You may have heard of Shark vacuum cleaners, or Ninja blenders. But does Euro-Pro ring a bell? Probably not.
That’s exactly why Mark Barrocas, Euro-Pro’s president, and Mark Rosenzweig, the company’s CEO and majority shareholder, are embarking on a big change at their company. Euro-Pro will be gone by sometime in mid-July, replaced with a name that’s an amalgam of the firm’s two major brands: Shark Ninja.
Euro-Pro has grown quickly in relative secrecy, working out of its home base in Newton’s Wells Avenue office park. The household products company had but a handful of employees in 2003, when Rosenzweig moved the firm here from Montreal.
Five years later, the leadership reshaped Euro-Pro’s product lineup, ditching the cheap stuff for higher-end vacuums and blenders with innovative features, the kind that would help build brand loyalty. That shift entailed bringing most of the design work in-house, the start of an upward trajectory.
The company employs more than 400 people at its local offices in Newton and Needham, out of a 900-person workforce. (That larger number includes about 350 people in China who work closely with Euro-Pro’s manufacturers.) Barrocas said he expects the local number to grow to 550 by the end of next year. To keep up, Euro-Pro plans to consolidate its local offices in one 170,000-square-foot location in a Normandy Real Estate Partners-owned building in Needham at the end of 2016. That would be much bigger than the 110,000 square feet that Euro-Pro occupies locally today.
Yes, Euro-Pro has the revenue to match the job growth. Barrocas said the company reaped about $1.6 billion in sales in its last fiscal year, a roughly 20-percent increase from the year before.
The company has reached a critical mass, a point in which it seems unwise to continue under a cryptic name, particularly when it comes to getting attention in search engines and on social media. (Euro-Pro refers to an earlier line of ironing products that’s now discontinued.) Steve Conine and Niraj Shah came to a similar epiphany before changing the name of their Boston-based online retailer CSN Stores to Wayfair in 2011.
“Here we are in Newton, Mass., with over 400 people and we’re No. 1 market share in many of the categories we participate in,” Barrocas said. “We’re developing what we think are incredibly innovative products. This [name] change will really give us the opportunity to tell our story.”Jon Chesto can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.