Prime Acquires Two Direct-Sourcing Suppliers
As first reported this week in a Breaking News Alert, Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530) has acquired ROI Line by Source Abroad (asi/88242) and Get It Global (asi/56712) in two separate but simultaneous transactions. Read Article
While financial terms of the deals were not revealed, Prime says the two transactions will immediately add between 10% and 15% to its annual revenues. Prime said that its impetus for both of the deals, which are both effective immediately, was to add more custom sourcing capabilities to its offerings.
"We're thrilled about adding both of these companies," Jeff Lederer, president of Prime, told Counselor in an exclusive interview. "We feel like custom sourcing is going to be a major trend in the market moving forward, and this gives us more ability to meet distributor needs. These new additions will allow us to service customers at a much higher level. It will give distributors direct access to factories in China through Prime."
Following the deal, Los Angeles-based ROI Line by Source Abroad will continue to be based in California and company founder Caro Krissman will remain in a consulting capacity. The supplier will now be known as ROI by Prime, but Lederer said there will be no operational changes for the line. ROI's Awareness Line of cause-related items will now become part of Prime's product offerings. In addition to the custom offerings of ROI Line, Lederer said that the deal helps Prime expand its offerings to the west coast market. "The California location will help us to service distributors on the west coast even further," Lederer said. "It makes our presence there even better, and we can provide delivery and pricing that we probably couldn't previously offer."
The product line of Ohio-based Get It Global, which focuses on complete customization of products and packaging, will be integrated into Prime Line's operations immediately and will be known as Get It Global by Prime. As a result of the deal, Andrew Brodey, the owner of Get It Global, will join Prime as the company's vice president of global sourcing.
Prime ranks as the 24th-largest supplier in the market, after reporting 2012 North American ad specialty revenues of $56.3 million. Lederer told Counselor that he expects the two new custom sourcing companies to represent up to 25% of Prime's overall revenues within the next few years. "We've been working on these two deals for the last several months," Lederer said. "We're excited to grow our custom sourcing business at a faster pace, and we're looking forward to starting the year off with these new capabilities."
Bangladesh Factory Owner Charged With Homicide
A Bangladeshi garment factory owner and his wife are facing “culpable homicide” charges because of alleged gross negligence prior to a 2012 fire that killed 112 people. Read Article
Delwar Hossain, owner and managing director of Tazreen Fashions Ltd., and his wife, Mahmuda Akther, chairwoman of the company, are among six people whom a Bangladeshi judicial magistrate recently issued arrest warrants for in connection with the blaze, which occurred in November of 2012.
In all, 13 people – all officials for Tazreen – face homicide charges following a criminal investigation that found safety measures were ignored at the factory, which primarily produced clothes for Western clothing brands and retailers. Many of the workers who perished in the blaze at the multi-story building on the outskirts of Dhaka did so because supervisors ordered workers back to their stations, even as alarms blared and smoke clouded staircases, authorities allege. The 13 accused officials could face life in prison if convicted on charges of breaching construction rules and failing to provide emergency exits.
After the arrest warrants were issued, Hossain expressed disbelief at being accused of homicide and vowed to prove himself innocent. "It saddened and astonished me to see that both my wife and I are the main accused," he told Reuters. "I have the full respect for the law, and because of that I did not try to flee the country though I had a U.S. visa. I am not guilty and will try to prove it when the trial begins."
Last year, a report from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association absolved Hossain of wrongdoing, but critics say that's not much of a surprise in a nation where powerful garment industry leaders often escape without blame following factory accidents. Still, officials in Bangladesh have been under increased international scrutiny to better protect workers in the wake of Tazreen and other high-profile catastrophes, including the April 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people. "Systemic changes are needed to root out the chronic problems plaguing the industry," said Aron Cramer, CEO of BSR, a global nonprofit business network dedicated to sustainability.
Ready-made garments make up about 80% of Bangladesh's $24 billion in annual exports. Despite bad international press of late, the nation's ready-made garments exports rose by 20% during the first half of financial year 2013-14, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.
