Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
At Jasco Products Co., it's hard to ignore the numbers - or the sprawling business campus on the southeast corner of Memorial Road and Santa Fe just west of the Broadway Extension.
Employees have all been relocated from the former facility on NW 122 into a renovated building that houses the creative minds behind the 34-year-old GE licensee of consumer electronic products and accessories.
The remodeled offices, along with a 20,000-square-foot expansion where the former Fleming Foods operated, are the new face of Jasco's growing presence in the consumer electronic and home electric products market.
And while the downturn in consumer spending has been felt at some of the thousands of retailers that carry Jasco products, "our business is growing dramatically," said Steve Trice, the company's president and chief executive officer.
"We've developed a lot of new products in existing categories, and we've been fortunate to gain new placement."
The company invested $2.4 million in the new facility, which includes a 6,000-square-foot events center, and already is planning a $4 million warehouse expansion that will bump up that space by 144,000 square feet.
Who is buying?
With 80,000 retailers selling Jasco's 2,700 products, even a recession hasn't dimmed demand.
While retailers nationwide are struggling with decreased sales, business has jumped at heavily trafficked discounters such as Walmart and Dollar General.
"We sell to virtually every big box retailer in the country," Trice said. And electronics retailer Radio Shack and dollar store Dollar General will be added to that list starting this summer.
Jasco develops, markets and distributes its designs, with the actual items made to its specification in Asia.
Products range from consumer electronics, computer accessories, home electric and personal safety and surveillance, and they fall into several retail divisions including office supply, warehouse club and electronic stores, and home improvement and drugstore chains.
Home safety items and install-it-yourself surveillance systems "are growing rapidly," but it's difficult to pinpoint a best-selling segment, Trice said.
The GE brand sells itself, media coordinator Suzann Taylor said.
"The brand quality, and the price point, we have both," she said.
Jasco is adding staff to accommodate its flourishing business.
"We're hiring people for warehouse positions, in sales, sales support and marketing," Trice said.
"We are going to experience tremendous growth this year and next."