A South Whitley-based party supplies company
has teamed with an online giant to sell cheerleading merchandise.
Stumps Inc.'s products - including a 55-cent
plastic megaphone, a nylon zippered bag and a hot pink "spirit
cup" - are among the items featured on Amazon.com's new online
sporting goods store, which the Seattle-based Fortune 500 company
Stumps, which claims to be the world's largest
supplier of prom and party supplies with customers in more than 50
countries, employs about 450 during peak production from January to
June. Its workforce shrinks to about 275 the remainder of the year.
While the privately held company doesn't release
revenue figures, its president and co-owner Shep Moyle said Stumps'
sales have grow by 30 percent annually over the past five years.
The alliance with Amazon has not prompted any
new jobs so far, Chief Financial Officer Jeanice Croy said Monday.
About 3,000 Stumps items can be found on www.amazon.com/sportinggoods
after clicking on the "cheerleading" menu option. The more
than 50 sports featured on the Web site span the alphabet from archery
to kayaking and rugby to yoga.
Amazon offers more than 3,000 brands of sporting
goods, according to a written statement.
Stumps pitched its products to Amazon about
a year ago, Croy said.
"We wrote them a letter and said, 'This
is who we are. And if you ever have anything that will come along
that you want to work with us on, we'd be happy to do that,"'
she said. "And they called us ... probably back in March."
While Amazon processes orders and payments,
Stumps ships the items from its South Whitley warehouse directly to
customers and handles follow-up service.
At Stumps' own Web site, the company offers
about 10,000 cheerleading and spirit-related items.
"A lot of them are personalized, and Amazon
is not able to handle the personalization aspect of our products,"
The items on Amazon's sporting goods site feature
merchandise such as T-shirts, shorts, plastic cups and jewelry with
generic sayings, such as "We're No. 1" or "Cheerleaders
Rule." Stumps created about 100 items for the Amazon Web site,
The sporting goods site provides tools and
information similar to that found on Amazon.com, including customer
reviews and rankings, similarities, top sellers and buying guides,
Amazon's shares, which reached a 52-week high
of $48.24 Thursday, closed down 11 cents to $47.47 in trading Monday
on the Nasdaq exchange.