A company’s legacy can be as important as its future. In the case of Jay Franco & Sons, Inc., a family-owned company led by three generations of Francos, this couldn’t be more accurate. The current patriarch, Abe Franco, the son of founder Joseph H. Franco, runs the business with his two sons, Joe A. and Marc, and his nephew Joe N. Now their children are taking positions with the company as well.
Abe began working for his father at 18 while he studied at Brooklyn College at night. He and his two brothers, Nat and Harry, eventually shared management duties until Nat and Harry passed away, and the third generation stepped in.
What began as a cut-and-sew business founded by Abe’s father, Joseph H. Franco in the 1920s on the Lower East Side, today is a highly successful family-run textile business. “My father was extremely entrepreneurial,” says Abe. Coming to America from Syria with a deep knowledge of textiles and a desire for opportunity, Joseph Franco started the family business as a way to make a living.
In addition to a strong family bond, the business is known among its customers for its product innovations and service. They started selling gift-boxed towel sets in the ‘40s and ‘50s while jobbing printed and solid-color bath towels that were made in the U.S.A.
The company then began importing beach towels from Poland and Turkey during the ‘60s and ‘70s and ultimately started to import full bed and bath programs from China. The Francos still enjoy strong relationships with the same people they initially worked with in China almost 40 years ago.
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As the company expanded in the 1980s, it was able to secure a strong competitive edge by obtaining licenses for such popular brands as Betty Boop, The Flintstones, Ninja Turtles, The Power Rangers and Major League Baseball. By the mid to late ‘90s Jay Franco was able to secure a portfolio deal with Marvel Brands, which took the business to the next level. This also was helpful in allowing Franco & Sons to gain traction with other studios such as Nickelodeon and then Disney.
All of this ingenuity generated strong relationships with leading retailers like Walmart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, and specialty retailers nationwide, including major department stores. The Franco’s also have a significant business providing their products for private labels.
“We’ve earned our reputation with retailers as a creative company, and consumers love our products,” says Abe. “The other big reason for our success is our integrity. We do what we say we’re going to do for our customers. We look for and find new ways for them to be successful.”
We do what we say we’re going to do for our customers. We look for and find new ways for them to be successful.
The company also develops and invests in innovative manufacturing technologies and the latest textile fabrications. With these leading production capabilities and Franco’s long-standing relationships with top licensors, as well as successful joint ventures with suppliers, the company is able to provide the hottest licensed brands at competitive prices.
“We take pride in our ability to meet and exceed the demands of today’s global marketplace, while maintaining the highest standard of quality,” says Joe A. To the Francos, quality also means serving their biggest customers directly by opening offices in their customers’ markets, including Arkansas, Minnesota, Chicago and Dallas as well as warehouses in New Jersey and California.
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