Selbyville’s Avalanche Industries snowballs into online retail
By Roger Morris
Special to Delaware Business Times
Although Avalanche Industries started with brick-and-mortar stores — including the well-known Bethany Trading Co. in Bethany Beach — today the Selbyville-based company has grown into one of the largest all-purpose retailers on the internet.
“About 15 years ago we started going online, and gradually we got rid of the stores except for the trading company,” said Jeremy Navarre, an ex-University of Maryland and NFL football player who leads the business as chief sales officer. “Today, we sell more than 40,000 items on Amazon.com alone.” eBay is another big sales conduit.
The company specializes in partnering with companies that produce goods — such as Wahl Tools and Connects Toys —and prepares their marketing materials, all in Selbyville. This process includes positioning the product, writing copy, doing the photography and videos.
“Our partners send their products to Selbyville,” Navarre said, “and then we turn them around and,
in the case of Amazon, ship them to their centers in New Jersey, Texas and the West Coast.”
“In the past six years we have grown from about 50 employees to around 130 today,” Navarre said.
A recruiting video posted two years ago on YouTube shows mostly young employees in an atmosphere of game-playing and other team activities that are more commonly associated with tech firms located in Silicon Valley — activities all geared to keep the Selbyville snowball rolling along.