Smith & Wesson awards new brand name licensing agreements

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Saturday, February 1, 2003

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Legendary American handgun maker Smith & Wesson is looking to put its name on more than just firearms.

In the last six months, the 150-year-old company has awarded five new licensing agreements for such items as personal and home security products, armored vests, and gun vaults and safes.

The company is also looking to make a return to the dealer-installed home security market for the first time since a previous licensing agreement elapsed.

According to John Steele, Smith & Wesson vice president of marketing, Smith & Wesson signed an agreement with Today’s Design House, a Wisconsin-based company, “for consumer-installed in-home security systems, things like infrared motion detectors that the consumer can install themselves.”

Under the new agreement, Today’s Design House will market a number of products bearing the Smith & Wesson brand name.

“It’s a fully self-contained merchandising idea that we have put together with Today’s Design House to offer the consumer a way to provide security for their homes at a fairly reasonable price,” Steele said. “They can purchase this group of products, they are all merchandised together…(for about) $200, and with a little work on their own, secure their home.”

Today’s Design House officials said they were excited to enter into the home security market as a partner with Smith & Wesson.

“Our goal is to offer an all-inclusive, technologically advanced product line encompassing every aspect of home and personal security…With a dominant brand name and a strong product offering, I believe we can build this category into a class all its own,” said Todd Witte, president of Today’s Design House.

While Smith & Wesson currently does not have a presence in the dealer-installed home alarm market, Steele said the company plans to change that fact in the near future.

“We’re starting from scratch, trying to find the right partner to go forward with,” said Steele. “We absolutely want to get back into (the dealer-installed home alarm and monitoring market) and we are excited and anxious to get back into it.”

Steele said he expects the new home security products to be available at mass-market retail stores sometime in the early part of 2003.

Smith & Wesson previously had a licensing agreement with King Central for monitoring and dealer-installed systems, but “that licensing agreement is no longer in effect,” Steele said.

The company has recently signed an agreement with Leveraged Marketing Corp. of America, a New York-based company, to help it look for new licensees in a number of categories, including dealer-installed home alarm systems and monitoring companies, he said.