American Apparel Reports 2013 Financials
Top 40 supplier American Apparel (asi/35297) announced its preliminary 2013 total sales increased to $633.9 million, a 3% year-over-year gain. Read Article
Wholesale net sales, which include the company's promotional products revenues, rose 4%. Despite positive total-year numbers, though, American Apparel suffered through a difficult Q4, as revenues slipped 2%. For December, total sales dropped 6%, with wholesale net sales declining by 2%, the company said. The Los Angeles-based company also announced a 7% decrease in comparable store sales in its retail store channel in December and a 1% decrease in net sales in its online channel.
"Although December was disappointing, and we could face a challenging environment for the remainder of the winter, our management team is energized and we are excited about our prospects for spring and summer 2014 as well as for the calendar year as a whole," said Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel.
In a statement, Charney blamed his company's weak December on several factors, including a shorter than usual holiday shopping season and the "under-buying" of some of American Apparel's best-selling items. "Our management team was intensely distracted during the implementation of our new distribution center," Charney said, adding that the new facility has been completed. Charney also said American Apparel's sales improved towards the end of December, with comparable store sales down just 1.7% during the final week of the month.
Ranked as the 14th largest supplier in the industry, American Apparel reported 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $96.8 million, a year-over-year gain of 7.3%.
The Joe Show: Tech Time
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off a group of new products just introduced in 2014. Read Article
Looking for a great item to include in wellness programs? Been searching for the latest branded technology accessories? On the hunt for a practical, but trendy desktop idea?
Click here to watch this new-products episode of The Joe Show.
Conference Board: Labor Markets Strengthening
The latest Employment Trends Index released by The Conference Board, a research firm, shows growth in labor markets in upcoming months – an optimistic economic signal, especially in the wake of the subpar December jobs report. The index increased to 115.76 last month from an upwardly revised 115.72 in November, a small monthly gain, but a significant 5.2% year-over-year jump. The improvement is the fifth index increase in the last six months.
"Despite the disappointing job numbers for December, the improvement in the Employment Trends Index is signaling solid employment growth in the months ahead," said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board. "With the labor force barely growing, partly due to the massive wave of baby boomers retiring, this job growth will continue to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate."
The index, which aggregates eight different labor-market indicators, is designed to be a predictor of labor conditions. Fed-released industrial production numbers, job openings and jobless claims are among the data categories the index includes. The new report, if accurate, could prove the December jobs report an outlier. Last Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said only 74,000 jobs were created in December, a number that fell massively short of the 200,000 positions most analysts expected. Payroll processing firm ADP, often criticized for its estimates, said 238,000 jobs were added by private companies last month.
Proforma Media & Print Solutions Buys Advertising Concepts
Texas-based Proforma Media & Print Solutions (asi/300094) has announced it has acquired distributor Advertising Concepts. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Since joining Proforma just three years ago with virtually no established clients, I've been able to work with Proforma's Mergers & Acquisitions Team to jump-start my business," said Edward Martin, owner of Proforma Media & Print Solutions. "Now I'm approaching $2 million in sales through acquisitions alone."
Martin plans on providing customers of Advertising Concepts with commercial printing, video, and Web services, among other offerings. Proforma Media & Print Solutions, located just outside of San Antonio, focuses on helping clients with multi-channel and multi-targeted marketing efforts.
"Mergers and acquisitions are a proven strategy for achieving wealth in this industry," said Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma. "Proforma's experienced Mergers & Acquisitions Team has structured hundreds of deals for our owners, helping them to take their businesses to new levels. We are excited to see our owners capitalizing on these opportunities to significantly increase their sales."
Obituaries: Mark and Doug Gibson, Heritage CAA
Mark and Doug Gibson, of Heritage Charity Auctions & Awards (asi/224612), died from injuries sustained in a car accident on January 5. Mark was 35 and Doug was 32.
