Top 40 distributor Axis Promotions (asi/128263) has made a strategic investment in New Jersey-based Blank2Branded (asi/141113), a nationally certified, WBENC woman-owned boutique distributorship. The partnership aims to expand both businesses, allowing the distributors to better serve clients. The dollar figure of the investment was kept private.
In announcing its new minority interest in Blank2Branded last week, New York City-based Axis said it will provide the new partner firm with additional resources related to production, fulfilment, importing, e-commerce, product safety, compliance and supply chain. Marcia Tarnoff, president and CEO of Blank2Branded, said such services will be a boon to her customers, which will still benefit from the personal touch her boutique agency offers.
“Our decision is born out of the desire to be bigger, better and stronger for our clients and our team,” says Tarnoff. “Equally important to this decision is the opportunity to learn and be mentored by key industry leaders. Axis is the perfect fit to provide all of the above and more.”
Larry Cohen, president and CEO of Axis, said that Axis has great respect for what “Blank2Branded stands for as a certified woman-owned business,” adding that the larger firm will not disrupt the ownership or winning culture Tarnoff has spearheaded. “Partnerships like this are good for our clients and the overall industry,” says Cohen, “as they allow smaller distributors like Blank2Branded to provide greater resources to their clients, while they retain their identity and increase their contribution to the growth of the industry.”
Axis is working with Blank2Branded through its “Powered by Axis” initiative, which includes offerings like full-service accounting, a fully staffed compliance department, marketing and creative support, and a working capital line of credit for operations.
In its most recent listing, Counselor ranked Axis Promotions as the 32nd largest distributor in the industry after the firm reported 2015 North American promo product sales of $48.3 million.