Clorox Sales Jump 27% As it Readies for Sticky Behavior Shifts

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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Displayed on the cover of the its 2020 integrated annual report was a canister of the company’s wipes, created with phrases from company stakeholders detailing Clorox’s support during the pandemic.

Clorox continues to increase spending to expand production capacity for both the near and long term as it seeks to fulfill consumer needs during the pandemic and after.

Sales increased 27% in the company’s fiscal first quarter, ended Sept. 30, with growth experienced in eight of its 10 business units. While attributable to the increase in cleaning and people spending more time at home during the pandemic, Clorox expects many of these consumer behavior patterns, including buying online, to stick regardless of when a vaccine arrives or how long COVID continues.

It’s also seeing increased repeat purchase rates with both new and existing consumers.

“There are strong signs these behaviors will stick over the long term, as people have been building these habits for three times longer than it normally takes routines to form,” said Linda Rendle in her first earnings call as CEO.

She noted that these behaviors are a way for consumers to reassure their health and wellness and feel safe, and they’ve seen evidence of similar results in previous pandemics and during bath cold and flu seasons.

The No. 83 consumer goods company continues to focus on products that can be made faster, as well as invest significantly in third-party supply sources to expedite products to retailers.

It also sees growth opportunities in regions that are new to its business, such as expanding disinfecting wipes in about 100 countries where it currently has a presence.

Net sales for the quarter grew as follows: 
Health and wellness: Up 28%
Household: Up 39%
Lifestyle: Up 17%
International: Up 18%

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