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The plush sock monkey in Nebraska colors.

Game On
Q&A with Carter Wallace, Vice President, Jenkins Enterprises
June 11, 2010

Retailers and buyers know Jenkins Enterprises for its wide selection of licensed gifts, fixtures, and souvenirs, including its Game Day Outfitters line. And with more than 40 universities in the fold, the company can satisfy just about any college sports fan. We sat down with Carter Wallace to talk about what’s new with Jenkins and where the company is headed.

LOGO:
Jenkins took this year off from the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show, so retailers and buyers in Las Vegas didn’t get a chance to check in with the company. How has business been in 2010?

Carter Wallace
: Jenkins Enterprises continues to have great success with college merchandise. Items geared towards youth and ladies seem to be our best selling items along with our line of plush items. This year, in fact, we are introducing a plush sock monkey that we are very excited about. The customers that we have shown it to are very anxious for us to get it in stock.

LOGO: Why are the youth and ladies markets so successful for Jenkins?

Carter Wallace: These areas seem to be under serviced by everyone. Anytime we introduce a new item geared towards one of these two markets it is immediately successful. I think there is much room for expansion in both of these markets.

An Ohio State purse, one of the many products that Jenkins markets for women.

LOGO: Are those the only areas where Jenkins is looking to expand?

Carter Wallace: We’re always looking for expansion opportunities in any markets. Right now it just seems the ladies and youth are the place to go. The sock monkey will be geared more towards the youth, but I think there will be a lot of different people that purchase this item.

LOGO:
What about pursuing other licensing opportunities?

Carter Wallace: We have considered other licenses and professional teams. But college is what we are good at and what keeps us going. For now we are just focusing on the college market.

LOGO!: Does that allow you to service your retail partners more effectively?

Carter Wallace: We are continuing to build our product line so that we can handle nearly all of a retailers needs. If a national chain wants one or two items for a nationwide rollout, we can handle it. If it is a single store and they want to deal with one supplier for all of their non-apparel needs, we are the company to call. For most major universities, we stock more than 75 items. From glassware to key chains to ladies handbags to playing cards to plush, we stock it.

A tumbler in Alabama colors.

LOGO: What’s the biggest challenge when servicing national chains and independents simultaneously?

Carter Wallace: National chains take a much longer sales process. Rewards are much better but closing the sale is much longer. You must have patience.

LOGO:Will Jenkins return to the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show in 2011?

Carter Wallace
: Yes. We got good feedback from the people who attended this year’s show. We’ll be back 2011.


 

 

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