HanesBrands Reports 2013 Financials North Carolina-based supplier HanesBrands (asi/59528) has announced its 2013 sales rose to $4.63 billion, a year-over-year increase of 2%. Read Article
In its fiscal fourth quarter, HanesBrands made even stronger gains, reporting a 12% jump in revenues, boosted by its October 2013 acquisition of Maidenform.
"We had an outstanding year in 2013 with four consecutive quarters of strong performance," said Hanes CEO Richard A. Noll. "We achieved record results and reached significant milestones, including generating nearly $600 million of cash from operations. The combination of our brand power, low-cost supply chain and innovation platforms is generating value and growth opportunities."
Within segments, HanesBrands' innerwear net sales rose 20% in Q4 and 5% in 2013. Direct-to-consumer revenues improved 14%, while international net sales increased 10% in the fourth quarter. Only the company's activewear segment produced mixed results, with fourth quarter sales up 1% and full-year sales down 1%.
While overall net sales were higher, HanesBrands said its fourth quarter earnings fell markedly, dropping 60% because of overhead costs. Still, for all of 2013, HanesBrands reported earnings of $330.5 million, or $3.31 per share, a significant gain compared with its prior year earnings of $164.7 million, or $1.67 per share.
HanesBrands has adjusted upward its full-year 2014 guidance, forecasting sales of approximately $5.1 billion and earnings of between $4.60 and $4.80 per share. "We are raising our 2014 earnings guidance because we are increasingly confident that the momentum of our innovate-to-elevate strategy will deliver even better results," Noll said.
Brandinc Enters U.S. Market
UK-based Brandinc (asi/145212) has announced it is entering the U.S. market, opening offices in Los Angeles and Oakland, CA. Read Article
As part of its expansion plans, Brandinc has hired Tad Webster, naming him U.S. president and managing director. Additionally, Brandinc has appointed Tonia Ho as U.S. vice president.
"Tad will lead our expansion in the U.S. market, while his skill, experience and passion for exceeding client satisfaction will help us continue to grow and diversify," said Adrian Ferrand, CEO of Brandinc. "Tonia's similar passion to meet the needs of clients and focus on the sustainable and product safety initiatives of the promotional industry enables us to keep our pulse on the U.S. market. Together, their experience and commitment greatly contribute toward the greater Brandinc culture."
Founded in 1998, Brandinc is one of the largest ad specialty distributor firms in Europe. Its clients include Warner Bros., Fosters, Diageo, Barclays Bank, Fox and Disney. "Brandinc offers a comprehensive range of in-house services that provide a complete single-source branding solution on a global basis for our clients, from planning the campaign and designing product through to sourcing, manufacturing and punctual worldwide delivery," Webster said. "I'm very excited to extend this level of single-source solutions to our domestic and Canadian clients."
Hit Names New President Counselor Top 40 supplier Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125) has announced that, effective on February 1, CJ Schmidt will become president of the company. Read Article
Hit's current president, Bill Schmidt, Sr., will take the role of CEO. According to a company statement, all business will be conducted as usual following the leadership change.
Leading his company to several industry honors, including the 2011 Counselor Supplier of the Year award, Bill Schmidt, Sr. has been a perennial member of the Power 50. CJ Schmidt and his brother Bill Schmidt, Jr., first joined the annual list in 2010. Previous to his new appointment, CJ Schmidt held the title of vice president of sales at Hit.
Ranked by Counselor as the 7th largest supplier in the industry, Hit reported 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $179 million.
The Joe Show: Think Warm Thoughts
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off several new items that can help you drive Q1 sales higher. Read Article
Looking for an idea perfect for the automotive sector? How about the expanding pet market? Want to break the ice with prospects by pitching a fun warm-weather item?
Industry Reacts To Proposed Minimum Wage Hike
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama urged Congress to enact legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage for all workers from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. The president followed yesterday with a trip to a Costco store in Lanham, MD, where he again called for a minimum wage hike, saying "I firmly believe it's time to give America a raise."
Also during the State of the Union, President Obama said he would take executive action and raise the minimum wage rate to $10.10 for federal workers on new and renegotiated contracts. The move sets the stage for a debate on raising the minimum wage for all workers.
