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Butler Home Product History
In 1947, two young entrepreneurs Harold Footer and Robert McGee started a business in a tiny, 600-square-foot facility in Chelsea Massachusetts. There he produced and marketed his first product, the Vacuum Action Dry Mop. The company was known as Easy Day Manufacturing Company because using the new Vacuum Action Mop would make for an easy day of cleaning for housewives.
During its first 20 years, the company began to change the way cleaning products were sold. Among the innovations were, introducing color into mop designs; creative packaging and advertising; selling mops on television; developing the first automatic mop; and designing special rack fixtures for the sale of stick goods. Merchandise was sold through various retail channels including major department stores – where it seemed you could buy anything.
In the early 1960’s new retailing companies called mass merchants were opening all around the country. Most department stores were located in downtown locations and as people moved to the suburbs after WW II these new mass merchants were following the population to the suburbs. Since these new retail companies were more of a self service format, the Department stores did not want to buy the same merchandise and brands being offered in these new stores – Easy Day was a well known Department store brand, so a new product line was created for the new mass merchants and Suburbanite brand was born.
In the early 70’s most of the Department stores decided to stop carrying the cleaning tools category due to space limitations and competition from the growing mass merchant retails across the country. The Easy Day brand was sunset as the Suburbanite brand continued to grow with new distribution.
As a Suburbanite customer, Alan Michelson, then vice president and merchandise manager of Zayre’s in the northeast, was so impressed with Suburbanite's products and services, that he acquired an interest in the company and became their partner in 1969.
In 1970 the company revolutionized the industry once again by offering the first integrated full-program concept to American retailers. Suburbanite delivered a comprehensive, attractive, and well organized cleaning department of stick goods and smallwares.
Suburbanite became the first company in the industry to develop expertise in sales-by-facing analysis, cross-docking shipment systems, EDI order processing, and color customization for key accounts
In fact, 20 years before the term gained widespread understanding and acceptance, Suburbanite was already providing "category management" to its customers.
In the early 90’s Suburbanite introduced a line of dust pans under a new Butler brand following the success of its “The Butler” stand up dust pan and broom set. Customers and consumers were so quick to accept the new Butler brand that the Suburbanite brand was converted all to Butler.
In 2000 Butler once again revolutionized the industry by creating a partnership with Procter & Gamble and launching an entirely new brand of products under the widely recognized Mr. Clean brand. This was the first time a licensing program had been created in the cleaning category and gave Butler a way to differentiate it from the competition. By creating a two tiered program, Butler gave retailers a one stop shop partner for all their cleaning needs.
In 2002, Butler took Mr. Clean across the pond and launched specific programs in 7 western European countries.
As P&G launched its new Charmin Mega Roll in 2003, they looked to Butler to help them develop and sell a new and unique toilet paper roll spindle as the Charmin Extender.
2008 brings the latest partnership with P&G as Butler introduces a full line of dish and sink cleaning products under the best selling Dawn brand.