Every brand dreams of becoming a household name, but Cody Tedford knows how to make that dream a reality. “My philosophy has always been to think big,” says Cody, CEO and owner of Merchants International, LLC (BMI). “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”
Guiding brands along the process to becoming well-known and sought-after in large retailers like Walmart and Sam’s Club is Cody’s and BMI’s focus. They provide smaller-scale brands with consulting expertise to gain footholds in the market, advising on marketing and packaging design, product replenishment, and sales services to give their products an edge over the competition, as well as a full reporting suite. Cody also offers realistic advice. “You have to be aggressive but also patient. The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese,” he explains. “I know the journey from modest to thriving, and I want to help them get to the same place.” Today, BMI manages 40 brands with annual sales of over $600 million, including C4, Honeywell, CRKT, and FitRx.
Cody’s sharp insight comes from 15 years in retail merchandising, including as a buyer of $2 billion in products for Walmart’s entire 4,500-store chain. Collectively, BMI has over 100 years of experience to pass on to their clients, with an award-winning leader guiding the way. After receiving Buyer of the Year and leaving Walmart Corporate as merchant, Cody founded BMI in 2014, which has seen double-digit growth every year since. “It’s really fun to watch these small companies appear in Sams and Walmart, knowing you did something really big for them,” he says. When PocketJuice started working with BMI in 2014, they had no distribution; this year, they saw over $200 million and now regularly appear in Walmart and Sam’s Club.
In 2019 and 2020, Cody co-founded two additional companies: Real estate investment firm, Tedford, Smith, Goodin & Dunnaway Enterprises with his partners Shayne, Lance, and Jonas, and a fishing brand called Toad Thumper that he founded with Whiskey Myers front-man, Cody Cannon. It will likely come as no surprise to anyone that both took off immediately and are on the same meteoric rise as BMI.
CEO & Owner — Merchants International
LinkedIn: Bentonville Merchants
Facebook: Bentonville Merchants, Inc.