Alphabroder and Bodek and Rhodes Complete Integration

Exclusive: The full details behind the integration of a $1 billion industry supplier.

Alphabroder (asi/34063) and Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) have completed their integration, finalizing its December merger that brought together two companies with a combined $1 billion in promotional product revenue.

‘The integration has gone very well,” said David Clifton, chief marketing officer for alphabroder. “We are pleased to now be able to offer our customers the complete alphabroder and Bodek and Rhodes assortment and services through one unified website and sales/customer service organization.”

The integration was finalized on Monday, June 13. Prior to that date, Clifton said, Bodek and Rhodes’ interaction with customers and available inventory was unchanged while the companies worked quickly and quietly behind the scenes to integrate. “Our number-one focus throughout this whole process has been to not disrupt any customers’ business,” Clifton told Counselor in an exclusive interview.

Clifton said alphabroder has brought over every style that was carried by Bodek and Rhodes, including the company’s UltraClub private label brand. In total, the supplier now carries over 2,000 styles of apparel, nine exclusive brands and 100,000 SKUs. Clifton allowed for the possibility in the future of narrowing the company’s assortment in places. But alphabroder is committed to carrying Bodek’s private label brand even though alphabroder carries its own assortment of private labels. “In our experience, private label in particular in our industry is often tied to programs,” said Clifton. “And so that style is important. Even though you may have a similar style from a different brand, if that particular brand is sold into a program, that is what’s important to the customer.”

Beginning this week, inventory from three of Bodek’s warehouses (in Orlando, FL, Fresno, CA, and Norton, MA,) were moved to alphabroder’s pre-existing warehouses, all of which were just a mile or less away from the Bodek locations. Over the next two months, Bodek’s remaining two facilities in Niles, MI, and Philadelphia will be transitioned over. Clifton said the company will still offer pickup and local delivery service from Philadelphia because of the location’s heightened usage and the distance from alphabroder’s next closest warehouse in Harrisburg, PA, which is two hours away.

Clifton noted from the sales and customer service teams to the companies’ inventory, alphabroder had an eye toward building out its capabilities and offerings instead of trying to eliminate redundancies. “The focus was about combining these teams,” he said. “It wasn’t about consolidation as much as it was expansion.” While the Bodek and Rhodes name is still being prominently used, Clifton said it will be phased out “over time” and that there was no rush to remove it.

In December 2015, alphabroder completed its deal to merge with Bodek and Rhodes for an undisclosed sum. One year prior in January 2014, alphabroder acquired another Top 40 supplier – Ash City. Overall, alphabroder has merged with or acquired three industry companies since the supplier was recapitalized by private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. in 2012.