16 HA NDBOO
In what ways has the cleaning
tools category changed over the
MIchael SIlverMan: We have seen the
traditional cleaning tools category evolve
in recent years in response to trends.
Certainly the quick clean segment has
taken a bite out of available space, and we
are seeing fewer sponge mops being sold.
At the same time, we are seeing a return to
some more traditional cleaning tools such
as wet mops, twist mops and dust mops.
There have also been some new materials
introduced into the mix, mostly micro-fibers in both cloth and yarn variations.
These new technologies allow consumers to try new things without blowing the
budget. Spray mops and spin mops have
become very popular, especially when
advertised on TV. These are new categories that did not exist years ago that are
helping bridge the traditional and quick
What are the current consumer
Consumers are looking for choice. They
want to buy what they want—not necessarily what is on shelf. Purchasing habits have
changed and consumers are more willing
to go online to purchase cleaning tools.
Shoppers that cannot find what they want
in the store take out their smartphones and
do a quick search, order it online and the
items are delivered right to their house.
This option is definitely changing how
consumers interact with this category.
What are some of the biggest
obstacles facing the category?
The biggest obstacle facing this cat-
egory is retail space. Many retailers have
added quick clean at the expense of tra-
ditional cleaning. But the downfall with
this approach is a cleaning tools set that
is much too small to handle the proper
assortment of products and brands that
consumers want to purchase. Sure, there
is a percentage of consumers who will just
buy whatever is on the rack, but a grow-
ing number are willing to search for what
they want—either from a product, brand
or price perspective.
With all these challenges afoot,
how has Butler managed to thrive?
The secret to our longevity in this industry has been our ability to continuously
re-invent ourselves. Flexibility has been a
key strength of ours. Customization has
served us well, and the branding strategy
we adopted more than 15 years ago has
certainly paid off. We stand out with our
innovative products, well-known brands,
creative merchandising and promotional
how is Butler helping retailers
maximize sales in the category?
From cross merchandising to out posting,
we can always help retailers find a creative
way to get product onto the retail floor. End
caps, freestanding displays, power panels,
quarter pallet and full pallet displays are all
available. Again, it goes back to flexibility.
What are some of Butler’s newest
We have partnered with The Clorox Co.
and are launching a line of Liquid PlumbR
plungers and drain cleaners. This new
brand and product category allows us
to expand into some new departments
within our traditional retail partners and
opens doors to some new classes of trade.
We are also re-launching our Clorox
bath products—a full line of bowl brushes,
caddies and plungers in a new fresh neutral color, with a new decorative design
language that makes this otherwise mundane product look good in any home.
Consumer response has been very positive and we look forward to this new line
Finally, our Evercare lint roller business
continues to grow. Our redesigned packaging now makes it easy for consumers to
pick the right product for all the cleaning
needs in their lives. n
The secret to Butler’S longevity has been its ability to continuously re-invent itself,
says MIchael SIlverMan, the company’s senior vice president of marketing.