Q4 Supplier Sales Increase 4.6%
Total 2014 Sales Increased 5%
Industry supplier sales rose by 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a report released today by ASI. For all of 2014, supplier revenues increased by 5%, data showed. “Companies are more apt to spend when consumers feel good about buying, and in that process our industry benefits,” said Bill Korowitz, CEO of Top 40 firm The Magnet Group (asi/68507). “Relatively speaking, consumer confidence continues to grow, and lower gas prices certainly have helped.”
More than half (54%) of suppliers reported a year-over-year increase in Q4 sales, while only 15% reported a decrease. About 47% of small-revenue suppliers (less than $5 million in annual sales) reported a jump in Q4 sales. In contrast, nearly 80% of larger-revenue suppliers ($5 million or more) increased sales in the fourth quarter. “We performed very well, experiencing double-digit growth for both the fourth quarter and 2014,” said CJ Schmidt, president of Top 40 supplier Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125). “Fourth quarter sales spiked due to the popularity of tech-related products.”
Going forward, suppliers appear confident that revenues will be stronger. “I believe that the industry will pick up in the second quarter and that we could see a good year,” said Trevor Gnesin, CEO of Top 40 firm Logomark (asi/67866). “Hopefully, the turmoil in the rest of the world will not affect the USA market.”
In January, Counselor reported that distributor sales increased by 5.9% in the fourth quarter of last year and by 5.1% in 2014 overall. Meanwhile, the Counselor Confidence Index – a tool that measures distributor health and optimism – improved slightly to 114 in the fourth quarter, hitting its highest point in nearly a year.