Ennis Reports Quarterly Financials Top 40 supplier firm Ennis (asi/52493), parent company to industry suppliers such as Alstyle Apparel (asi/34817), Admore (asi/32050), and Star Award Ribbon Co. (asi/89195), reported yesterday that its sales increased by 5.9% in its most recent quarter. Read Article
In the three months ended November 30, Ennis said that its revenues totaled $136.6 million, increasing from $129 million in the same time period last year. Further, the company said its revenues were essentially flat over the first nine months of its fiscal year – totaling $410.3 million this year and $409.9 million in the first three quarters of last year.
In its breakdown of its business groups for the time period, Ennis said that its print business was performing well while apparel is being impacted by pricing pressures. While print sales increased by 10.1% in the most recent quarter, apparel revenues fell by 1.1% even though apparel unit sales jumped by 5.5%. The difference, the company said, was a result of average apparel selling prices dropping by 6.6% in the period.
Overall, though, the company said its performance through the quarter and the first nine months of its fiscal year was positive. "We are pleased with our results for the quarter," said Keith Walters, chairman, CEO and president of Ennis. "Our apparel results continued to improve as lower input costs of manufacturing and raw materials continue to favorably impact comparable operational results. Although we continue to make cost-side improvements, the apparel market continues to be extremely challenging, both from a volume and pricing perspective. During the third quarter, we faced increased pricing pressures due to competitors discounting. Whether this discounted pricing, which we believe is driven by a desire to maintain certain production volumes, will continue into the next calendar year or not is unknown. While the market continues to be challenging, we remain optimistic about the remainder of the fiscal year and the first part of next year."
Ennis ranks as the fifth-largest supplier in the industry, after reporting 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $235.3 million.
CPSC Recalls Children’s Sweatshirts Continuing a long line of children’s outerwear recalls in 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced last week that it is recalling Browning’s youth buckmark hooded sweatshirts. Read Article
The items, which were recalled because they have drawstrings around the neck area that pose a strangulation hazard to young children, were sold online and in Academy Sports + Outdoors stores between August 2012 and October 2013. While no injuries were reported, the CPSC and the manufacturer reported that about 4,300 of the items had been sold.
The sweatshirts in question were manufactured in Bangladesh and were imported to the U.S. by Browning Inc., based in Morgan, UT. The CPSC said that consumers should remove the drawstrings from the garments to eliminate the hazard or return them to Browning for a full refund.
In its statement announcing the recall, the CPSC again warned manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of apparel about the dangers of children's clothing with drawstrings near the neck or waist areas. "In July 2011, CPSC issued a federal regulation regarding drawstrings in children's upper outerwear," the federal consumer product watchdog said. "CPSC's actions demonstrate a commitment to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts."
Survey: Marketers Want Data To Drive Programs
A new study from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) shows that marketers are increasingly implementing campaigns that are driven by data and that prove the return on investment of each effort. Read Article
For the third consecutive period, marketers in the United States said their investments in data-driven marketing (DDM) are generating increasingly profitable returns. In light of that improved performance, marketers say they're increasingly implementing data-driven campaigns over other marketing efforts.
"Confidence in data-driven marketing is growing steadily as profits increase," said Linda Woolley, DMA's president and CEO. "Thanks to the unprecedented amount and quality of data now available, marketers are able to garner intelligence from consumer data more quickly and seamlessly than ever before. As a result, [end-customers] also receive tremendous benefit, including vastly improved customization and relevance."
The survey, which was conducted in conjunction with consulting firm Winterberry Group, showed that more than 75% of respondents are confident in their data-driven marketing efforts, including nearly half who say that their data-driven marketing will expand significantly in 2014. The study also reported that marketers are particularly optimistic about mobile marketing opportunities, as investments in the mobile channel increased sharply in Q3, even outpacing social media investment rates for the first time this year.
"Improving performance may be a good sign for more than just marketers' financial returns," said Jonathan Margulies, managing director at Winterberry Group. "It's clear that profitability breeds confidence, and as marketers are both financially stable and confident in their future business prospects, they may be more likely to begin testing new solutions for audience engagement."
The Joe Show: Fun New Products In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off a variety of products perfect for upcoming client campaigns. Read Article
Looking for a unique item that's sure to appeal to young demographics? How about some apparel accessories for fashion conscious promotional recipients? Watch The Joe Show for new product and promotional ideas.
Click here to watch this new-products episode of The Joe Show.
New Signage + Decoration Pavilion Coming The ASI Show™ and ST Media Group International will debut the new pavilion at ASI's Chicago show July 15-17 at McCormick Place. Find out more. More Free Education
ASI Radio: Social Media Success Tips
On today's Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts interviewed social media expert Marki Lemons Ryhal, who provided listeners with strategies and tactics (including ROI and measurement tips) for succeeding with social networking. Plus, we revealed our Favorite Things, provided the most pressing marketing solutions for 2014, and revealed the traits of highly motivated workplaces.
If you missed the show, a recording is now available at www.asicentral.com/radio. And, don't forget to join us for our next broadcast – Tuesday, December 31. Log on at 10:30 a.m. ET to listen to the show – and give us a call at (215) 953-4979 to hear your voice on the air.
Legislation Aims To Prevent Job Applicant Credit Checks
A new measure introduced by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and co-sponsored by five other legislators would ban companies from conducting credit checks on most prospective employees. The bill, named the Equal Employment for All Act, would outlaw the checks in many fields, with limited exceptions like for jobs related to national security.
