A former newspaper editor from Charlotte, North Carolina, Robert Barker, began a small company selling supplies to restaurants and cafeterias in 1972. Sometime during the 1980s, the company focus changed to law enforcement and prison supplies.
The company has been awarded at least $13 million in federal prison system contracts in the United States since 1995, representing about 100 federal prisons across the country. Bob Barker Company began a $4.15 million distribution center expansion in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina in 2016.
While there are urban legends suggesting that the company belongs to game show host of the same name, Bob Barker, there is no relationship between the two.
The company received attention after a report stated that garments and shoes were being made under sweat-shop like conditions. The company denied the report.
To help former inmates readjust to civilian life, the company also operates a non-profit sector, The Bob Barker Foundation.
Headquarters for Bob Barker Company remain in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.