro™, 3-IN-ONE No-Rust Shield™ and 3-IN-ONE Professional Garage Door Lube with Smart Straw™. In addition, the Company plans to launch a new product, Blue Works™, targeted towards the industrial channel in the U.S. during fiscal year 2010. Innovations under the Company’s homecare and cleaning products category include a non-aerosol Spot Shot trigger product, Spot Shot Pet Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator™, which is a “green,” non-toxic, biodegradable product; a four month anti-bacterial automatic toilet bowl cleaner (“ATBC”) under the 2000 Flushes brand; and a mildew stain remover under the X-14 brand. Additionally, Carpet Fresh and No Vac® products and formulations developed by Team Tomorrow have been launched internationally.
The Company’s strategic initiatives include: (i) expanding geographically in countries where end users continue to benefit from using the WD-40 brand; (ii) maximizing its position in the multi-purpose maintenance products segment by diverting a significant amount of its research and development resources from its homecare and cleaning products to its multi-purpose maintenance products and adjacent categories; (iii) developing its business through acquisitions, joint ventures and/or other strategic partnerships; and (iv) exploring the opportunities for the WD-40 brand and gaining a better understanding of consumer needs and how the brand can meet those needs.
The Company’s brands are sold in various locations around the world. Multi-purpose maintenance products are sold worldwide in markets such as North, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Rim, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Homecare and cleaning products are sold primarily in North America, the U.K., Australia and the Pacific Rim.
Multi-Purpose Maintenance Products
The WD-40 brand is a market leader among multi-purpose maintenance products and is sold as an aerosol spray, a non-aerosol trigger spray and in liquid form through retail chain stores, hardware stores, warehouse club stores,
automotive parts outlets and industrial distributors and suppliers. WD-40 is sold worldwide in markets such as North, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Rim, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. WD-40 has a wide variety of consumer uses in, for example, household, marine, automotive, construction, repair, sporting goods and gardening applications, in addition to numerous industrial applications.
The 3-IN-ONE brand consists of multi-purpose drip oil and spray lubricant products, as well as other specialty maintenance products. The drip oil is an entry-level lubricant with unique spout options that allow precise applications for small mechanisms and assemblies, tool maintenance and threads on screws and bolts. 3-IN-ONE Oil is the market share leader among drip oils for household consumers. It also has wide industrial applications in such areas as locksmithing, HVAC, marine, farming, construction and jewelry manufacturing. In addition to the drip oil line of products, the 3-IN-ONE brand also includes a professional line of products known as 3-IN-ONE Professional, which is a line of high quality, great value multi-purpose maintenance products. The high quality of the 3-IN-ONE brand and its established distribution network have enabled these products to gain international acceptance. 3-IN-ONE products are sold primarily in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia and Asia.
Homecare and Cleaning Products
The X-14 brand is a line of quality products designed for unique cleaning needs, from quick touch-ups to deep cleaning. X-14 is sold as a liquid mildew stain remover and two types of automatic toilet bowl cleaners. X-14 is sold primarily in the U.S. through grocery and mass retail channels.
The 2000 Flushes brand is a line of long-lasting automatic toilet bowl cleaners. 2000 Flushes is sold primarily in the U.S. and Canada through grocery and mass retail channels.
The Carpet Fresh brand includes powder and aerosol foam products. Carpet Fresh is sold primarily through grocery and mass retail channels in the U.S., U.K and Australia. In the U.K., Carpet Fresh is sold under the 1001 brand name. In Australia, Carpet Fresh is sold under the No Vac brand name.
The Spot Shot brand is sold as an aerosol carpet stain remover, a liquid trigger carpet stain and odor eliminator and a multi-purpose foam cleaner. The brand also includes environmentally friendly products such as Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator™ and Spot Shot Pet Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator which are non-toxic and biodegradable. Spot Shot products are sold primarily through grocery and mass retail channels, warehouse club stores and hardware and home center stores in the U.S. and Canada. Spot Shot products are also sold in the U.K. under the 1001 brand name.
The 1001 brand includes various homecare and cleaning products and is sold primarily through mass retail, grocery and home center stores in the U.K. The brand was acquired to introduce the Company’s other homecare and cleaning product formulations under the 1001 brand in order to expand the Company’s homecare and cleaning products business into the U.K. market. During fiscal year 2004, the Carpet Fresh and Spot Shot brands were introduced under the 1001 brand in the U.K. The Carpet Fresh No Vac formula was one of the first aerosol rug and room deodorizers in the U.K. market.
The Lava and Solvol brands consist of heavy-duty hand cleaner products which are sold in bar soap and liquid form through hardware, grocery, industrial, automotive and mass retail channels. Lava is sold primarily in the U.S., while Solvol is sold exclusively in Australia.
Financial information about operating segments and product lines appears in Note 14 – Business Segments and Foreign Operations of the Company’s consolidated financial statements, which are included in Item 15 of this report.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a significant U.S. mass retail customer and offers a variety of the Company’s products. Sales to U.S. Wal-Mart stores accounted for approximately 7 percent of the Company’s consolidated net sales in each of fiscal years 2009 and 2008, and approximately 9 percent of the Company’s consolidated net sales in fiscal year 2007. Excluding sales to U.S. Wal-Mart stores, sales to affiliates of Wal-Mart worldwide accounted for approximately 3 percent of the Company’s consolidated net sales for fiscal years 2009 and 2008 and 4 percent of the Company’s consolidated net sales for fiscal year 2007. Accounts receivable from Wal-Mart stores and its affiliates accounted for approximately 9 percent and 8 percent of the Company’s accounts receivable at August 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.