Arrow rolls out new look, focus for housewares

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Photo by Kerri Jansen Joseph Andrews, group vice president at Arrow, with some of the company's drinkware products.

Chicago — There's something different about Arrow.

Arrow Home Products Co., formerly Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Co., rolled out a new look and a new focus at the International Home and Housewares Show, held March 18-21 in Chicago. Under new ownership, the Illinois molder is pruning its product lines and focusing on brand status, executives said.

The company was bought last May by Deltech Holdings Inc., which also owns Deltech Corp., a Baton Rouge, La., supplier of monomers and polymers.

The new name — Arrow Home Products — reflects a more focused product lineup, said Joseph Andrews, group vice president at Arrow. The manufacturer cut the number of individual items it offers from around 3,000 to about 300, organized into four categories: drinkware, hydration, kids and home. The "home" category includes Arrow's food preparation, serving and storage products.

"In the past, a lot of retailers, the stores, knew Arrow, but the public doesn't know Arrow," Andrews said. "We said ... we want to redo the look, focus on where our strengths are."

Arrow is looking to expand, he added, but within those four product areas. The brand will focus on more higher-value products and work to build name recognition.

Photo by Arrow Home Products Inc. Arrow has narrowed its product line to focus on four markets, including kids' items.

"Our focus in the past was opening price point," Andrews said. "… Not really promoting Arrow the brand, just products. I think now we want to promote a brand, and we want to elevate the product offerings that we have.

"Arrow hadn't really come out with any innovative products in the past few years so we want to bring back innovation," he said.

Arrow's customers include major retail chains Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer and Rite Aid. The company is working to grow the brand's online marketability as well — by offering multipacks of products, for example, to consolidate freight costs. A shopper on Amazon.com may be more inclined to buy a package of six cups than a single cup.

Arrow products are all manufactured in Elk Grove Village, Ill., a fact the company is eager to highlight as it continues to promote the brand.

"The fact that we control the manufacturing aspect of it — we can guarantee Made in America," Andrews said. "It's really getting people to know Arrow — not a cup, a bowl, a bottle — but the Arrow brand and who we are."