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ASI Names Top 10 Fastest-Growing Canadian Ad Specialty Companies


Toronto, Ontario-based Redwood Classics Apparel tops list at No. 1

TREVOSE, PA – June 18, 2014 – Redwood Classics Apparel topped the 2014 list of top 10 fastest-growing ad specialty companies in Canada, released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI).

Redwood Classics Apparel (asi/81627), a Toronto, Ontario-based promotional apparel company that specializes in goods made in North America, grew nearly 160% between 2011 and 2013. Kathy Cheng is the company’s president.

“As a company that’s still in its infancy, it’s truly a privilege to rank alongside some of Canada’s most renowned and respected ad specialty companies,” said Cheng. “Our mandate to keep apparel manufacturing on North American soil propels us each and every day. To be recognized by ASI in such a significant capacity is not only an honour, but a motivator as well.”

ASI released the top 10 list and highlights during its second ASI Power Summit Canada, June 16-18 at Queen’s Landing at Niagara-on-the-Lake, attended by entrepreneurs, multi-national CEOs and small-business owners throughout the promotional products industry. The annual gathering featured sessions on emerging markets and the latest business trends along with a keynote by Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a best-selling author and two-time winner of the Sir Antony Fisher Award for excellence in think tank publications. Click here for more info on the Power Summit.

ASI celebrated the top 10 fastest-growing Canadian companies at a dinner at the Power Summit on Tuesday. The list was determined by the percentage each company grew between 2011 and 2013. The top companies are:

  • No. 1: Redwood Classics: 160%
  • No. 2: White Paper Office Solutions: 102%
  • No. 3: AZX Sport: 95%
  • No. 4: Stitchery and More: 75%
  • No. 5: Akran Marketing: 26%
  • No. 6: BrandAlliance: 21%
  • No. 7: BCG Creations: 14%
  • No. 8: Genumark Promotional Merchandise: 10%
  • No. 9: Superex: 9%
  • No. 10: Accolade Promotion Group: 8%

“ASI is proud to recognize the efforts of all the Canadian companies posting impressive growth in sales of promotional products and we are especially thrilled to recognize Redwood Classics for proving you can make money on items made in North America,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI, the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry. “The ASI Power Summit is designed to bring together the best entrepreneurs in the industry to exchange ideas and advance the industry forward and it’s clear that every year, more and more companies from both the U.S. and Canada are doing business together, to everyone’s benefit.”

Promotional products, also known as ad specialties, freebies and giveaways, are logoed items like pens, caps and T-shirts used by companies and organizations to advertise their brand, publicize events and thank clients and employees. According to ASI’s Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, promotional products are a high-impact, cost-effective ad medium allowing even small companies to achieve as high an ROI as major corporations.

Counselor’s 2014 “State of the Industry” distributors report – the most important and influential in the promotional products industry – analyzes key sales, marketing and operational metrics used every day by industry practitioners. The magazine’s annual “State of the Industry” issue comes out in July.

Canadian “State of the Industry” highlights include:

  • Strong sales. Over 70% of Canadian distributors expect their sales to increase in 2014 vs. 2013.
  • Changing tactics. Cold calling as a tactic for getting new business saw a sharp increase in 2013 compared to 2012, jumping from 29% to 44%. Social networking rose from 9% to 19%. Referrals remain the leading source of new business by far, at 83%.

The 2014 “State of the Industry” surveys were mailed to ASI members and Counselor subscribers who are primary contacts for their company.

For more information on the “State of the Industry” report, contact Nathaniel Kucsma, ASI’s director of marketing research, at nkucsma@asicentral.com. For more info on ASI Canada, click here.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web® is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at www.asicentral.com and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.

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