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ASI Canada Newsletter
Sponsored By:Bullet Line

News |People On The Move | Show News vol 42 / August 15, 2014

Welcome to the latest installment of ASI's e-newsletter for the Canadian ad specialty market, Promogram Canada.

Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me with any news pertaining to your company, such as mergers and acquisitions, new hires, awards and accolades received, creative client promotions or product launches. You can reach me directly at (215) 953-3323 or



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NEWS American Apparel Outlines Financials
Q2 Distributor Sales Increase 6.1%
Enter the Wearables Top Decorator Competition

American Apparel Outlines Financials
In a preliminary release, Counselor Top 40 supplier American Apparel (asi/35297) has announced its total second-quarter revenues were flat, coming in at $162 million, according to a regulatory filing. The Los Angeles-based company also reported a net sales loss of $15 million, compared with a Q2 loss of $37.5 million a year earlier. 

American Apparel said it would not be able to issue a full second-quarter earnings report yet, citing the turnover of its board of directors, which needed more time to review its financial statements.

Two months ago, American Apparel ousted its CEO and Founder Dov Charney – a native Canadian currently living in Los Angeles – due to allegations of misconduct, which included misusing company funds and acting inappropriately toward employees, particularly women. Hedge fund Standard General has since provided $25 million in financing and took a 44% ownership stake in the company. As part of that deal, Charney resigned his board position and four new board members were appointed. The most recent appointment was made this week when American Apparel announced Google executive Laura Lee was named one of the firm's seven directors. Currently, Lee heads East Coast content partnerships for Google/YouTube, involving TV, film and new media.

Meanwhile, Charney is serving as a paid consultant while fighting to regain his role as American Apparel's CEO. A special three-member committee will determine Charney's future with the clothing firm once a company investigation is complete.

Ranked by Counselor as the 14th largest supplier in the industry, American Apparel reported 2013 North American ad specialty sales of $99.2 million, a year-over-year increase of 2.5%.


Q2 Distributor Sales Increase 6.1%
Data released by ASI on August 12 shows that distributor sales grew by 6.1% in the second quarter of 2014, continuing a stretch of 18 consecutive quarterly gains. Meanwhile, the Counselor Confidence Index, a measure of distributor health, hit 113 in Q2 – just off last quarter's record number, and well above the baseline that indicates industry growth.
“It seems that businesses overall are bullish about the future and spending money,” said Greg Muzzillo, founder of Top 40 firm Proforma (asi/300094). “We were up over 10% in the quarter and we expect to finish the year up over 10% as well.”

More than half (57%) of distributors reported a year-over-year rise in second-quarter sales, the highest percentage of growing firms in two years. Small distributor firms (less than $250,000 in annual revenues) reported an average sales increase of 4.3%, an improvement from 2.4% in Q1. Mid-sized distributors ($250,000 to $1 million) averaged 3.6% growth, while large firms (more than $1 million) fared the best in Q2, recording a 7.8% sales rise on average.

“Our second quarter was quite consistent with the industry average,” said Dave Thompson, president of Top 40 distributor National Pen (asi/281040). “We believe growth is being driven by improved employment and a slight improvement in overall optimism.”

Distributors remain bullish about their overall sales for 2014, with 69% expecting an increase in revenues over last year. Eight in 10 large distributors are projecting a sales rise, with two-thirds of mid-sized and small companies also predicting a revenue jump. “We're anticipating 15% year-over-year growth,” said Jason Black, CEO of Top 40 distributor Boundless Network (asi/143717). “As for the industry going forward, I think margins will get tighter across the board, small distributors will continue to be scrappy, and larger distributors without technology or a strong value proposition will lose market share.”


Trimark Releases 2015 Collection
Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122) has launched its 2015 Collection of versatile new items, including 44 new styles. The supplier has released its Knew One ½-zip top constructed specifically for decoration, as well as 10 new retail-inspired jackets. Finally, the company is proud to offer inFusion decoration, a print with a super lightweight hand, vivid colors and high level of detail. Visit and for more information.


Enter the Wearables Top Decorator Competition
The Wearables Top Decorator competition for 2014 is hitting the home stretch. Sponsored by Hanes Branded Printwear (asi/59528), this competition will test the technical and creative skills of screen printers with a series of challenges throughout the year.

