Dauphin’s clean team aims for billion-dollar sales

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DEBBIE Bolton has her eyes on the prize -- creating a dynasty in Dauphin.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/10/2010 (4435 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

DEBBIE Bolton has her eyes on the prize — creating a dynasty in Dauphin.

The CEO of Norwex Enviro Products has seen its sales of environmentally friendly personal care and cleaning products grow by more than 100 per cent every year since its Canadian operations began 11 years ago.

It’s a streak she knows has to end at some point, but she’s going to ride it out as long as she can.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Debbie Bolton leads Norwex expansion.

“Next year we’ll do $90 million in sales and in the next two years, we know we’ll be at $200 million.

Our goal is to be at $1 billion in sales within eight or nine years,” Bolton said.

Norwex employs an army of nearly 17,000 independent consultants across North America that hosts parties in clients’ homes to showcase the company’s products or present them at trade shows.

It’s the same type of sales strategy employed for nearly 50 years by Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Its products include household cleaners for floors and kitchens and a personal care lineup of skin creams, shampoos and conditioners.

“We bring our store to your door. It’s a store on wheels,” she said.

To accommodate the growth, Norwex recently began a $5.2-million expansion to grow its office and warehouse facilities to 33,000 square feet from 10,000 square feet.

“We know we’re going to have to hire and employ more people, at least another 50 or 60,” she said.

With nearly 100 people on the payroll, the company is already considered the biggest private-sector employer in the city of 9,000. “We don’t like to brag about that,” she said.

Norwex’s products are produced in 13 countries, including China, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Israel, Canada and the United States.

The products are shipped to its distribution centre in Dauphin and rerouted from there.

The non-stop activity has helped Norwex also become one of Canada Post’s biggest customers in Western Canada.

It sends a semi-trailer truck to Dauphin every morning and a five-tonne truck in the afternoon, five days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Colleen Frick, Canada Post’s director of communications for the West, confirmed Norwex’s elite status with the Crown corporation.

She said even though Dauphin isn’t a major Canadian city, it is able to accommodate the company’s shipping needs with on-time express post and expedited parcel services.

Despite the amount of travel time required, she said Canada Post will expand its service to Dauphin as the need requires.

“We’ll be growing with Norwex, no doubt about it.

“If the product and volume are there, we’ll orchestrate what needs to happen,” she said.

Norwex’s growth is just part of the good news in the community, located about a 31/2-hour drive northwest of Winnipeg.

A new 1,800-seat hockey arena and a four-screen movieplex were recently built.

“Our construction values at the end of August were $14.6 million, that’s more than 150 per cent from our construction value for all of last year,” said Martijn van Luijn, manager of Dauphin Economic Development and Tourism.

 

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

 

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