The e-retailer recently launched a line of more affordable grills and plans more product expansion to include additional outdoor-living accessories., an outdoor living brand owned by LLC, is best known for its barbecue grills and elaborate outdoor kitchens. Now it wants more.

“The big opportunity is what we call selling the backyard,” says Justin Petersen, who recently joined the retailer as chief merchandising officer.

Founded in 1998 as The Grill Store & More, BBQGuys sells its own lines of grills and accessories and products from the Napoleon Weber Grills and Traeger brands. Its inventory includes components used to build outdoor kitchens. Like indoor kitchens, the outdoor variety can include amenities like built-in storage cabinets, refrigeration, ice bins and warming drawers.

In addition to its online operation, BBQGuys operates a showroom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and plans to open a second this year near Atlanta, Georgia.

Product line expansion

BBQGuys (No. 242 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 ranking) already sells patio furniture and outdoor accessories like fire pits and patio heaters, Petersen says. But those product lines are “under-penetrated” segments that offer significant growth potential, he adds. Without providing specifics, he says diversifying its outdoor living product offerings would build on the retailer’s category expansion under Brand Velocity Group’s (BVG) ownership. The private-equity firm bought BBQGuys in September 2020.

BBQGuys Victory grill

In the summer of 2021, BBQGuys launched its “entry-level” Victory line of grills.

In January, BBQGuys became the exclusive seller of Magma Products’ Crossover Series, portable cooking products made for travelers, recreational vehicle owners and tailgaters. Magma, which Brand Velocity Group also owns, is best known for marine grills and other boating accessories.

In the summer of 2021, BBQGuys launched its “entry-level” Victory line of grills, with prices in the $700 to $800 range. BBQGuys sells the Victory line directly to consumers on its website and in Costco Wholesale Corp. stores. Costco ranks No. 9 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

The merchant sells its upscale Blaze grill line online and through authorized dealers. Freestanding Blaze grills start at about $1,600 and can cost more than $6,800, according to the BBQGuys website.


Petersen declined to discuss sales figures, but he described BBQGuys’ product expansion as “so far, so good.” Overall, he says sales growth will continue in 2022. And average order values are up year over year, though some of the AOV growth is attributable to inflation. Despite rising prices on food, energy and other consumer goods, BBQGuys continues to see strong demand for its products, Petersen says.

Content creation

Petersen says the quality of BBQGuys’ online experience is essential to the brand. He says BBQGuys strives to offer a “premium experience” to shoppers.  Having an in-house creative team means the brand can produce its own content and never needs to use manufacturer-generated images on its product pages. That includes creating videos demonstrating grilling recipes and many other instructional videos.

The retailer also can bring some star power to its advertising. BVG’s partners include former National Football League quarterback Eli Manning, who joined the firm in 2021. Eli Manning, his father, Archie, and brothers Peyton (another former NFL star) and Cooper are BVG investors. The Manning family also serves as BBQGuys’ “chief commercial makin’ guys.”

For an example of their work, see the video embedded below.


Supply chain problems scuttle a plan to go public

In July 2021, BBQGuys reached an agreement to go public by merging with Velocity Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) launched by &vest in a deal valued at $963 million. But, by November 2021, the two parties had canceled the deal, citing supply chain problems affecting BBQGuys’ business and the timing of the transaction.

Petersen, who came to BBQGuys earlier this year from Wayfair Inc. (No. 7 in the Top 1000), where he served as the general manager of accent, entertainment and office furniture, says plans for an initial public offering, a merger with a SPAC, or other structural or ownership changes are unsettled. For now, he says, BBQGuys is focusing on building the operation.

“The future is bright for BBQGuys,” Petersen added.


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