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Why Smith & Wesson is changing its name

Maybe it’s because of President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to change things up after his inauguration this Friday, but change seems to be in the air lately — at least when it comes to companies changing their names.

Most of the firms say the new names reflect their changing businesses.

One of the best-known companies that recently decided it needs a new tag is gun-maker Smith & Wesson.

Last week, shareholders approved the Springfield, Mass.-based company’s plans to change its name to American Outdoor Brands Corporation.

In a November filing outlining its plans, the company said the move was “not intended to diminish the importance” of its 164-year-old Smith & Wesson brand, but to focus investors’ attention on its expanding business of products for hunting, shooting and outdoor enthusiasts.

Closer to home, 65-year-old Atlanta accounting and consulting firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP said Tuesday that it is re-branding itself as “Aprio.” The name, which the company said combines “root words for head and heart,” is meant to signal that it will be equally focused on both its traditional accounting service and on advising its business clients on cyber security, the “internet of things,” and other emerging issues.

“The business of accounting has shifted dramatically. Our growth strategy centers on the organic growth of our practices and the acquisition of other businesses” to complement its existing services, said Richard Kopelman, managing partner and chief executive officer, in a press release. He said Aprio “better reflects who we are and what we offer as a firm.”

Meanwhile, Euramax International, a Norcross manufacturer of sheet metal and vinyl components for buildings and vehicles, said last week that it changed its name to OmniMax International after spending the last year and a half restructuring the business.

“What I wanted to do is have a name that differentiates us a little from the past,” said Richard Brown, hired as the company’s chief executive in 2015.

He said the company had struggled to recover from the Great Recession. It makes products ranging from gutters and windows to parts for recreational vehicles and decorative panels for commercial buildings, including the new Braves ballpark.

The company streamlined its operations, reduced the number of product lines, and hired more sales, marketing and product development people, he said.

In a 2015 filing, the company outlined a restructuring that included job cuts, management changes, including the hiring of Brown, and other changes that were needed to counter a drop in sales from $934 million in 2011 to $855 million in 2014.

Brown said the company now has about $1 billion in revenue and 2,500 employees, including about 250 at its Norcross headquarters and a Duluth plant.

“The business is doing well,” he said. “We have intentions to grow this business.”

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