American Apparel: End of an Original
As a brand, American Apparel is alive and in the beginning of a planned major comeback. But as a vertically integrated U.S.-based apparel manufacturer with a worldwide retail presence, the company exists no longer. How did that happen? How did one of the promo industry’s largest suppliers, a business with a globally iconic brand, end up bankrupt and on the auction block? For no-punches-pulled answers, Counselor talked to top analysts, former employees and founder Dov Charney. Read Article
The Promo Opportunity Under Your Feet
Yes, 64% of retail shoppers look down to read floor graphics and mats. Here are five industries (sneak peek: one is beverage companies) purchasing high-quality, American-made floor mats. Click below to learn how and why these promotional campaigns worked.
Report: Private Equity Firm to Buy Staples, Inc.
Staples Inc., parent company of Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), is reportedly on the cusp of being purchased for more than $6 billion by private equity firm Sycamore Partners. While uncertainty remains about how things will go, the deal could close as early as next week.
3 Secrets to Getting Unstuck
For many in this industry, there comes a time where it feels like no matter how hard you work, your business efforts have come to a screeching halt. Maybe you’ve seen consistent growth in sales for 5+ years, but all of a sudden you’ve hit a plateau. Sound familiar? What if we told you that there are 3 easy steps you can take to help get you unstuck and start creating real success in your business and in life?
Ohio State Slaps T-shirt Maker With Trademark Lawsuit
The Ohio State University has filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against a T-shirt shop. The lawsuit seeks to stop Lamp Apparel, owned by former OSU basketball player Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and Scott Kaiser, from using Ohio State’s trademarks and also asks for damages. READ ARTICLE
The Joe Show: New Products for New Promotions
An ingenious stylus, hand sanitizer sprayers decorated with characters, and multifunction pocket knives with keyrings are among the awesome items ASI Product Editor Joe Haley showcases in the latest edition of The Joe Show.
The Image Group Merges With Target Marketing
Two distributorships have merged to form a firm that company principals say is on track to generate more than $30 million in revenue in 2017. Ohio-based The Image Group (asi/230069) and Virginia-based Target Marketing (asi/341741) announced the merger this week, saying the businesses will officially become one on June 30.
Colorado Could Ban Smartphone Sales to Children
Colorado may ban the sale of smartphones to children under 13, if one father has his way. Dr. Timothy J. Farnum, an anesthesiologist and founder of Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS), started a ballot initiative earlier this year that would require cellphone retailers to ask a customer’s age or the age of the phone’s intended user before completing a sale. The issue has relevance for the promotional products industry given the proliferation of branded smartphone accessories.
Rate the Power 50 Counselor is now compiling its Power 50 list for 2017 – our recognition of the industry’s most powerful individuals – and we’re looking for feedback from you. Click here to see the list of last year’s Power 50 and let us know whether you think the members are more or less influential today than they were a year ago. Or, if you know of someone who should be on the list but isn’t, please write his or her name and company information in the space provided.
Recall on Staples Chairs
Staples Inc., parent company of Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), has issued a recall on Hazen Mesh Task chairs. Legs on the base of the chairs can break, resulting in a fall for users. There have been three reports of people sustaining minor cuts and bruises.
3M Announces Management-Level Appointments
3M, the St. Paul, MN-based parent company of Top 40 supplier 3M/Promotional Markets (asi/91240), has announced several promotions among the company’s leadership. Effective July 1, Michael F. Roman is the chief operating officer and executive vice president, and Hak Cheol (H.C.) Shin is vice chair and executive vice president. Other promotions were announced as well.
Economy Watch: Homebuilding Declines Again in May
Homebuilding declined for the third straight month in May, a possible sign that the hot residential construction market has now cooled off. Housing starts fell 5.5% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, following a 2.7% decrease in April and a 7.7% drop in March.
In the News
Cintas (asi/162167) is opening a new laundry and maintenance facility in Greenville, WI. The company has announced that 140 employees will work at the new facility: 60 of them new and 80 of them coming from the current Cintas facility in Greenville.
Ennis (asi/52493) announced its recently acquired Independent Printing Company Inc. was honored at FSEA’s (Foil & Specialty Effects Association) 24th Annual Gold Leaf Awards. Judged on design, execution and level of difficulty, Independent won the Gold Award in the best use of foil and embossing category.
IMAGEN Brands’ Crown Products (asi/47700) and Vitronic (asi/93990) were recently awarded the 2016 Most Valuable Partner Award from Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308). Rory Campbell, National Accounts Manager, was awarded Outstanding MVP Partner Rep of the Year.
Storm Creek (ASI 89879) has announced that effective immediately, its full line of apparel is solely available directly from Storm Creek. The company has repurchased all Storm Creek inventory from River’s End Trading Company (asi/82588).