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The Newsroom: Articles

South Whitley, Indiana based Stumps party teams up with Amazon

The Journal Gazette
Sherry Slater
September 23, 2003

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 launched Monday.

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," Croy said.

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, Croy said.

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 said.

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.

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