Ron De Moor is president of DML Creation, which is based in Mirabel, Quebec.
ASI released the top 10 list and Canadian highlights from its annual State of the Industry report during its third ASI Power Summit Canada, June 21-23 at Four Seasons Whistler in British Columbia, attended by entrepreneurs, multi-national CEOs and small-business owners.
The annual gathering featured sessions on apparel trends, big data, corporate diversity and alternative banking opportunities along with appearances by Michael Lee, director of global marketing for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.com and Colin Hansen, president and CEO of AdvantageBC and a former member of the British Columbia legislature.
Click here for ASI’s editorial coverage of the 2015 Power Summit in Canada.
Overall, while 2014 was a reasonably strong year for Canadian distributors of promotional products, those surveyed by ASI for its State of the Industry report are more pessimistic about this year, especially when compared to the U.S. Only 31% of Canadian distributors are expecting sales to increase this year, as compared to 72% of U.S. distributors.
The entire North American promotional products industry posted record sales of $21.5 billion in 2014, up 5.1% from 2013, according to ASI research.
In Canada, increased shipping costs are impacting the bottom line, with surveyed distributors anticipating increases of about 11% over 2013. In addition, distributors say cross-border shipping between the U.S. and Canada has also become more difficult.
On the plus side, products made in Canada are becoming more popular, with surveyed distributors expecting growth of about 25% over 2014.
ASI celebrated the top 10 fastest-growing Canadian companies at a dinner during the Power Summit. The list was determined by the percentage each company grew between 2012 and 2014. The top companies are:
- No. 1: Supplier DML Creation (asi/48031), 251%
- No. 2: Distributor White Paper Office Solutions (asi/359726), 117%
- No. 3: Supplier Redwood Classics Apparel (asi/81627), 87%
- No. 4: Distributor Stitchery and More (asi/337025), 68%
- No. 5: Distributor Road Gear Sportswear (asi/309138), 67%
- No. 6: Distributor Capital Promotions (asi/157100), 56%
- No. 7: Supplier Superex (asi/90231), 45%
- No. 8: Distributor Akran Marketing (asi/522788), 34%
- No. 9: Distributor The Next Trend Designs (asi/283375), 31%
- No. 10: Supplier BCG Creations (asi/37693), 28%
“ASI is thrilled to recognize the Canadian companies posting impressive gains in sales of promotional products during a period of economic challenges,” said Timothy M. Andrews, ASI president and chief executive officer. “ASI designed its annual Power Summit to bring together the best minds in the industry to forge new business relationships that will benefit distributors and suppliers doing business in both the U.S. and Canada and to explore more efficient ways of navigating our increasingly global economy.”
Promotional products, also known as advertising specialties, freebies and giveaways, are logoed items like pens, caps and T-shirts used by companies and organizations to advertise their brand, publicize events and to thank clients and employees. According to ASI’s Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, promotional products are a high-impact, cost-effective ad medium allowing even small companies to achieve as high an ROI as major corporations.
The 2015 State of the Industry surveys were mailed to ASI members and subscribers of ASI’s Counselor® magazine who are primary contacts for their company.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web® is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Learn more at www.asicentral.com and on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.