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FOCUS ON: 75 Years of Innovation

September 1, 2010
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Avery Dennison has reached the 75-year mark as a successful global manufacturing company.

An early label dispenser.


In addition to a variety of specialty adhesives, Avery Dennison manufactures the materials from which labels are printed in enormous rolls.

Avery Dennison Corp. celebrated its 75th anniversary as a company in June. To commemorate the occasion, the company’s leadership team took the opportunity to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street. The company will be organizing celebratory events throughout the year to recognize its anniversary and continue its history of discovery.

“I’m excited about the future as we honor our past,” said Dean Scarborough, chairman, president and CEO. “Avery Dennison has always stood for innovation, and that legacy continues to propel the company forward as we invest in new markets, products and technology to better serve our customers throughout the world.”



In addition to a variety of specialty adhesives, Avery Dennison manufactures the materials from which labels are printed in enormous rolls.

A Rich Heritage

A key focus of the company’s anniversary-year plans is a conscientious reflection on its rich heritage. First and foremost, Avery Dennison seeks to uphold the legacy of its past values and traditions in the years to come. The 75th anniversary commemorative website at www.averydennison75years.com details the company’s history with an interactive narrative. In the beginning, the company’s founder, R. Stanton (“Stan”) Avery first invented the self-adhesive label and marketed it to retailers as a removable price sticker in 1935. Shortly thereafter, Stan founded the Kum-Kleen Adhesive Products Co. in Los Angeles; the company’s name changed to Avery in 1936.

Over the years, Stan Avery received 18 patents for his creations, which ranged from label dispensers to the self-adhesive postage stamp and many innovations in between. He also perfected a more efficient label production process. The company remained competitive throughout the following decades by maintaining Stan Avery’s tradition of innovation and pioneering even more new products in the self-adhesive industry.

The company established its first overseas plant in Holland in 1955, and joined the Fortune 500 in 1974. The Avery Products Corp. subsequently reached $1 billion in sales in 1985, and-five years later-merged with Dennison Manufacturing to become a powerful player in the office supply industry.





RFID inlays are used to tag items of clothing and expedite inventory systems to shoppers’ benefit.

Avery Dennison Today

The 75-year anniversary observance also includes an assessment of the company’s current position. Over the years, Avery Dennison has developed into a worldwide manufacturer of a comprehensive spectrum of adhesive products and pressure-sensitive technology. Today, the Pasadena-based company’s product line covers a range of brands and industries. More important, the company has redefined itself in terms of the benefits those products provide to users, including making the brands they display more inspiring and educating consumers by conveying essential information.

“Avery Dennison is everywhere and impacts people every day-we’re on the products in the stores where they shop, the clothes they wear, the car they drive, the signs on the highway they pass, in the offices where they work and the schools they attend,” Scarborough said. Specifically, the company creates such items as consumer product packaging, reflective sign materials, specialty tapes, industrial adhesives, heat-transfer graphics, office supplies, radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions, and many other useful inventions. The company is organized into four business groups: Pressure-Sensitive Materials, Retail Information Services, Office and Consumer Products, and other specialty converting businesses. These businesses furnish Avery Dennison’s items to many different markets daily, including the household commodities, food and beverage, automotive, promotional/marketing, apparel, and medical industries.

Avery Dennison currently operates with more than 30,000 employees in more than 60 countries. It has become a $6 billion global powerhouse in labeling and packaging solutions, retail branding tools, and organization supplies. Its ongoing progress is evident in the company’s original products and its responses to the demanding needs of its customers.

Examples of this success are included on the anniversary website. One account details an event during which ABN AMRO, one of the world’s largest banks, required Avery Graphics on their ships for a seven-month yacht race. Avery Dennison ultimately provided quality products that endured against the never-ending assault of waves and the elements. Today, the company is extending its record of performance in providing highly durable labels for solar panels.

A similar story of progress involves the company’s rapidly growing RFID unit. Avery Dennison sees plenty of potential for the technology-especially in retail ticketing, airline baggage tagging and pharmaceutical tracking-so it has remained committed to its development despite the cost. The company’s patience is being rewarded as large retailers adopt “item-level” ticketing to dramatically improve the accuracy of their inventories. In addition, Avery Dennison consistently emphasizes its focus on sustainability and social responsibility through the application of energy-efficiency initiatives and its philanthropic engagement with community organizations.



Looking Forward

After much success over the past three-quarters of a century, what’s next for Avery Dennison? Only time will tell, but the company is not sitting idly by to find out what’s in store; instead, its intention is to surpass its own high standards. Avery Dennison’s strategy for the future involves the continual discovery of new opportunities for creative invention. The company is attempting to better understand what customers require today so that new solutions can be developed for tomorrow.

Avery Dennison credits innovation as an integral part of its success since R. Stanton Avery’s entrepreneurial crusade in 1935. According to Dean Scarborough, the company’s “new emphasis on understanding end customers’ problems-and solving them with innovation-is Stan Avery, pure and simple. His ability to see a solution where others just saw the problem helped us bring Avery Dennison seven and a half decades of success, and will be the foundation of the company’s next 75 years.”



For more information, visit www.averydennison75years.com

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