Duck Tape is stuck on Oklahoma City — but flying high.
Puns and other fun — “Ducktivities,” “Random Acts of Duck Tape” — are behind the growth that has ShurTech Brands LLC, baked in Avon, Ohio, moving its distribution center at Interstate 35 and Hefner Road a mile south to a larger warehouse at I-35 and Britton Road.
Duck Tape has taken off with the rise of interest in crafts and on the popularity of NFL and college sports team colors and logos, Spider-Man and other specialty prints and graphics. Duck Tape comes in more than 200 colors, designs and licensed images, said Scott Sommers, ShurTech director of marketing.
Duck Tape goes into everything from decorations to purses and bags to prom dresses. Really. Wing your way to the ... Web ... to see: Pinterest.com/theduckbrand/.
So ShurTech plans to move from its present 154,000-square-foot center to a new 280,000-square-foot warehouse, said Gene Obrock, vice president of operations. Richard Tanenbaum developed the present site as well as the new one, where construction has just begun. Over time, the expansion will mean 10 to 20 more employees, he said.
Crafters adore the Duck. Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Joann are big customers, said Obrock, pointing out that the Duck Tape Facebook page has 5.4 million “Likes.”
“Kids love it,” he said. “Tape is fashion.”
Duck has seen a few changes in formation since landing here in 2000, when the product was made by Manco Inc. in Ohio. Several years later, Henkel Corp., based in Dusseldorf, Germany, bought the company. ShurTech Brands LLC was formed in 2009 when SureTape Technologies LLC of Hickory, N.C., which already owned FrogTape, bought Duck and other tape brands.
And the market has grown as tape became a kind of canvas, Sommers said.
“At the end of 2000, the first ‘neon' colors were released in shades like neon pink and neon green. Before that, Duck Tape had been available in silver and other basic colors for many years (including) red, white, black and blue,” Sommers said. “Those basic colors were typically used for color coding or to match repairs, not really for crafting or fashion. There were 11 basic colors before the neons were released.”
Now, he said, the 200-plus different tapes and “continued development of new and unique ways to utilize duct tape” has the company in expansion mode.
Details of $15M project
Tanenbaum said he is glad to have had such a long relationship with the company.
He is developing the $15 million, high-end build-to-suit warehouse in a lease-back arrangement that has ShurTech renting on a triple-net basis — meaning the tenant pays taxes, capital expenditures, insurance and maintenance — for 15 years. The 280,000-square-foot building will have 35-foot clear-height ceilings and be expandable up to 80,000 square feet. It will take nine months to construct. Financing was through Comerica Bank in Dallas.
Tanenbaum said he already has a few potential tenants looking at the space that ShurTech will vacate at I-35 and Hefner. With so little industrial space available along I-35 in north Oklahoma City, he said he isn't worried about backfilling the space.