No one knows if Fred Wardell exclaimed "Eureka!" when he came up with the idea for a vacuum company, but that's what he named it in 1909. The vacuum cleaner company stood by its birth name until 2004, when it was rechristened Electrolux North America by Sweden-based AB Electrolux. The name change coincided with its parent's reacquisition of the Electrolux name in North America. The company makes and markets more than 130 vacuum models under brand names Electrolux, Sanitaire, Beam, and Eureka. Its products include uprights, canisters, built-in systems, hand-held and battery-powered vacuums, wet-dry vacs, stick models, and others. They're typically sold through Lowe's, Sears, and Wal-Mart.
Most of the vacuum cleaners parent AB Electrolux sells are branded as Eureka. Stiff competition in the vacuum-cleaner niche has the company looking to upscale customers to ensure it gets its share of the fast-growing sector. To this end, AB Electrolux launched high-end Electrolux-branded vacuum cleaners, complete with an ad campaign featuring morning TV personality Kelly Ripa. The company's strategy is to focus on the premium segment of the market to maintain its position in North America until the economy turns around, as premium vacuum cleaners are more resilient to swings in the economy.
The company also manufactures original and replacement parts, including bags, belts, and filters for its models. Electrolux North America has manufacturing plants in Normal, Illinois, and El Paso, Texas. – less