Displaying success

When it comes to retailing, everything revolves around the product.

DARKO Inc., an in-store marketing company that designs and produces point-of-purchase displays, custom fixtures and signage, makes sure that customers pay attention to its clients’ products.

The Twinsburg-based company deals with major retail players like Target, Sears and Wal-Mart, and works with the likes of Sherwin-Williams and Fisher-Price to help sell more products through special displays.

The company has gone from about $8 million in revenue to $15 million since 2000, says Dean Rinicella, president. That growth comes despite a lull in the retail market that has cut promotional budgets for displays and advertising.

The goal is to be at $25 million in the next five years.

A history of innovative designs and a broad range of services have helped the company grow.

“Anything in the retail environment that displays a product or helps sell a product is the gamut we cover,” says Rinicella. “We don’t manufacture in-house, because it would restrict what we could design.”

By relying on a pool of local manufacturers, DARKO can provide clients with displays that are limited only by their imaginations, rather than by the capabilities of DARKO-owned machines.

The company recently opened DARKO Services, an 85,000-square-foot facility to complement its design capabilities.

“Its sole purpose is distribution fulfillment and inventory control,” says Rinicella. “This facility allows us to control the inventory, which in turn controls quality.”

Rinicella credits his employees with the firm’s success, which requires a balance of creative design and engineering to produce a product that is attractive but easy to install and maintain. From beginning to end, a project can take anywhere from three months to a year-and-a-half, so keeping an eye on cash flow is important.

DARKO is family-owned, and family values run throughout the company.

“We don’t even have to talk about team effort,” says Rinicella. “It is implied through everyone’s talk and work. It starts from us as a family owning it, and runs through the design, shipping and warehouse staff. We have a nice family of people here.” How to reach: DARKO Inc., (330) 425-9805