December 13, 2004 – Trevose, PA – Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest member organization in the promotional products industry, said its distributor members reported a strong third quarter of sales and are optimistic about a robust fourth quarter.
ASI’s exclusive survey of its 17,000 distributor member firms showed nearly 60% had indicated sales were higher in third quarter 2004, versus third quarter 2003. Furthermore, only 18% responded that sales were lower than last year.
Distributors cited two principal reasons for their optimism for fourth quarter: 1) attention given to elections in September and October will have subsided, and 2) less disruptions related to hurricane storm damage in Florida and the eastern United States.
Nearly two-thirds, or 64%, thought sales for all of this year would exceed the previous year, regardless of firm size. Only 15% reported that sales this year are predicted to be less than 2003.
“Third quarter results, when combined with results from the first and second quarter 2004 surveys, suggests that the industry is stable and having a strong year of sales growth,” said ASI president, Timothy M. Andrews. “These numbers are consistent with conversations I’ve had with supplier and distributor members of ASI.”
Robert J. Postill, of R.J. Postill Merchandising (asi/297375), commented: “Increased price pressure from direct importers and the increasing number of suppliers has changed our business strategy and our client base. However, overall, the use of promotional products as a marketing tool is very much alive and well.”
Pam Kubat, of Corporate Recognition, Inc. (asi/169029), said: “The industry is much healthier. There’s more activity. Companies are competing more, so they are finding promotional products to be a necessary component in their advertising. Companies are doing wearables again, which I see as an indication that they are more confident about the general economy.”
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media organization serving the promotional products industry, with a membership of 20,000 distributor firms (sellers) and suppliers (manufacturers) of promotional products. Suppliers use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to more than 17,000 ASI distributor firms. Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 700,000 promotional products, to locate suppliers and to market services to buyers of promotional products. ASI was founded in 1950 and employs 400 people. It provides catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers interactive e-commerce, marketing and selling tools.