Looking to expand it global footprint and services, UL, an independent safety science company that provides workplace testing and certification services, has acquired retail testing firm Consumer Testing Laboratories Inc.

CTL, a privately-held company based in Bentonville, Ark., is a recognized specialist in quality assurance services for the retail industry, including apparel, accessories and footwear products. UL said it will leverage CTL’s facilities in five countries — the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and China — to extend its reach to its customer base and to offer a larger portfolio of services to these customers.

“CTL is a strategic acquisition for us as we grow our global footprint to meet the increased demand in global consumer testing services,” said Sajeev Jesudas, senior vice president of UL and president of its Consumer division. “In addition, CTL has an experienced leadership team with a long history of successfully managing relationships with customers, which makes it a great fit with UL.”

CTL’s employees will join UL’s Consumer & Retail Services division under Jesudas. That division certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits, advises and educates business and consumers around the world in areas that include textiles, apparel, footwear, jewelry, watches, personal care and beauty products.

While there are several organizations that provide certification, inspection and testing services downstream in the supply chain for apparel and textile manufacturing and materials, UL and CTL are considered among the largest in the retail and consumer fields.

Jesudas said CTL is a significant acquisition due to its “innovative and intimate customer-focused operations, which are much in line with UL’s mission and values.”

“We plan to continue investing in CTL’s services and creating synergies through a stronger combined portfolio that we can offer to our global customers,” he said.

Both groups are privately operated and the acquisition price was not revealed.

CTL’s Textile Laboratories offer a broad range of testing services for men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories such as casual clothing, outerwear, swimwear, belts, socks, handbags and gloves.

UL, based in Northbrook, Ill., has been in business for more than 120 years. It employs 11,000 professionals guided by its mission to promote safe working and living environments. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet evolving safety needs. The company partners with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a complex global supply chain through certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services.

Established in 1952, CTL specializes in consumer product testing, offering a comprehensive suite of retail testing services to help ensure the quality of merchandise that reaches store locations.