MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Melbourne-based Spotless Group's plastics division plans to take the coat hanger manufacturing and recycling system it has developed for a North American retailer, Target, to other clothing retailers in North America and Europe.
The Melbourne-based plastics division developed an exclusive arrangement with Target three years ago to supply it with a family of recyclable coat hangers, said John Bongiorno, division finance director.
Spotless sells hangers to Target's clothing suppliers, who mechanically hang clothes after manufacture, so Target does not need staff to hang stock, Bongiorno said.
Target returns the polystyrene and polypropylene hangers to Spotless, where they are sorted, cleaned and resold to clothing vendors.
Although Spotless has an exclusive arrangement with Target to supply its specially designed coat hangers, Spotless provides standard hangers and implements the recycling system on a smaller scale for other North American retailers, including WalMart Stores Inc., according to Bongiorno.
Spotless plans to secure new North American customers throughout the next year, and hopes to access markets in Europe, he said.
``We will start in Europe when we find a retail group that is interested in our system, or we find the right opportunity,'' Bongiorno said.
Coat hanger manufacturing makes up the majority of the division's annual sales of A$100 million (US$79.1 million).
The hangers are used in Target's 700 North American stores for all clothing, and Wal-Mart's 3,500 stores for underwear, leisure wear and sleepwear.
Although Bongiorno would not say how much the Target agreement earned the division last year, he said it ``was a substantial part'' of the company's operations.
Spotless manufactures hangers for its North American, Australian and New Zealand markets in Hong Kong, he said.