Reaction in the ad specialty industry to President Obama's proposal was mixed. Mitch Cahn, president of Unionwear (asi/73775), a Made-in-America manufacturer of clothing and accessories, supports an increase. "A higher minimum wage will actually help business owners by reducing absenteeism and worker turnover, which costs businesses way more than nickel and diming on wages," says Cahn, whose Newark, NJ-based company has 115 employees, all of whom make at least $1 more per hour than the current minimum. "Secure workers earning a living wage are productive workers and better consumers. A higher minimum wage just makes fiscal sense, especially when it is applied across the board, nationwide."
By contrast, Anna Johnson, owner of Super Embroidery and Screenprinting (asi/700101) in Phoenix, opposes the hike. She says it hampers business owners who have to raise their prices or increase production to make up the difference. "The employees in the middle are hurt the most because businesses cannot just raise everyone's wages at the same time and still stay in business," says Johnson, whose company has over 30 employees. "So the people that have been with a company longer or have learned higher skills are affected the most." She believes this will impede teenagers and untrained workers in getting jobs because it will cost more to train them before they become proficient.
Currently, less than 5% of hourly workers make minimum wage. Twenty-one states have a higher minimum wage than the current federal rate. "We support the concept of increased wages to adequately support today's standard of living," says Tej Shah, vice president of marketing & e-commerce for Overture Premiums & Promotions (asi/288473). The Vernon Hills, Illinois-based distributorship offers in-house imprinting as well as warehousing, fulfillment and distribution. "For Overture, we're excited about the change and believe it will have a positive impact on our business. Higher compensation tends to lead to better productivity, so while this will raise overhead for the industry as a whole, we do believe the overall impact will be positive."
Counselor Commentary: Avoiding Data Disasters What do Target, Neiman-Marcus, and Michael's Stores all have in common? Besides being major retailers, they've been in the news in recent weeks for suffering massive data breaches. The Target one alone impacted up to 100 million consumers, with the company saying it feared that the breach left their customers' credit card information – including PIN numbers – open for hackers to steal. Ditto for Neiman-Marcus and then most recently for Michael's, though on a significantly smaller scale than Target.
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated every day, and while the most newsworthy events are the ones targeted toward big retailers, data thieves actually don't discriminate by the size of the companies they go after. According to Symantec, a security solutions firm in Mountain View, CA, attacks on small businesses with less than 250 employees doubled in 2012, making up 31% of all business attacks. Further, the company estimates that those data breaches against smaller companies increased again in 2013 by at least another 20%. "Attackers no longer spam at will," says Steve Durbin, global vice president of the Information Security Forum. "They are increasingly targeting – learning the habits and preferences of their potential targets to better tailor malware to the intended audience. There's little chance that this threat will diminish, and more targeted attacks will make it difficult to track, analyze and protect against them."
Indeed, now is the time to guard your data as closely as possible. Experts say companies should be creating data-collection policies (how long you store clients' credit card information in your network, for example) and encrypting all of your data so it's not easily reached by hackers. In fact, any data not encrypted is vulnerable, says Tsion Gonen, chief strategy officer of SafeNet, a data protection firm based in Belcamp, MD. "By not encrypting data, all data is vulnerable to people coming in via electronic means or even walking in as part of a cleaning crew," he says. "Small businesses tend to not look at things like that."
The other thing that companies today are – unfortunately – tending to ignore is the education of their employees when it comes to data collection and the potential of breaches. While many companies focus so much on encrypting data and protecting their networks, ultimately it's actually employees, not just their devices and software, who are the weakest link in a company's security defense. Not because employees are looking to breach security from within. But more because employees often unwittingly click on an unsafe link or use too simple a password or connect to the company's network through too many different mobile devices. "A lot of these hacks you read about start with someone double clicking on a mail attachment or downloading something from the Web that they're not supposed to," says Gonen.
The time is now to educate employees and build a concrete wall around your data – before the increasing number and dexterity of hackers impacts your organization like it has so many others already.
