Delivery Companies Staff Up to Meet Holiday Demand
As online sales have exploded during the holiday season, logistics companies have strengthened their workforce to try and meet the staggering rush of orders. Courier and messenger companies increased their payrolls by 5,700 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor jobs report released last Friday. However, despite those efforts, several industry suppliers have reported increasingly erratic service from their shipping companies. Read Article
Global Ad Spending to Slow in 2017
Ad-spending growth is poised for a significant slowdown in 2017, due to economic and political uncertainty, according to the latest forecast from Magna Global, the ad-buying agency owned by Interpublic Group of Cos. The global ad business will see a slowdown to 3.6% spending growth next year, down from the 5.7% growth clip projected for 2016, when spending is expected to total $493 billion, Magna said. The 2017 forecast is an improvement over a June estimate that 2017 spending would grow 3.1%. Read Article
Podcast: Coach Ken Carter
In this Strategy Session Podcast, Coach Ken Carter delivers insights on how to build a positive, energetic mindset that will fuel success. An author, motivational speaker and youth advocate, Coach Carter first made news when he famously locked out his undefeated varsity basketball team at Richmond High School in California to motivate the players to improve their grades. The real-life events inspired the hit movie Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
5 Ways to Boost End-of-Year Sales
As your sales finish comes down to the wire for 2016, it's important to make the most of your time and win every order. Here are five proven tips from the experts at BCG.
The Joe Show: Products to Cheer About
In this episode of The Joe Show, Product Editor Joe Haley has a knit toque with fleece lining, set of six hot sauces for promoting “hot” sales, customizable coasters made from actual vinyl records, and microfiber rally towels with detailed dye sublimation prints.
Exclusive: Power 50 Conversations
This week, Counselor released several exclusive interviews with members of the Power 50 list. Among them are Bill Korowitz of The Magnet Group (asi/68507) and Vera Muzzillo of Proforma (asi/300094) giving their insights on raising capital in the promotional products industry, while Heather Sanderson of Overture Promotions (asi/288473) and Craig Nadel of Jack Nadel International (asi/279600) spoke about ways to compete effectively for clients.
Pro Towels Expands SC Plant
Pro Towels (asi/79750) announced it will expand its plant in Abbeville County, SC. The company, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc., will invest in new equipment and add job opportunities at the facility, which measures 300,000 square feet and currently employs 150 people. Pro Towels expects to add more than 25 jobs over the next several years.
“We are excited by the opportunities made possible by this,” said Kevin Nord, owner of the Pro Towels family of companies, in an official statement. “Our facility in South Carolina has worked very closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as Abbeville County and the State of South Carolina, to generate new jobs and opportunities as we continue to grow.”
Customized NFL Cleats Raise Money for Charity
The NFL was a little more colorful this past weekend, as hundreds of players wore logoed customized cleats to raise awareness and money for charity. Players this season have been expressing their personality and fashion tastes with colorful custom cleats – shoes that would normally violate the NFL dress code and draw a fine. For Week 13 of the football season, the NFL called a détente on the shoe wars and concocted “My Cause My Cleats,” a campaign designed to raise awareness for different social causes. More than a third of the league – over 500 players – donned cleats with custom designs representing a charity or cause of their choice.
“While there has always been interest and adoption at the youth level in sports, customized footwear has now taken the main stage in many verticals such as sports with the NFL's Week 13 efforts or fashion with UGG stores offering the opportunity on their famous boots,” Josh Ellsworth, general manager of Stahls'(asi/88984) CAD-CUT Direct division, told Counselor. Ellsworth noted the increasing demand for personalization and advances in a number of decoration techniques, including heat printing, direct-to-garment, UV printing and embroidery. “They are helping to drive quality products and, therefore, profitable new sales opportunities for businesses.”
Amazon Unveils Plan for Checkout-Free Grocery Shopping
Amazon announced this week that it plans to open checkout-free convenience stores. Dubbed Amazon Go, the corner stores will not have registers, so shoppers will be able to scan into the store using the Amazon Go app, pick out items from the shelves and leave the store with the selected products automatically billed to the customer's Amazon account. Computer vision throughout the store means any item picked up will be automatically added to the shopper's virtual cart, without the need for individual scanning.
In its official launch video for Amazon Go, Amazon says that computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion, the same technologies used to power self-driving cars, make what it calls “Just Walk Out” technology possible. It's an effort that's been in the making for four years, according to the video.
Currently, an 1,800-square-foot store in Seattle, stocked with both perishable groceries and pre-made snacks and meals, is open to Amazon employees for beta testing purposes. It will be open to the public next year.
PCNA Now Directly Connected to ESP
PolyconceptNorth America (PCNA)is now directly connected to ASI's ESP®, giving distributors real-time inventory available and the ability to send POs directly to PCNA from ESP. Find out more.
S&S Activewear Integrated With ESP
In a first for the promo products industry, distributors searching for S&S products in ESP® can now select the warehouse from which orders are shipped. Find out more.
DON'T WAIT – TRAVEL AND EVENT COSTS ARE GOING UP SOON
There's no time like the present. Register now for ASI Show® Orlando, January 18-20, in the North Building of the Orange County Convention Center so you don't miss out on savings like:
Travel: The experts say it's best to book your flight 40-50 days in advance for the best rate – so the timing is right! After you register today, start looking for the best deals to fly! Not flying? Check out the other travel discounts offered to our attendees.
Hotel: Reserve your room through our official housing vendor, Wyndham Jade, at one of the host hotels to secure your discounted rates – rooms are filling up fast and discounted pricing for our room blocks ends on December 27. Plus, don't forget to check out the hotel reimbursement for January 19 – a member-only benefit and $189 savings!
ASI Show Bash (formerly known as the Gala Celebration): Reserve your ticket to join us at Universal Orlando™ for just $55 each until December 20, when the price increases to $75 each through January 17.
Even better, ASI members like you attend education and exhibits for FREE – a $199 value! Register now for ASI Show Orlando! For more information, give us a call at (800) 546-3300 or visit www.asishow.com.