Thirty years ago, Jackie Lee’s parents started Master Cutlery, a company that was among the first to ever source knives from China. “My father saw a great opportunity and he forged relationships with manufacturers who were able to get him these products,” she explains. “The company has grown every year since then.” Lee is the company vice president of operations, based out of a 100,000 square foot warehouse in Secaucus, NJ, where Master Cutlery moved in 2007. There, about 90 percent of inventory is kept in stock. It brings in anywhere from 50 to 100 new products each month, and offers two- and three-day shipping in order to best suit its customers’ needs. In October, the company is launching a line that nods to the United States Marine Corps and Army, and Lee has already been told that the Marines are quite pleased with the quality of the blades. “If the military is pleased by what you do, it has to be great,” she says with a smile.
Product lines follow a “good, better and best” model structure, with the most popular styles coming from the field use and tactical categories. In-house designers put a great deal of care and precision into the product to be sure that every blade looks its best. “Tactical blades are really in right now,” Lee points out. “The survival trends based off of zombie themed television shows and films have resulted in an uptick in the appeal of tactical styles, and ‘end of the world’ themes, and no one knows how long it will last. For now, we’re riding that wave and doing very well.”
The company has more than 2000 SKUs of pocketknives, and over 3,000 products total, with the most popular lines being its in-house line, Mtech, and Tac Force. The design process generally involves taking a theme and letting our design team collaborate to develop an innovative prototype, which Master Cutlery then has produced. It can take eight or nine months from concept to final product, whether it’s a small blade priced at $2.95 wholesale or a handmade sword sold for $449.
As Master Cutlery continues forward, its freshly redesigned website is now a full ecommerce site, with same day shipping available for orders placed before 4 p.m. and real time inventory information. The two-year process resulted in a stainless steel themed site that looks as sharp as the products it showcases. An exceptional zoom feature makes it easier than ever to get a closer look at the products. “It took a long time to fine tune and get it precisely where we wanted it,” Lee says, “but we’ve already had tremendous feedback. As a company, we’ve grown faster than we anticipated, and with this website, we now have caught up so that our online presence reflects who we are and what we do.”
For more information:
Master Cutlery Inc.
700 Penhorn Avenue
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Toll free: 888-271-7229