Master Cutlery was founded 30 years ago when Jackie Lee's parents established one of the first American companies to source knives from their native China. "My father saw a great opportunity, and he forged relationships with manufacturers who were able to get him these products," she explains. "The company has grown every year since its launch." The firm currently operates out of a 100,000 square foot facility in Secaucus, NJ, where Lee is VP of operations. Roughly 90 percent of Master Cutlery's inventory is stocked there, with between 50 and 100 new products added on a monthly basis.
Master Cutlery devotes a great deal of time to conceptualizing and crafting each item it carries. It can take eight or nine months from designing a product to making the final piece, whether that item is a small blade wholesale priced at $2.95 or a handmade sword selling for $449. Product lines follow a good, better and best model structure, thought out by in-house designers who work to ensure that each blade looks as sharp as it feels. Among its offerings, Lee says the most popular lines are in-house brands, Mtech and Tac Force. "Tactical blades are really in right now," she notes. "The survival trends based off of zombie themed television shows and films have resulted in an uptick in the appeal of tactical styles and end of the world themes. No one knows how long it will last, but we are riding the wave and doing very well."
Master Cutlery's tactical knives are built for endurance and are available in straight or spring loaded folding styles. The blades are typically black or graphite colored, though camouflage print is also a popular pick for outdoor equipment shops. Specialty blades for the renowned outdoorsman magazine, Field & Stream, are among the many licensed products Master Cutlery carries. For this particular account, Master Cutlery also created item FS-3609, a folding multifunction tool that includes a two-inch knife blade, serrated blade, needle nose pliers, bottle opener, small LED flashlight, and flat head and Phillips screwdrivers. The tool is so popular that it nearly sold out on Amazon.com during the 2012 Christmas rush. In addition, Bravo TV's hit series, "Top Chef," inspired Master Cutlery's designers to create a line of kitchen knives licensed for the popular show. The Top Chef series blades feature laser etched Top Chef logos, precision sharpened cutting edges, ice tempered stainless steel blades and full steel nonslip handles for control.
To share the breadth of its products and promote sales, Master Cutlery recently debuted its expanded and refined website. "As a company, we have grown faster than we anticipated, and, with this new website, our online presence reflects who we are and what we do today," Lee remarks. The ecommerce site features high power zoom images for close up details of each product, and same day shipping is available for orders placed online before 4 p.m. EST. Merchandise can be browsed from three different starting points: the side bar menu, which contains 19 options to access products according to style; the top menu, which separates new arrivals and specially priced items, as well as flyers and other company background information; and a roving 3D cloud, which lists popular search terms. Regardless of which menu wholesale buyers select, they have more than 3,000 products, of which 2,000 are pocketknives, from which to choose. The website took two years to complete.
The American Knife and Tool Institute reports that the knife industry had a $4.8 billion impact on the American economy at the beginning of 2012. In addition, the culinary industry, with its demand for knives, is likely to continue to propel sales for cutlery retailers, as restaurants and caterers expect to add 1.3 million positions to the field in 2013. With its vast array of merchandise, along with a new website streamlining every transaction moving forward, Master Cutlery is equipped to maintain its active supplier role in this booming industry.
For more information:
700 Penhorn Ave.
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Toll Free: 888-271-7229
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