Bentonville merchandising company Premier Concepts acquired by competitor

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 935 views 

Please credit Donny Banerjee

Bentonville-based company Premier Concepts has been acquired by a competitor, Missouri-based Premium Retail Services. Both companies provide in-store service and support to Wal-Mart Stores and its suppliers. Premier has exclusively serviced Walmart Supercenters, while Premium works in virtually all retail trade channels.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although paperwork filed Jan. 4 at the Benton County Courthouse indicates Premium paid $3.3 million for Premier’s Bentonville headquarters at 2701 S.E. J St.

Premium’s current Northwest Arkansas office is at 2000 S. Promenade Blvd. in Rogers, in the second floor above the White Oak Station Pinnacle Market.

This past summer, Premium was one of five companies selected by Wal-Mart as a preferred service provider in its new Merchandising Services Program.

Other companies approved to continue working in Wal-Mart stores are: Anderson Merchandisers, Crossmark, Acosta and SAS Retail Services. Beginning Feb. 1, only the preferred service providers will be authorized and approved to perform merchandising services in Wal-Mart’s stores on behalf of the retailer or its suppliers.

In a statement, Premium officials said the acquisition will “strengthen” the company’s approach to Wal-Mart merchandising.

Based in the St Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Premium does in-store merchandising for several retailers but remains a family run operation founded by Ron Travers in the early 1980s when he left Nabisco. Today, according to the website, the business has thousands of employees in 50 states. Travers’ sons Kevin and Brian are owners and co-CEOs.

The company notes on its website its merchandisers provide a range of services on everything from building and maintaining displays to audits and pack out. Premium also has worked with Best Buy and Rite Aid in addition to Wal-Mart.

Darren Horton, Premier’s previous co-owner and CEO, could not be reached for comment. Premium spokesman Brian Cameron would not say how many Premier employees were involved in the acquisition, or if Horton would have a role in the new company. He did say Premier clients can expect “business as usual” moving forward.

“Our acquisition of Premier Concepts represents an opportunity to partner with likeminded professionals who are committed to providing world-class solutions for their clients,” Brian Travers said in a statement. “We are so excited to welcome Premier to the Premium family.”

In 2016, Premier Concepts made a $1 million donation toward the construction of Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale, to be distributed over five years. It is unclear if that gift will be effected by the Premium acquisition.

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