In 1913, a purveyor of wood and coal, a bookkeeper, a banker, a lawyer and a miner each invested one hundred U.S. dollars in what was to become The Clorox Company. Their liquid bleach factory, based in Oakland, California was first called the Electro-Alkaline Company and their main product was named Clorox, a portmanteau of its two main ingredients’ names: chlorine and sodium hydroxide. One hundred years later, the company has grown into a multinational corporation with about eight thousand employees in offices worldwide and a place on Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 list. The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products for both professional and consumer products, from detergents to lip balms and from drain cleaner to cat litters.
After going public in the late 20s on the San Francisco stock exchange and surviving the great depression, the company managed to slowly grow throughout the century. It started expanding its own product portfolio, as with the Clorox 2 all-fabric bleach and Tilex mildew remover, while continuously maintaining its eponymous star cleaner. Simultaneously, the company started acquiring other various brands, such as the Formula 409 cleaning line, the trash bags and plastic food storage containers producer Glad Products Company and the Kingsford grilling charcoal brand.
As of 2015, Clorox has reported a global net sales worth in excess of 5.66 billion U.S. dollars, an increase compared to previous years, while the global gross profit of the company amounted to over 2 billion U.S. dollars that same year. The company’s yearly financial reports show four distinct revenue streams, namely Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle and International. The Cleaning segment, which, as of 2015 is responsible for most of the company’s sales, is composed of cleaning products for home and professional consumers in the U.S. market. Some of the most successful brands in their portfolio are Pine Sol, the leading all purpose/disinfectant brand in the United States in 2013, Clorox Clean Up and Formula 409.
The Household line, which is also targets U.S. consumers, features charcoal products from the Kingsford and Match Light companies, plastic bags and containers under the Glad brand (a joint venture, with P&G as a minority shareholder) and Fresh Step cat litter products, among others. Lifestyle, the third segment geared towards the United States market, features foods, such as Hidden Valley’s sandwich spreads and condiments, dips and salad toppings. It also includes beauty products under the Burt’s Bees brand, such as the lip care line with the same name, which topped the United States' lip balm/treatment brands ranking in 2015 , with sales worth over 85 million U.S. dollars. The fourth and last Clorox stream of revenue is designed for international consumers and features a selection of the company’s most successful products from the domestic market.
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