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WD-40 posts strong quarter as ‘isolation renovation’ drives sales

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Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi speak with Garry Ridge, Chairman and CEO of WD-40, about his company’s big quarterly results and what’s to come next.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Many of us have spent this pandemic doing home improvements, and one company benefiting from that is WD-40. Its global sales were up 5% last quarter thanks to what it calls, isolation renovation. Joining us now to discuss is WD-40 Chairman and CEO, Garry Ridge. Garry, good to see you. Like I said in the tease, I've been using your product for about 20 years. Take us through the quarter. What are some of the biggest trends you saw?

GARRY RIDGE: Yeah, g'day, Brian, great to be with you. Yes, this renovation, isolation renovation has really been something that's benefited us in our core business, things like our WD-40 bike product was up 160%. We've done really well on e-commerce. For the year, our e-commerce business in the US was up 93%, up 58% globally.

We're very fortunate, about three years ago, we made a decision to heavily invest in what we call rating our digital IQ. We've got 90 websites across the world in 176 countries we operate in, so our core business. And then our WD-40 specialist business, we released a range of specialist products a number of years ago. We rebranded it to bring in the iconic blue and yellow can with the little red top. So that's been a great success.

So overall, a great quarter, but we're not in the quarter to quarter business. We've been building this business for 67 years and we love creating positive lasting memories with our product. And we really, really are so fortunate to have such an engaged workforce. We have employee engagement at 93%. And it's because of the efforts of those great, as we call them, tribe members, that we got this done. So it's been a real learning opportunity.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And Garry, you're not resting on your laurels, because you continue to innovate. Somebody might go, how do you innovate with WD-40? But you have found a way. Tell us how.

GARRY RIDGE: Yeah. One of the things we do, our purpose is to create positive lasting memory solving problems in factories, homes and workshops around the world. So we do something really interesting. We listen to our end users. And one of our latest innovations is this. This is the WD-40 can with a bendable straw. So if you can imagine an auto mechanic or a tradesman or an artisan who needs to get WD-40 to a special place, you can now do it by bending this straw. It stays in place, gets the job done, and creates a positive lasting memory. So we love it.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, our producer, Nick Monte, certainly loves it too. He says he's going to buy a case of it. I do want to ask, Garry, I've been using your product for many years on, I just realized just thinking about it more, so many different services and so many different uses. But what are some of the three craziest ways you could use WD-40? You've been there for a while. I'm sure you used it in a lot of different ways.

GARRY RIDGE: Yeah, we actually have 2,000 uses for WD-40 that's published on our website, if anyone's interested. Back in the year 2000, we went and we asked our end users, can you tell us all the things you use WD-40 for. And we had about 250,000 entries in this contest that we then distilled down to 2,000 uses.

But a couple of interesting uses for WD-40, there was a lady who lived in the Midwest, she used to love to feed her birds. She had a bird feeder out in the backyard that sat on top of a pole, and squirrels used to run up the pole. So she used to spray the pole with WD-40. Didn't hurt the squirrels, the food stayed uneaten and the birds got it. So that's interesting.

Many years ago, WD-40 was used to release a nude burglar from a air conditioning duct. He was robbing a bank, I believe. So there's, but WD-40, what my favorite use, you know I'm an Aussie, so I have a barbecue, I love shining my stainless steel barbecue with WD-40. I have the cleanest barbecue in San Diego, I guarantee you that.

BRIAN SOZZI: I'm not sure how I can follow that. But leave it there for right now. WD-40 Chairman, CEO, Garry Ridge, really a lot of institutional knowledge there. Good luck on the path forward.