WARREN, N.J. — One of the world’s largest consumer health care companies celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art headquarters here earlier this month with company leaders and federal, state and local dignitaries.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare — known for such brands as Sensodyne, Theraflu, Excedrin, Nicorette and NicoDermCQ, Flonase, and TUMS — held the ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 6 at the 109,000-square-foot facility.
The new space offers the company a mix of functionality, from marketing and sales to research and development and supply chain, and it will house some 900 employees.
Colin Mackenzie, North America general manager and the site leader for GSK Warren, described the new location as a “smart working” site and remarked that having the company’s U.S. team under one roof provides a “great opportunity for collaboration” and gives GSK “every advantage to produce our best work and get closer to our consumers.”
A centerpiece of the new headquarters will be a high-tech laboratory that is modeled after GSK’s successful shopper lab at its global headquarters in the United Kingdom. The lab will feature three suites — a shopper science lab, a consumer sensory lab, and a research and development lab. The shopper science lab is designed to optimize collaboration between GSK, the retailer and the consumer. These facilities will be fully operational in June, Mackenzie said. The lab will use leading shopper insight tools and technologies to understand how and why shoppers make decisions and what influences their choices.
Helen Meldrum, GSK’s vice president of research and development in consumer health care, said the new lab will foster the “best innovation” and allow the company to delve deep into consumer insights — from ingredients to packaging — and will help GSK to figure out what consumers want and need.
In addition, the new headquarters will include a creative and collaborative technical workplace that fosters innovation across a range of technologies and formats, which will result in new products that make a difference in consumers’ lives.
The Warren office space is Gold LEED certified and features efficient, modern systems and contemporary designs with ultramodern facilities and amenities, including a cafeteria and fitness center. The GSK Consumer Healthcare location has an open plan design, which is consistent with other GSK facilities, and brings employees together to encourage better communication and idea sharing.
Among the VIPs joining the GSK leadership at the ribbon-cutting event were U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz and Warren Mayor George Lazo.
Lance, who represents Warren in Washington, said New Jersey has a “superior workforce” and that he is looking forward to collaborating with GSK as “Congress continues to work to keep pace with 21st century health care.”
In March 2015, GSK and Novartis closed on its joint venture, and the company received the certificate of occupancy on the Warren facility on March 3, 2016 — almost one year to the day of the collaboration’s announcement.
“GSK has a unique opportunity to create the first and best Fast Moving Consumer Healthcare — the new GSK Consumer Healthcare — that drives growth, outperforms the competition and reaches more consumers around the world so that they can do more, feel better and live longer,” said Michael McClaine, North America integration director at GSK Consumer Healthcare.
Lazo said GSK’s opening shop in Warren is a good fit because both are best in class.