By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Prime Designs is making sure buyers and retailers take notice of its showroom in Building VI of the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Signs and logos of Duck Commander are splashed prominently in Prime Designs’ space at the market, which begins its four-day spring trade show today.
Duck Commander, the company founded by Phil Robertson and whose family and company are featured in the popular A&E television show “Duck Dynasty,” partnered with Prime Designs last fall to build DC-themed furniture.
“It’s been well-received all over the country,” said Prime Designs vice president of sales and marketing Jerry Marlin. “Now we’re at the point where we’re talking about how to promote it, getting the point-of-sales material out, how to display it on the floor. … that’s the next step.”
Prime Designs is investing $500,000 for its Duck Commander-only production line and could add more than 100 jobs. Last fall it already had added 35 workers, bringing employment at the company to about 150.
Duck Commander has specific requirements in order to have its logo emblazoned on furniture, which is why Prime Designs had to add a separate line.
The Tupelo-based company also was the first furniture company to approach Duck Commander about having its name on chairs and sofas.
“And I don’t have this in writing or anything, but I think they were comfortable working with a company that shares similar values,” Marlin said.
In an earlier interview, Prime Designs co-founder Tim Richey said the Duck Commander deal has unlimited potential.
The license is good for two years, and Richey said the sales potential of the Duck Commander-licensed line is unlimited.
“It could be $60 million to $100 million – we’re just not sure at this point,” he said.
At the end of the two-year agreement, the two companies will review the results.
“If they’re happy with the results, we can continue the license,” Richey said. “We hope we make them very happy.”
Marlin also points out that Prime Designs is more than Duck Commander. It’s long been a popular stop for stationary furniture and sectionals.
And at this week’s market, for example, the company is introducing new motion furniture, additional stationary furniture frames, occasional tables and pub dining furniture.
“It’s the first showing for that in Tupelo,” Marlin said.
Prime Designs isn’t specific to any buyer or consumer, offering a more diverse line and different price points than many furniture manufacturers and suppliers.
“We can sell to multiple stores in the same town because we have so many different product lines,” he said.