Design & conquer
By Andrew Joseph, Features EditorConverting PearceWellwood
Ontario corrugated producer gets a new lease on life in the 21st Century by focusing on new POP market dynamics
Sometimes a corrugated box is just a corrugated box. But for folks in charge of the fast-growing paperboard converter PearceWellwood Inc. in Brampton, Ont., the humble brown-colored shipping carrier represents much more—being a symbolic springboard for a 10-year journey during which the company completely transformed itself from a fairly ordinary brown-box sheet plant into a dynamic supplier of innovative turnkey point-of-purchase
(POP) solutions for the North American retail marketplace.
Formed back in 1974 by the husband-and-wife tandem of Ed and Sherry Pearce under the Pearce Containers moniker, the family-owned company really started hitting its present-day stride in 2000, when the couple’s two sons, Chris and Warren, moved into senior leadership roles as co-managing directors—ushering in a new strategic direction and corporate vision.
While the company still manufactures corrugated shipping cartons today, and doing it very well, corrugated graphic packaging and purchasing displays now account for 50 per cent of its business, according to Warren Pearce.
“And out of that 50 per cent, 80 per cent of the POP business is co-packed in-house by us and, again, half of that is fully co-packed, fulfilled with the customer product, and distributed into the market right from our docks,” he explains.
“In fact, we see this aspect of our business growing much further, because providing one-stop turnkey solutions, like we do, helps reduce the shipping costs and environmental footprint on behalf of our customers.”
The company’s impressive client list certainly gives much credence to his enthusiasm.
Along with serving many leading food-and-beverage, software and entertainment, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and other key consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors both in Canada and the U.S., PearceWellwood also enjoys the much sought-after “preferred vendor” designation of retailing giant Walmart Canada Corp.
As part of its relationship with Walmart, PearceWellwood finds itself in a position of being one of Canada’s foremost developers and designers of the so-called ‘retail-ready packaging (RRP)’ systems, according to Pearce, whereby all the packaging and merchandising materials are designed to enable the products to move directly to store-shelves with minimal handling, while optimizing secondary packaging to display them for shoppers in the most attention-grabbing manner.