EmbroideMe Plans Florida Expansion Counselor Top 40 distributor EmbroidMe (asi/384000) is projecting it will open 20 new store locations in the greater Tampa area over the next several years, adding up to 200 new jobs to the local economy, the company said today. Read Article
Specifically, EmbroidMe is adding at least seven new locations to Tampa, four to St. Petersburg, and one to Clearwater.
“We see real business growth throughout central Florida,” said Erin Crawford, EmbroidMe’s vice president of development, in an interview with Counselor. “We’re based here in Florida so we know the markets well. Real estate in central Florida has recovered better than it has in other areas and we see more business-to-business opportunities.”
The new additions will call for up to five new employees per store, but each location can grow to have up to 15 employees working on production and sales. According to Crawford, EmbroidMe, which also offers decoration services, sees great potential in the ad specialty market going forward. “We’ve changed our tagline to reflect a more consultative approach and we’re heavily invested in stores offering promotional products and additional services,” she said. “Some of our locations are now totally focused on promotional products.”
In addition to central Florida, Crawford says EmbroidMe is looking to expand its presence in south Florida, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Colorado, New Hampshire and Boston, as well as Henderson, NV. Counselor ranks EmbroidMe as the 20th largest distributor in the ad specialty industry, with 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $84.9 million, a year-over-year increase of 2.7%.
Polyconcept And Zippo Break European Distribution Ties
Polyconcept and Zippo Manufacturing Company have announced a restructuring of a long-standing joint venture between the companies. Read Article
Per the agreement, Zippo will now assume full control of its own product distribution in Europe, specifically in Austria, Benelux, France, Germany and Spain – a responsibility previously held by Polyconcept. The two companies have worked together for 20 years and say the restructuring decision was arrived at mutually, as a result of changes in business strategies for both companies.
“Zippo has been a good friend to Polyconcept over the years and we sincerely hope to continue that friendship,” said Polyconcept chairman Michael Bernstein. “We are in full support of Zippo’s desire to manage the distribution of their products in this very important sales market. We wish them every success moving forward.”
Zippo has markets in more than 160 countries and is a globally-recognized brand. Zippo’s product line includes lighter accessories, watches, as well as heat and flame products.
“Over the past years Polyconcept and the Zippo Manufacturing Company have worked well together in regards to the distribution of Zippo products in Europe,” said Greg Booth, president and CEO of Zippo Manufacturing. “As the companies have evolved, we realized that this change will contribute to deliver an enhanced service to our customers. We hold Polyconcept in the highest regards and are grateful for the opportunity to have worked together and for their contribution to Zippo's success story in Europe.”
Road Tour Begins At Admints In New Jersey
Sometimes small businesses struggle to maintain a small, family-like atmosphere as they grow bigger. That doesn’t seem to be the problem at Admints & Zagabor (asi/31516), Counselor’s first stop on The Best Places to Work Road Trip 2013. Read Article
As the Road Tour team pulled up to the company’s Bellmawr, NJ, headquarters on Monday afternoon, the Admints’ gang of about 70 was taking advantage of the 70-degree weather by playing lawn games and eating pizza and hot dogs outside of the company’s doors.
Company co-owners Brett Hersh and Steve Weissman got in on the fun, Brett playing a beanbag toss game and Weissman trying to untangle himself in a group ‘human knot.’ “I’ve been here so long that I think of Brett and Steve as my brothers,” said Crisy Carosella, an art director at the company, which Hersh and Weissman founded 13 years ago with one product – a logoed cardboard box of mints. The company has since expanded its product offering to include mostly U.S.-made candy, lip balm, hand sanitizer, gourmet food gifts and lanyards, and has seen double digit annual growth for several years.
Carosella isn’t the only employee who feels that way. Robert Lafferty, the Admints’ manufacturing manager who proudly wears an Eagles’ cap under his blue hairnet on the factory floor, says the company’s founders took a chance on him five years ago when he was 55 years old, and had been unemployed for over a year. “No one would interview me,” he says. But then he got a call from Hersh and Weissman, who hired him after three interviews. He’s since brought in two other former co-workers, and plans to stay at Admints until he retires. “I told them they wouldn’t be sorry, and I’ll work as hard as I can for as long as Brett and Steve own the company,” Lafferty says.
Hersh says that kind of loyalty doesn’t go unnoticed at Admints. “Whether someone needs some flexibility because of an illness or family stuff, or even if they need some financial help, we respond however we need to,” he says.
Today’s outdoor party isn’t unusual. Every month, the company holds “Pizza Fridays,” where managers give out ‘employee-of-the-month’ awards and celebrate employees’ birthdays. “Our employees work hard and they care, and they’re rewarded for that,” Hersh says.
To see an interview with Hersh and Counselor Editor Andy Cohen, click here. For more coverage of the 2013 Counselor Best Places to Work Road Tour – taking place now until October 22 – go to www.counselormag.com/roadtour.
