Russell Athletic Carried By Multiple Suppliers

Contrary To Report In Counselor PromoGram Last Month

Russell AthleticContrary to a report in Counselor PromoGram last month, apparel brand Russell Athletic is currently carried by multiple suppliers in the ad specialty market and will continue to be offered on a non-exclusive basis. In a joint press release, Russell Athletic and Top 40 supplier Broder Bros. (asi/42090) had announced in January that Broder would be the exclusive provider of Russell items in the industry.

Counselor has learned, though, that suppliers Team Mates Inc. (asi/90674) and Hanco (asi/59490), to name two, continue to carry Russell apparel items. "We opened a standing account with Russell years ago, and we're authorized to sell the brand's whole warehouse catalog to ASI distributors," Mike Little, president of Team Mates, told Counselor. "We have no restrictions on the Russell goods we can sell to this market. We've bought and sold millions of dollars worth of Russell items, and we'll continue to do that in the future."

Russell now says that it intended the Broder deal to be an exclusive for blank goods among larger suppliers. "Broder Bros. is our exclusive national distributor of blank goods among the traditional national blank apparel wholesalers serving the ad specialty market," Russell said in a statement to Counselor this morning. "There are a few smaller suppliers who predate the Broder arrangement. We have sold [to] these other suppliers with the understanding that they primarily sell Russell Athletic products fully decorated to end consumers."