The two brothers were on their way to the ASI Show Orlando, according to reports, when the SUV they were driving in went off the road and rolled over twice near Interstate 4 and Epcot Center Drive. An investigation into the crash is ongoing. Both Mark and Doug Gibson were wearing seatbelts, police said. Mark Gibson, a graduate of Elon University, was the general sales manager for Heritage CAA. Doug Gibson, the general manager of Heritage, was a graduate of Clemson University.
Mark is survived by his parents, William and Joyce, his wife Kristina, children Grace and Benjamin, grandmother Lucille, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Doug is survived by his parents, William and Joyce, his son Russell, grandmother Lucille, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. A funeral Mass for the Gibson brothers was celebrated on January 11 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the surviving children of Mark and Doug. For information on the fund, please contact Norman Collins at the Bank of North Georgia, 5506 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338.
Counselor Honors Distributor Choice Award Winners
At a ceremony during ASI Orlando, Counselor unveiled this year's Distributor Choice Award winners – the industry's top suppliers in 60 product categories. Seattle-based iClick (asi/62124) won the top award as 2014 Counselor Supplier of the Year, leading a group of 42 total companies that were honored. This year's awards also included two new categories – children's apparel, won by alphabroder (asi/34063) and party products, won by WOWLine (asi/98360).
Click here to see the entire group of award winners, as voted on by distributors.
ASI Radio: How To Work A Trade Show
On today's Tuesday Morning Program, the hosts gave callers tips for being successful working the floor at trade shows. Plus, we revealed our Favorite Things, listed mistakes to avoid when closing a sale and offered up product and design trends from PSI Dusseldorf.
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, January 21. 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.
Nominate Now For Counselor's Hot List
Are you doing something unique, hip, fun or trendy in the industry right now? Do you know somebody who is?
Counselor is looking for nominations of people for its annual Hot List. We're on the lookout for anyone in the industry who is taking an interesting approach to business, shaking up the status quo or simply networking like a maniac at all hours of the night. We're in search of those people who are making the industry a unique marketplace that's fun and energetic.
Send an e-mail by Friday, January 31, to Karen Akers at email@example.com explaining why your nominee should be recognized on Counselor's Hot List. And, please make sure to include a picture of the person you're nominating. Thanks!
In The News
Bic Graphic (asi/40480) has introduced the Bic Super Clip, a twist action retractable pen featuring an extra-large clip that can be imprinted. Visit www.bicgraphic.com for product details.
Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) revealed its brand-new trade show booth during the ASI Show Orlando. The new booth features a retail-inspired design, and is 33% larger than the company's 2013 booth.
Brother International Corporation will be sponsoring a new fashion competition series, Under The Gunn. Partnering with Emmy Award-winning host, Tim Gunn, Brother will supply the show with its line of sewing machines. The Lifetime series, Under the Gunn, premieres January 16, 2014, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant (asi/44900) announced that Randi Matsil, sales support coordinator, has been nominated for a 2014 PAPPA Liberty Award for Supplier Customer Service Person of the Year.
TSC Apparel (asi/90518) recently held a Big Game promotion where all customers in the Northeast territory had a chance to be entered into bi-weekly drawings by placing at least one order for Tultex items during the period between November 1 and December 27. The grand prize, which included all of the tailgating prizes in the first three drawings as well as a pre-game hospitality and party package and tickets for two to the Big Game at Met Life Stadium in February, was won by David from Norwalk, CT.
Waterleaf Studios (asi/95651) has announced the launch of its 2014 full line catalog. For more information, contact vice president of marketing, Guy Malk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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THE ADVANTAGES ROADSHOW IS VISITING THE NORTHWEST
The Advantages Roadshow is visiting the Northwest NEXT WEEK and distributors are invited to attend for FREE. Delivering top suppliers and hot, money-making products, the Roadshow is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to find answers to your clients' toughest challenges.
Come on over. All distributors are invited to attend the Advantages Roadshow for FREE. The morning schedule features distributor education from 7:45 a.m.-9 a.m. and tabletop exhibits from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Visit www.advantagesroadshow.com to register for free and to review the complete Advantages Roadshow schedule. Distributors can register on show site with a valid business card.