Oster has diversified its product offerings far beyond its well-known line of small appliances. Sunbeam-Oster has been acquiring new companies to expand its product list and now markets items including outdoor grills, bedding and outdoor furniture. The company operates its North American units in three divisions which focus on outdoor products, household products and Mexican operations.
To a kitchen appliance buyer, Sunbeam-Oster might be thought of as marketing one of the most successful bread makers. A hardware store owner may think of Sunbeam-Oster as a leading manufacturer of outdoor furniture. To a drug store operator, Sunbeam-Oster is a leading oster hair clippers manufacturer.
- What Sunbeam-Oster wants to be known as is a leading small-ticket consumer durable-goods company on a worldwide basis.
- If you look at the categories where we operate, you’ll see a pretty large charter. I don’t think there are any other companies quite playing that game. Most companies are confined to a technology like Rubbermaid, or a product category, like Mr. Coffee.
Small Appliance Manufacturer under Experts’ View
Sunbeam-Oster is probably best known as a small-appliance manufacturer, but Schipke is quick to point out that items such as blenders and can openers only made up approximately 20 percent of the company’s more than one billion dollars, the last year for which full figures are available.
Such a vast array of products makes Oster particularly attractive to retailers. There’s no question that we think we’re appealing more to the retailer. It’s much less costly for them to deal with one supplier that has a broad portfolio.
According To Department Store Buyers
The Sunbeam-Oster brand name is applicable to numerous product categories. Right now, the Sunbeam name is like gold. They’ve built such a great franchise; you could put trash in a bag with their name on it and sell it. A retailer can make a little extra money from their products because customers are drawn to their name. Sunbeam-Oster has restructured its North American operations to include three separate divisions, household products, outdoor products and Mexican operations. The company has high aspirations for growth in Mexico.
Oster Professional Products is also applying its combo-packaging approach to the home pet grooming area. The company recently introduced three pet-grooming kits demonstrates grooming techniques from bathing through clipping. Retailer input suggests that the clipper category has seen growth, but is leveling somewhat. They evaluate the significance of the category in terms of sales dollars or margin dollars per square foot. For clippers, margin dollars per square foot is a more relevant consideration. Per square foot, clippers give good return.
How about Consumers’ View?
While Sunbeam recognizes that mothers are usually the ones making clipper purchases, it expects to pull younger males into the arena with its Oster NBA-licensed Sports Clipper. A consumer explained that sales were still influenced by price to a great degree. Consumers are looking for a product that will provide cost savings at home. Building on consumers’ taste for toward retro products, some consumers also began offering a chrome clipper, which they described as a throwback to barber shop clippers. It is reported that the clipper category as a whole has seen significant growth. Clippers are a utilitarian product and are sold throughout the many years.
Now Is Your Turn!
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