A longtime company recently created a product to battle porch pirates and protect residents' packages.
Bartley Industries Inc., a company founded in the 1970s in Lindsay, moved to 3305 SE 44th St. in Norman in September and launched FRED box, or Frozen, Refrigerated, Electronic and Dry goods, at the Oklahoma State Fair. The company hosted a grand opening, ribbon cutting and product introduction Tuesday at their new, bigger location.
Josh Gorton, Bartley creative brand coordinator, said the 32-inch-by-32-inch white box is insulated, weather resistant and aesthetically appealing and includes a secure digital lock that can store up to 25 four-digit codes and a master code. The box is made and manufactured at the Norman location using azek, which is sturdy like wood but doesn't split, rot, mold or mildew. The product is made for outdoors and is easy to clean, he said.
"It's the only box like it in the market," he said, adding that a patent is pending.
Nearly 26 million American said they've had a package stolen from a porch or doorstep during the holidays, according to a 2017 survey from InsuranceQuotes.com.
Gorton said the boxes weigh 165 pounds. Workers install a concrete pad and anchor the box into the concrete on a customer's property, which takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Each purchase includes a limited 25-year warranty.
He said the box is ideal for any product. Residents just need to provide a FRED code and specific instructions at checkout, or they can call the provider directly.
The company, originally named Bob Bartley Electric, provides oil and electrical work but diversified several years ago after President Donna Clark had the idea for FRED box and acquired Cedar Lane Fencing. The company was renamed Bartley Industries Inc. in early 2015, according to bartleyindustries.com/about-us.
Gorton said a lot of their workers are from Norman, and Clark and the general manager attended the University of Oklahoma, so moving to Norman made sense.
"I love our location now," he said.
Gorton said FRED box was officially developed last year, and he knows of no other company that provides a box with premium insulation. He described the lifetime product as a storm shelter for packages.
The box, which is powered by AA batteries, costs just under $2,000 and includes a detachable steel mesh bag that's connected to the box with a steel cord, for oversized products. Delivery and installation costs $150. A solar panel option and inside camera are available for $150 each.
Gorton said the company has already had a lot of interest from small businesses and customers in city and rural areas. Orders are available via FREDdeliverybox.com within a 50-mile radius of Norman, and financing plans are available at $200 a month for one year with no interest.
"Feedback has been great. Our customers appreciate the peace of mind and security," he said.
Jamie BerryFollow me @JamieStitches13jberry@normantranscript.com