Top 40 supplier Gemline (asi/56070) has reached a long-term, strategic partnership agreement with tote and backpack manufacturer RuMe, Counselor has learned. Per the deal, effective early in 2018, Gemline will assume the entire RuMe BrandSuite (asi/82700) business for the promotional products market. Under this partnership, Gemline will become the exclusive industry supplier of RuMe items, including Made in the USA product lines.
“We are very excited about our strategic partnership with RuMe,” said Jonathan Isaacson, president of Gemline. “The RuMe brand is a natural complement to Gemline’s design and quality centric product offering, allowing our customers to enhance their brand portfolio with RuMe’s stylish product solutions.”
Earlier this year, Counselor named RuMe BrandSuite the industry’s fastest-growing supplier. Between 2014 and 2016 – the supplier’s first years in the promo market – RuMe increased its sales by 513%. Known for its popular totes, RuMe items were first sold in gift shops and boutiques, and later expanded into large retailers including The Container Store, Whole Foods, and Target.
The deal is not a purchase, Counselor has confirmed. Instead, RuMe is leaving the promo space to focus on its retail line and Gemline will be the exclusive supplier to handle and sell RuMe products, which will still say ‘Made by RuMe.”
“As RuMe continues to grow in a variety of retail channels, partnering with a highly respected promotional products supplier such as Gemline was critical given our strong brand reputation,” said Jae Lee, CEO and co-founder of RuMe. “It was important to choose a supplier with a strong track record for brand stewardship that understands fashion, and can deliver exceptional customer service.”