Special Projects For 57

FAST40 2011

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Charlotte toolmaker tinkers in the spotlight P ositec Tool Corp. has always been ready for its close-up. After all, it raised awareness of its products through 30-minute infomercials that starred well-known home-improvement gurus. Eventually the home, lawn and garden tools were so coveted that they landed on the shelves of stores, including Lowe's Cos. and Sears Holdings Corp., in 2010. In 2008, infomercial sales account- ed for 80% of the Charlotte-based company's revenue, President and CEO Tom Duncan says. Now, about 70% comes from stores. Revenue more than doubled to about $167.8 million between 2008 and 2010, and the number of employees more than tripled to 68. "We've done this against a head wind," Duncan says. "If we can ever get a tail wind, who knows what we can do?" Lowe's named Positec its Innovative Supplier of the Positec's tools were fi rst featured in infomercials but are now on the shelves of major home-improvement stores. Year for 2010, which is when sales there hit $50 million. The hope of building a business relationship with the Mooresville-based company is the primary reason Positec Tool is in Charlotte. Positec Group Ltd. Co., PTC's parent, was founded in 1994 in Suzhou, China, where companies such as Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears con- tracted it to make private-label tools. In 2005, Positec Group started developing its own brands. That same year, Duncan opened the North American headquarters in Charlotte, stocking it with goods manufactured in China by the parent company. The subsidiary sells about 250 products in the U.S. and Canada and has about 110 employees in the Charlotte region. Duncan has moved his operations four times in six years. "When you're on that growth pattern, you just run out of space." This year he consolidated previously outsourced operations in Charlotte, moving call, distribution and product-reconditioning centers to the Queen City from Greensboro, Charleston, S.C., Long Beach, Calif., and Van Nuys, Calif. He says the company is on track to reach $250 million of revenue this year, a fi gure he wants to double in fi ve years. Ultimately he hopes to build a $1 billion global business, perhaps growing through acquisitions, and he is exploring the Brazilian market. Positec Tool Corp. 10130 Perimeter Parkway, Suite 300, Charlotte, N.C. 28216 12 NORTH CAROLINA MID-MARKET FAST 40

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