When a four-member team took over Circle Industries, 527 Market St., earlier this year, it estimated the company would sell 300 vinyl playground swing sets by the end of the year.
But thanks to a contract with a company that Circle officials refuse to name, Circle's dream of 300 units suddenly has blossomed into 15,000 sets. Lauree Merrell, one of the four people running Circle, said the buyer will help Circle produce that many sets by the end of 1994.Quite a boost for four people who took over Circle on May 21 from Arthur R. Whitaker, who ran the company for many years prior to his retirement so he could serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Merrell, who is Whitaker's daughter, said she is serving as executive vice president, John Kraczek is the engineering executive, Shawn Sturgeon is the production executive and Richard Freeman is the marketing executive.
At one time Circle Industries made vinyl for decking and railings and even produced routers that made holes in vinyl. But the new team will emphasize vinyl playground sets that don't peel, rot, crack or fade and never need painting.
The playground sets, which have application in day-care centers, churches, schools or parks, have cargo nets, firepoles, steering wheels, play handles, swings, trapeze bars, slides and a tall tower with a canopy.
Merrell said the state of Georgia, which has banned the sale of wooden swing sets, is a logical target for swing-set sales. She said the sets probably will go to all parts of the United States for sale in higher-price stores.