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Prime Line Expands Facility, Apparel Brands

Signaling a further commitment to apparel offerings, Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530) has expanded its Jetline (asi/63344) facility in South Carolina, adding warehouse space, upgrading its decoration areas and creating new room for production. The expansion was celebrated today with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by employees, distributors and members of the chamber of commerce in Cherokee County.

The enhanced plant will help Prime Line keep up with what it calls “an increasing demand” for its free rush service on apparel and drinkware. “At the January industry trade shows, distributors were pleasantly surprised to see our expanded apparel line and learn that we will decorate as few as 12 shirts and ship within 24 hours,” said Jeff Lederer, CEO of Prime Line.

Beginning this year, Prime Line added apparel brands like Bella+Canvas (asi/39590), Fruit of the Loom (asi/84257), Jerzees (asi/40650) and Hanes (asi/59528) to its Jetline product line, building on its existing offerings from labels including Gildan (asi/56842) and Next Level (asi/73867). Apparel is included in both the 2017 Jetline and Prime Line annual catalogs. In making its move into apparel, Prime Line joins other major hard goods suppliers – including Polyconcept and Hit (asi/61125) – that have added wearables in recent years. “We’re seeing that distributors are consolidating their spend and they want a one-stop solution for their needs,” Lederer told Counselor in an exclusive interview this week. “With apparel being such a large segment of the market, it’s essential that we have more offerings.”

Prime Line acquired Jetline in January of last year, its sixth acquisition in as many years. Bolstered by the deal as well as organic growth, Lederer says Prime Line’s 2016 sales “exceeded industry averages. We’re pretty bullish going forward,” Lederer said. “We have the largest inventory we’ve ever had. We had 99.6% on-time delivery in the period between November and January. We have a 20-second average hold time. In all this, we feel our customers love doing business with Prime and it’s our goal to make that continue.”

Counselor ranks Prime Line as the 11th largest supplier in the industry, after the firm reported 2015 North American promo product sales of $111.2 million.