The Joe Show: Powerful Promos
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley showcases several products that can help you bolster your promotional campaigns this fall. Looking for a sweet giveaway idea for meetings and corporate events? Read Article
How about a fun item perfect for advertising at outdoor festivals? Want a unique item to help clients promote their holiday parties?
Click here to watch another new episode of The Joe Show.
Obituary: Houston Hale, HALO Branded Solutions
Houston Hale, regional vice president of sales in the Midwest for Counselor Top 40 distributor HALO Branded Solutions (asi/35600), died on Thursday, October 10, following a battle with cancer. Hale was 65.
A well-respected industry veteran, Hale began his career in the ad specialty industry with supplier King Louie (asi/64860). Hale held several sales roles over the years with industry suppliers and distributors before he joined HALO in 2004. “There was no finer person than Houston Hale,” said Marc Simon, CEO of HALO. “He was a role model for all of us, and his loss will be deeply felt.”
Hale is survived by his wife, Kay, and their two children, Emily and Denise. A celebration of life is planned for October 26, in Kansas City.
Incentives Market Driven By Small Businesses
A new study released this week by the Incentive Federation (IF) shows that 74% of U.S. businesses – including many small firms – spend money each year on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards for employees and customers. Overall, U.S. companies spend $22.6 billion annually on incentive travel and more than $53 billion on merchandise and gift cards, largely for rewards or similar campaigns. The latest research also now shows that about half ($39 million) of the incentives market is driven by smaller businesses (less than $10 million in annual revenue).
“This study reaffirms that the use of non-cash incentives has been and continues to be an important part of many businesses’ growth strategy, even in light of recent economic challenges,” said Melissa Van Dyke, research chair for the Incentive Federation.
Data revealed that 98% of businesses running non-cash incentive programs include merchandise or gift cards in their offerings. Non-cash employee awards are the most prevalent with 56% of U.S. businesses providing programs, followed closely by corporate gift programs. Gift cards are more frequently used for employee programs (88%) than for corporate gifts (55%), according to IF research, while merchandise is used relatively evenly.
Conducted by the Incentive Federation in partnership with Aspect Market Intelligence, the study collected data from a national sample of nearly 2,000 business executives.
Counselor How-To: Create A Business Plan
Putting together a business plan gives your company a road map – a long-range guide that establishes goals and accountability. “You’re going to have objectives you’re going to be able to measure,” says promotional business coach Rosalie Marcus, “and you’re going to have something that’s going to keep you motivated and on track no matter what happens.”
Before you formulate your plan, though, Marcus believes it’s crucial to take a step back and ask yourself one key question: Why am I in business in the first place? “It can be that you’re building a business because you want to send your kids to college and don’t want them to be stuck with loans, or you’re trying to fund your retirement, or you just love helping people and coming up with creative ideas,” she says. “You need to have a ‘why’ for being in the business.”
Answering the “why” question will then allow you to tap into the emotional aspect of your business, which is an integral part of any successful company, according to Mike Michalowicz, host of the Business Rescue segment on MSNBC’s Your Business and author of The Pumpkin Plan.
“Have the feel,” he says. “What does your business feel like? What does the office look like? Is it a ten-story mega-building in downtown New York, or is it a country Victorian in a town that’s never had a business before? The more you can see it and get emotion involved, the easier it is to draw yourself toward it.”
To get more expert advice on creating a successful business plan, click here to read the full online article.
ASI Radio: Popular Products For 2013 On this week’s Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts invited listeners to call in and share the top promo items they’d used in client campaigns this year.Plus, the hosts shared their Favorite Things, got a live update on Day Two of the Counselor Best Places To Work Road Tour, and revealed marketing insights from the world’s biggest brands.
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, October 22. 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.
In The News
Corporate Specialties, an AIA (asi/109480) affiliate, has announced it received AIA’s Velocity Award, Category 2, at the recent AIA National Sales Summit. Corporate Specialties increased its sales nearly 58% in 2012.
InnerWorkings (asi/168860) has announced a contract expansion with InterContinental Hotels Group to include Europe and the Middle East regions. The expansion creates a global partnership and follows a recent renewal and services extension in the Americas, Greater China and Asia Pacific.
IT’S NEXT WEEK – THE ASI VIRTUAL TRADE SHOW Wednesday, October 23 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ET
Register today and plan to attend the ASI Virtual Trade Show for FREE on October 23. From the comfort of your own office, you'll be able to stay up on the most current trends while finding out-of-the box ideas to meet your clients' fourth-quarter needs. Here’s what you’ll find…
VARIETY: From pens and mugs to apparel and gifts — find what your clients are asking for. PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS: Discuss client projects with top suppliers. NEW INITIATIVES: Take part in ASI Education to boost your sales. SNEAK PEEKS: See early arrivals for 2014. RESOURCES: Find the latest catalogs, sales sheets and white papers. NETWORKING: Join your colleagues in the Virtual Lounge.
Find new ways to boost YOUR sales without ever leaving your office, or missing a client’s call, when you attend the ASI Virtual Trade Show on October 23 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Register today at www.asivirtualtradeshow.com.