The challenge involves creating a "cool" shirt for a politician on the campaign trail using jumbo or oversize prints. The name of the politician (hypothetical or real) and imagery is up to your discretion. What else do you need to know?

Each month will be its own standalone challenge. If you don't participate one month, you are free to enter in the following month's challenge.

Anyone can enter. The competition is open to any company that offers screen printing.

There will be prizes. Each month's winner will receive a $200 Visa Gift Card courtesy of Hanes.

This is a competition. A combination of judges' marks and a popular vote by Wearables readers will help determine the winner of each challenge.

If you are interested in participating, contact Wearables Editor C.J. Mittica at Participants who sign up will receive further instructions and Hanes T-shirts to print on, courtesy of Hanes Branded Printwear. The postmark deadline for your printed submissions is Wednesday, August 20.


Debco Launches Ask Darcy
Debco (asi/48885) has launched Ask Darcy, an intuitive interface offered on its website alongside select technology products. Ask Darcy answers customers' specific technical questions in real time. Visit for more information.

Advertisement: Evans Mfg
Advertisement: iPromoteU
Advertisement: Trimark Sportswear


Stormtech Releases Fall/Winter 2014 Collection
STORMTECH Performance Apparel (asi/89869) has just launched its Fall/Winter 2014 Collection with more than 40 new styles and colors, including technical, feature-rich products for industrial and recreational applications. For more information, visit


Technosport Relocates to Larger Facility
Technosport Canada (asi/90703) has relocated to a larger facility to better serve its customers. The new address is now the following:
600 Zenway Blvd.
Unit 4
Woodbridge, ON L4H 3M9


PPPC Calls for Image Award Nominees, Releases 2015 National Convention Schedule
Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) is now calling for entrants in its 2014 Image Awards Competition, open to suppliers and distributors with unique products and programs developed between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014. For information on entering, click here.

Additionally, PPPC will hold its 2015 National Convention from Monday, January 26 through Friday, January 30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Click here for a daily schedule and visit for more event details.


Bradley Thompson Joins Image Group
Image Group Inc. (asi/230059) is proud to welcome Bradley Thompson as an account executive. Thompson has more than 20 years' experience in the industry, including positions in client relations, marketing, sales and account management. Contact Bradley Thompson at

Trimark Welcomes the Bruce Agencies
Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122) welcomes the Bruce Agencies for the Atlantic Region of Canada. Richard and Harry Bruce have over 25 years' experience in the industry, and have represented such well-known suppliers as Leed's (asi/66887), Bullet (asi/42424) and Journalbooks/Timeplanner Calendars (asi/91340). Contact Richard Bruce at, Harry Bruce at harry@bruceagencies.comand Mark Alexander, Trimark's national sales manager, at

Fersten Hires New Sales Reps
Fersten Worldwide (asi/53974) welcomes Sandy Baer and Beth Timbers to represent Fersten Worldwide and FILA Golf in the Greater Toronto Area. Contact Sandy Baer, GTA West, at and Beth Timbers, GTA East, at

Starline Welcomes Back Cioban Marketing, Hires Bilingual Sales Rep
Starline Industries (asi/89213) announces that Cioban Marketing has returned to the supplier and will be responsible for maintaining customer relationships in the British Columbia territory. Contact Debra Cioban at, Jim Cioban at and Cindy Soles, Starline's vice president of sales, at
In addition, Starline has promoted Sodji Tossah to the position of bilingual inside sales representative. Previously, Tossah was a bilingual customer care representative for Starline. Contact Sodji Tossah at

BIC Graphic Hires Jerome Smith
BIC Graphic (asi/40481) welcomes Jerome Smith as account manager for Toronto. He will report to Mark Wingrove, Canada regional sales manager. Contact Jerome Smith at


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The ASI Canada Seminars are heading to Western Canada! And you can attend for FREE! The ASI Canada Seminars are the most cost- and time-efficient way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, while connecting with leading suppliers during roundtable discussions (where you'll meet a new vendor every 15 minutes). You'll find what your clients are asking for and leave with new items to showcase for back to school and the winter holidays.

Attend the ASI Canada Seminars when they make stops in these locations next week!
Monday, August 18 • Edmonton • Edmonton Hotel Convention Centre
Tuesday, August 19 • Calgary • Delta Calgary South Hotel
Wednesday, August 20 • Vancouver • Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre

The ASI Canada Seminars feature a convenient schedule from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Register for free at

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