Remington Outdoor announced Tuesday a partnership with Jacksonville-based knifemaker Bear & Son to create a line of collectible cutlery that will launch in August. The partnership could lead to 10 new jobs, officials say.
“We think it’s really positive for our business and the community both,” said Ken Griffey, president of Bear & Son, which currently employs around 80 people in both manufacturing and contract work. “We will be able to sell more knives and hire more folks. We are trying to hire 10 people to get this thing up and started right now.”
Griffey said the companies have discussed the partnership for two years, but it became reality in the last two months.
“We have been working on this for a long time and planning ahead of time,” Griffey said. “We will actually start shipping some of the new products by the first of next month.”
In a statement released on July 8, Remington announced the line will launch with an updated version of the Remington Bullet knife, which the companies have manufactured together since 2006. Knives will be added to the Remington Sportsman Series, as well as the Remington Defense Tactical Knives. Additions will also be made to the 700 and 870 series.
With the announcement of one partnership between the two companies came another. Bear & Son will also become Remington’s exclusive licensee for cutlery in 2015.
“We are going to hit it hard this year and even harder next year when the full contract gets started,” Griffey said.
Efforts to reach officials with Remington on Wednesday were unsuccessful, but the company announced the partnership in an emailed statement.
“With a history dating back to 1920 of producing only the finest knives, it was critical for Remington to pick the right partner,” Kevin Graff, senior vice president and general manager of business and consumer development for Remington, was quoted as saying in the statement. “The dedication, professionalism and commitment to quality at every level of Bear & Son have become clear to us over the years of our collaboration."
Don Hopper, executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, said the announcement is good news for the area.
“I don’t know what the true economic impact is, but it has to be great news,” he said. “I think it is another sign that the state of Alabama continues to be open for business.”