LAKEWOOD, NJ -- Forget about the politics -- it's all business for amusements. The daily onslaught of news concerning "Duck Dynasty" has created huge opportunities for amusement operators and locations, according to Dave Schwartz, a vice-president at BMI Merchandise, which was among the first suppliers to capitalize on A&E's reality program.
The Duck Dynasty controversy kicked into overdrive at the end of last year when show patriarch Phil Robertson's religious and moral beliefs were leaked in advance of his interview in the January issue of GQ. In the GQ profile, the Duck Dynasty star called homosexuality a sin and compared it to bestiality, stoking widespread controversy. Publication of Robertson's opinions, his immediate suspension by A&E, the resulting consumer backlash and his subsequent reinstatement consumed the last days of 2013.
According to Schwartz, major retailers cannot readily leverage Duck Dynasty's resurgent popularity. With spring 2014 retail planograms in development (and finalized months in advance), Duck Dynasty merchandise, scarce on post-Christmas store shelves, is now difficult for retailers to stock in time to meet burgeoning product demand.
PHOTO: Walmart and Kmart shelves in Brick, NJ (12/30/13).
Known for developing and stocking the most topical products, BMI is boasting that it has the most robust range of Duck Dynasty products in stock, "priced right" and backed by several merchandising options. It has 100% Duck Dynasty crane kits and creative product combinations in exclusive program packaging.
PHOTO: BMI's $5 average 100% DD crane kit on location. Combos are ideal for merchandisers.
"With nearly 20 individual SKUs and myriad Duck Dynasty product combinations, BMI helps operators and locations build their brands by featuring the No. 1 consumer brand," Schwartz said.
The BMI executive points to a few facts bolstering the Duck Dynasty merchandising phenomena:
» Duck Dynasty's fifth season will debut Wednesday, Jan. 15. With season four's premiere clocking in at nearly 12 million viewers, estimates of 20 million viewers for the first episode airing of season five are realistic.
» Duck Dynasty T-shirts are No. 1 sellers in Walmart's men's, women's and boys sections, and DD was sold in six different departments (but try to find it now). BMI is in stock with Duck Dynasty T-shirts, depicted below:
» From The New York Times to inTouch magazine, projections are strong for consumer demand of Duck Dynasty products. The Times (12/28/13) wrote, "industry insiders predict that the [Duck Dynasty] controversy would increase merchandise sales."
BMI Merchandise can be reached at (800) 272-6375 or bonitamarie-intl.com. New Web customers can register for an account at the site.
PHOTO: BMI's Duck Dynasty Ts come on hangers or in exclusive clam packaging (with Duck Dynasty graphics). The shirts are suitable for all merchandisers, and are available for $11.95 each.