Jarden Corp., which owns diverse brands like Mr. Coffee, Yankee Candle and the outdoor gear product line Marmot, hopes to soon add high school yearbooks and class rings to its portfolio.
The company has announced it plans to buy the parent company of Jostens for $1.5 billion.
In the retail world, Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said, there are sexy buys and there are smart buys. Scooping up Jostens, she said, is smart.
“It’s not one of those things that stands out to you that ‘Oh, my God, it’s shaking up the world, and it’s going to change our lives like Uber,’ but it probably won’t take Jarden very long to break even on their investment,” she said.
According to SEC filings, Jostens continues to squeeze more profits out of its yearbook business even as yearbook sales have slowed.
Retail analyst Pam Danziger with Unity Marketing said Jostens has managed to stick around for so long because what they are really selling is much more ephemeral than simple hardware.
“That’s really where we are in today’s market,” she said. “We’ve got so many things. What people really want is experiences, and memories, and memorabilia, which is what Jostens is all about.”
Danziger said people can own as many rings as they want, but only one will remind them fondly (perhaps) of those wild and crazy days of youth.
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