The Supply Side: Walmart signs exclusive agreement with Jenny and Dave Marrs

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 9,921 views 

Centerton couple Jenny and Dave Marrs star on the HGTV series "Fixer to Fabulous."

Walmart helped put Northwest Arkansas on the map. Home makeover duo Jenny and Dave Marrs continue to spotlight the region’s beauty and culture to millions of viewers on the HGTV series “Fixer to Fabulous.”

About a year ago, the Marrs, who live outside of Centerton, approached Walmart about collaborating on a line of outdoor furniture inspired by Jenny’s design acumen and Dave’s furniture builds.

“It really is a natural fit for our belief that everyone should have access to a beautiful home,” Jenny Marrs said.

The retailer markets the furniture under the Better Homes & Gardens brand sold exclusively at Walmart. Julie Barber, senior vice president of hardlines at Walmart U.S., said most of the items are available for purchase in stores and online across the country, with more arriving soon.

“Over the past few years, Walmart has focused on building our assortment to bring high-quality, stylish home goods and decor to customers at an incredible value,” Barber said. “This includes adding exciting national brands to our portfolio and launching strategic collaborations with designers and influencers that bring exclusive and elevated product lines to Walmart customers at accessible prices.”

Walmart has also curated deals with Ellen DeGeneres, Nate Berkus and other celebrities for the home furnishing category, indoor and outdoor.

Barber said the Marrs collection is curated for the “perfectly imperfect” looks the celebrity couple has in their Benton County home. She said the collection offers 30 different items from planters, outdoor rugs and pillows to teak wood porch swings and dining tables.

“We have both been extremely hands-on in creating the product and the overall brand aesthetic,” Jenny Marrs noted in a statement to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “The furniture pieces are modeled after Dave’s original designs. I love to thoughtfully mix worn and new items to create a layered and timeless look in our home. I love handcrafted pieces that feel worn and well-loved because they tell a story.”

She said the couple designed the prototypes together that Dave builds and submits for reproduction samples. She said paint, wood and color samples have been sent to Walmart and its manufacturers for reproduction.

“We’ve spent countless hours designing, modifying and approving each product in the line, and we’re so excited to see it come to life,” Jenny Marrs said, adding that they have input on the sales price of the items in the line. “We believe a home is meant to be lived in, and the things within should be loved well,” she said. “We set out to create pieces that will bring beauty into people’s homes in an accessible way. Walmart does an amazing job of curating assortments that are accessible and affordable to consumers nationwide.”

When asked what the most exciting part of the venture with Walmart was, the couple said fans of their show had been asking how to get furniture items that Dave had built for home remodels for some time, and now they can buy them at Walmart.

“The teak wood porch swing is the No. 1 requested item,” Jenny Marrs said. It’s part of the collection sold at Walmart for $897.

The couple also said several of the pieces are used in episodes already filmed that will air next season on their HGTV shows, noting that they will continue to incorporate their product line into renovations.

As for doing business with Walmart, the couple said there was no surprise but more of a confirmation that Walmart does a good job of curating assortments that are accessible and affordable to consumers nationwide. When asked if there could be future opportunities to work with Walmart on other products or endorsement opportunities, the couple said, “we love this partnership and look forward to many years to come.”

Jenny and Dave Marrs have starred on HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” since 2019, and last year they got a spin-off for the “Welcome Inn” show that featured a bed and breakfast they purchased in Rogers and remodeled. The couple said they did not reach out to HGTV but were spotted by the network after word about their business and their passion for reviving historic homes after moving to Arkansas from Colorado.

Jenny Marrs said they never saw themselves becoming celebrities through an HGTV show.

“It still doesn’t feel real, but here we are,” she said. “This collection was based on things that we love, things Dave has hand-built, and now we can share that with other people around the country.”

The popularity of the items in the collection has many of the goods on backorder after just one week on the market, according to inventories checked at Northwest Arkansas stores.

Scott Benedict, an executive at Rogers marketing agency WhyteSpyder, said collaboration is a good way for Walmart to capitalize on Marrs’ celebrity. It doesn’t hurt that the category is a high-margin business, between 25% and 30% on average.

The caveat is that outdoor furnishings are seasonal in many parts of the country, including Northwest Arkansas. The window for shipping and getting products is tight. He said that with a number of the items already sold out and most of the manufacturing likely done abroad, it might be hard to restock items before the seasonal window closes in mid-July.

“Of course, there are plenty of markets where consumers use outdoor furniture nearly year-round,” Benedict said. “This new line adds some excitement to the category for Walmart, and the higher price point for the teak wood furniture is also likely to draw in higher-income demographics that might not typically shop Walmart for outdoor furniture.”

Editor’s note: The Supply Side section of Talk Business & Politics focuses on the companies, organizations, issues and individuals engaged in providing products and services to retailers. The Supply Side is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by Propak Logistics.