Indian Workers Killed In Embroidery Factory Fire
Dense smoke from a fire at an embroidery factory in India killed four workers by asphyxiation and injured at least three others on Wednesday. The flames sparked on the ground floor of a four-story industrial building near the city of Surat around 8:00 a.m. local time. Soon, garments kept at the factory were ablaze. According to reports, thick smoke quickly spread to the building's top floor where 19 laborers were sleeping in unventilated quarters. While 12 people were rescued, four perished and three were rushed to a hospital with injuries.
Fire and police officials are investigating what caused the fire to flare. Preliminarily, officials say negligence on the part of the factory or builders may have contributed to the tragedy.
"No fire safety equipment was installed in the building, which is eight months old," Raju Gamit, a divisional fire officer, told The Hindu newspaper. "There was no ventilation in the building. The fire was small, but the smoke was dense. The smoke engulfed the entire building within a few seconds, making it difficult for people to escape." Gamit continued: "There seems to be no sabotage. But, we are investigating from all angles. Two firefighters were used in the operation and the fire was brought under control in 45 minutes."
Consumer Confidence Soars In January
Reaching a five-month high, consumer confidence increased sharply in January, according to a new report released by The Conference Board, a private research firm. The group's latest confidence index rose to 80.7 this month – up from a revised 77.5 in December – beating most forecasts by at least two points. While not at levels demonstrating an economic acceleration, the index is now about 30 points higher than it was during the recession of 2008 and 2009.
"Consumer confidence advanced in January for the second consecutive month," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. "All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy pick up some momentum in the months ahead."
A variety of Conference Board indicators have turned higher this month, according to data. The firm's forward-looking expectations index jumped to 81.8 in January from a downwardly revised 79 last month. The present situation index rose to 79.1, up from its previous reading of 75.3. Survey data also showed 12.7% of consumers believe jobs are "plentiful," while 32.6% think jobs are "hard to get" – both modest improvements compared to late in 2013.
"Consumers' assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably," Franco said.
About 16% of those surveyed expect their incomes will improve this year, while 13.6% now believe their incomes will decrease. Those expecting better business conditions during Q1 and Q2 of 2014 remained unchanged at 17.4%. Finally, consumers' one-year inflation expectation was at 5.1%, a negligible difference compared to recent Conference Board data.
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: Overcoming Order Errors
On this week's Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts gave callers advice on how to deal with customer service-related blunders. How can you effectively confront a supplier when imprints go wrong? What do you tell a client when bad weather causes a late shipment? What can you do to avoid future mistakes?
Click hereto listen to the complete call-in segment. If you missed any part of the radio show, a recording is now available at www.asicentral.com/radio. And, remember to join us on Tuesday, February 4, for our next broadcast. Log on at 10:30 a.m. ET to listen to the show and hear your voice on the air.
Suppliers: Nominate Now For Product Design Awards Counselor magazine is looking for innovative products for its annual Product Design Awards competition. Suppliers are invited to nominate their favorite eye-catching products in the following categories:
Awards & Recognition
Caps & Wearable Accessories
Watches & Jewelry
To enter, please submit the following: a sample of the product (We recommend that the product be exclusive to the supplier that is submitting it, although this is not a requirement); a brief description of the product, including any special features; and the category that the product should be considered for.
There is a limit of one submission per category, per company. Please note that only products from North American suppliers will be considered and that submissions will not be returned unless specifically requested. Items that were entered in previous Counselor Product Design Awards competitions will not be considered. Please send all entries to: Karen Akers, Counselor Magazine, 4800 Street Road, Trevose, PA 19053.
Questions? Email Karen Akers at email@example.com. All submissions will be judged on the following areas: design appeal, functionality and the ability to attractively feature a logo (when appropriate).
bmissions will be judged on the following areas: design appeal, functionality and the ability to attractively feature a logo (when appropriate).
In The News
World Wide (asi/98290) has developed a new Vcolor printing technology which was showcased at the ASI Show Orlando. Contact Steve Rone at World Wide for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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IT STARTS TUESDAY – FEBRUARY 4
Thousands of distributors are headed to ASI Dallas for the biggest show in the Southwest, taking place February 4-6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Register today and plan to take advantage of everything that ASI Dallas has to offer!
51 education workshops focused on topics to make you more successful