ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 16

25 YEARS
OF TRISTAR

One of the most successful companies in direct response history celebrates
its anniversary with big brands, record revenue, and plans for new growth.
By Ian P. Murphy

T

ristar Products, Inc., the direct response powerhouse based in Fairfield, N.J., is marking
an incredible 25 years in business this year.
In that quarter-century, the company has
produced and marketed some of the most successful products in the industry's history-and it's not going
to stop anytime soon.
In fact, 2016 was Tristar's best year
ever. Propelled by a wave of new products such as the Power Pressure Cooker
XL, the Flex-Able Bungee Hose, and
the Copper Chef Cookware line,
Tristar logged record revenue. Although
the privately held company is reluctant
to provide exact figures, executives
anticipate another record year in 2017,
generating $1 billion in retail sales.
This represents exponential growth
from 2014, when Tristar posted $333
million in revenue and made the Inc.
5000 list of fastest-growing companies-and a long way from where it
started in 1992, when CEO Keith
Mirchandani launched the company
with little more than a vision.
"The secret to Tristar's success is not
really a secret," Mirchandani says. "It
is more of a discipline. Products are
evaluated on one key measure: Does it

16

electronicRetailer | July-August 2017

solve a problem that many people have,
and will it give them an easy, valuable
solution for a reasonable price? We are
in the business of solving problems for
massive amounts of everyday people,
and when we find a solution that meets
those criteria, we can develop it from
start to finish."
Early Success
The company hit the ground running
with winners such as the Hook &
Hang closet organizer, the Steam Buggy
cleaner, and the Banjo Minnow Fishing
System. Generating millions in sales,
those items paved the way for Tristar to
bring more products to market.
The Ab Roller put the nascent company on the map. "[It] took the nation
by storm and possibly made more sixpacks than Budweiser," Mirchandani
quips. "Its growth was in the promise:

People want great abs. They're the
Holy Grail of fitness, but they're hard
to develop."
It and a follow-up product, the Ab
Sculptor, have generated more than $1
billion in retail sales since 1994.
These and other Tristar products
helped create whole new categories for
DR. For instance, the Jack LaLanne
Juicer made such appliances a major
profit center for retailers. Tristar was
also able to resurrect a moribund
kitchen appliance and category by making it "one-touch easy" with the Power
Pressure Cooker, expanding appeal
beyond grandma's stovetop stews.
More recently, the Flex-Able Hose
was an instant success with consumers,
and it brought As Seen On TV products
into retailers' garden departments. The
Genie Bra offered a unique combination
of comfort, lift, and support that helped
make it the No. 1 selling seamless bra in
the world-and a staple in mass-market
retailers' apparel sections.
Speak and Sell
Contributing to many products' saleability was a unique format Mirchandani
pioneered for Tristar infomercials to
soften the offer and build a bond with
consumers. Dubbed the "talk-mercial,"



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ER Magazine - July/August 2017

Happenings
Bottom Line
Out & About
Dispatches
Retail Movers
Dish With Rick Petry
Fair Trade
Making The Brand
Agency Insights
Law & Orders
25 Years of Tristar
Direct to Digital
Smart Buy
Classifieds
Advertisers’ Index
DR 101
Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover1
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover2
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Happenings
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Bottom Line
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Out & About
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dispatches
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Retail Movers
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dish With Rick Petry
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 9
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Fair Trade
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Making The Brand
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Agency Insights
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Law & Orders
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 15
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 25 Years of Tristar
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 18
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Direct to Digital
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Smart Buy
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - DR 101
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 27
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover3
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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