Page 2: Growth strategies: interpreting the facts
Avery Dennison is the result of the merger in 1990 of two companies: Avery, which was founded in America in 1935, and Dennison, a US office accessories manufacturer. These two companies and their acquisitions now form Avery Dennison Corporation.
Before the merger Avery had been operating in the UK since 1963, and had experienced significant growth in its own right. It had opened new manufacturing sites for the industrial division in Cumbernauld (1964), and office labelling in Maidenhead (1975), as well as pursuing an active acquisitions policy. In 1985, for example, Avery acquired Myers, a manufacturer of plastic and metal desktop accessories. Myers had plants in Birmingham and Newtown in Wales. Three years later Avery also acquired the Birmingham based company Guidex, which was one of the UK’s market leaders in manilla filing products.
The 1990s were to prove a significant decade in the life of Avery Dennison. In 1992 a decision was taken to streamline manufacturing capability by moving Guidex from Birmingham to Maidenhead, and in this year certain parts of the Avery Dennison group were combined to form Office Products UK. Building on the success of their growth and integration a new division was added to the group in 1997, in the form of Avery Dennison Office Products Europe.
Businesses expand in different ways. Some grow organically which can be slow, particularly in fast-moving markets. Others look to expand through take-over and acquisition.
Since entering the UK market Avery Dennison has pursued a vigorous growth strategy involving horizontal integration, diversification and concentration. These three concepts provide a basis upon which to build an analysis of Avery Dennison’s approach to developing its business.