"There's little or no evidence of any correlation between job performance and a credit score," Warren said. "This is a point of basic fairness. People who get hit with hard economic blows end up getting squeezed out of the system."
A research brief released by the Demos Foundation, a liberal think-tank, notes that one of the most common reasons for bad credit is the loss of a job and health insurance. Those losses, consequently, make it a challenge to pay bills on time, Demos found. A Demos report also shows that one in 10 unemployed Americans have been denied a job because of information in their credit reports. Many of these checks are run on applicants seeking entry level positions.
However, trade groups like the Consumer Data Industry Association defend the use of applicant credit checks as a basis for preventing embezzlement and fraud. Data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that each year there are about $1 trillion worth of employee thefts – an average of $175,000 per business. That figure increases to $200,000 for companies with fewer than 100 employees.
Podcast: Are You A Top-Notch Entrepreneur?
On last week's Tuesday Morning show on ASI Radio, the hosts interviewed special guests Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O'Leary, stars of the ABC business reality show Shark Tank.
The duo discussed business ideas and execution, the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to reduce risk. Plus, Corcoran and O'Leary explained exactly what they look for when deciding whether to invest in a business or not.
Click here to listen to the complete interview. Also, don't forget that next month Corcoran and O'Leary will be keynoters at ASI Orlando on Tuesday, January 7. Go to www.asishow.com for more information.
Counselor Unveils Best Places To Work
At the inaugural Counselor Best Places to Work Conference, held recently in Santa Barbara, CA, Counselor magazine announced its 2013 ranking of the best workplaces in the industry. With a list of 85 distributors and suppliers, the Counselor Best Places to Work this year is headed up by supplier firm Crystal Impressions by Seaena (asi/47782). "It's truly a great honor to be number-one on the list," said Allison Robbins, one of the company's owners, upon finding out about the ranking. "We're a fun company that we all love spending time at."
Rounding out the top five on the 2013 Best Places to Work list are: Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308), Beehive Specialty (asi/135780), Royal Crest Promotions (asi/83740), and Clean Fun Promotional Marketing (asi/162979). Click here to view the complete ranking of the 2013 Counselor Best Places to Work list.
Vote In The Wearables Apparel Design Awards
Each year, Wearables names the best apparel and accessories in the industry – and we can't do it without your help. Your votes will determine the winners of our annual Wearables Apparel Design Awards. Choose the products you think are the best, considering design appeal, wearability and overall look.
Click here to vote. Voting will take place throughout December. And be sure to check out the February issue of Wearables to find out the winners.
In The News
Beyond Zebra Inc. (asi/138945) announced that its CFO, Stacy Burleson, helped to organize the inaugural Stop the Clot Walk in Los Angeles on December 15. Burleson, a blood clot survivor, serves on the volunteer committee for the National Blood Clot Alliance and was honored at the event as the walk's top fundraiser.
Jornik (asi/63549) announced that its facility will be closed between December 23 and December 27. It will re-open on December 30.
Maglite Promo Direct (asi/68449), which will be joining the market as of January 1, announced that suppliers that have been carrying Maglite products will continue to supply Maglite-branded items to the ad specialty industry moving forward. According to Tom Richardson, Maglite vice president of sales, those suppliers include: Compass Industries (asi/46170), Caltex Global Marketing (asi/43580), Beacon Promotions (asi/39250), and Bay Supply & Marketing (asi/39005).
Proforma (asi/300094) announced that members of its Support Center have raised more than $2,000 in cash and gifts for the Adopt-A-Family program, which provides presents to local underprivileged children. This year, Proforma was able to bring holiday cheer to 15 Cleveland-area children in need.
Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) announced that Steve Levschuk, president of Talbot Marketing (asi/341500), will become the newest inductee into the PPPC Hall of Fame.
Starline (asi/89320) announced that Doug Oslance won its Rep of the Year award and Ed Maloney and Blake Dugger of Maloney & Associates won the company's Multi-Line Rep of the Year award. The supplier also announced that three of its sales reps were honored with the following association awards: Jen Kruger won Supplier Representative of the Year from Promotional Products Association Midwest (PPAM); Patrick Reinecker of Reinecker Marketing Associates won the Houston Promotional Products Association (HPPA) Multi-Line Representative of the Year award; and Rich Conroy of Flanagan and Associates won the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals Multi-Line Representative of the Year award.
People On The Move
BrandAlliance (asi/145177) announced that it named Terie Vickers-Craig as its director of vendor relations, with the appointment effective as of January 3.
CleggPromo (asi/45450) announced the following additions to its staff: Freddy Limas as production coordinator, Janae Cook as national account manager for Clegg's POP division, and Molly Moreno as account manager calling on distributors in Kansas, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Northern California.
GNP Branded Gear (asi/200020) announced that it has promoted Kate Welsh to e-commerce operations manager.
THE FREE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER ASI Dallas, the largest ad specialty show in the Southwest, delivers the BIGGEST suppliers, the BIGGEST sales opportunities and the BIGGEST events! ASI distributor and decorator members can attend for FREE when you register by January 6.
Taking place February 4-6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, ASI Dallas offers all this and MORE…
51 education workshops focused on topics to make you more successful
Over 500 leading suppliers debuting thousands of new products
Dailey networking events, including the Gala Celebration at Gilley's
The following are the dates and locations for The ASI Show in 2014:
Orlando, January 5-7, 2014
Dallas, February 4-6, 2014
Long Beach, March 25-27, 2014
New York, April 3-4, 2014
Chicago, July 15-17, 2014