NEWSFLASH: Distributor Sales Surpass $20 Billion in 2013

20 Mar Posted by in Swag Projects | Comments
NEWSFLASH: Distributor Sales Surpass $20 Billion in 2013
 

Ad specialty distributors increased their revenues by 5.3% in 2013, pushing total industry sales to $20.5 billion last year, according to a report released by ASI.

The result is an all-time annual high, besting the previous yearly record of $19.8 billion in distributor revenues in 2008. Data also showed distributors grew sales by 5.7% in Q4 of 2013, the 16th straight quarterly rise. Meanwhile, the Counselor Confidence Index – a tool that measures distributor health and optimism – improved to 113.2 in the fourth quarter, reaching its highest point since being introduced a year ago.

“The economy slowly returning to better health has been driving modest revenue increases throughout our industry,” says Marc Simon, CEO of Top 40 distributor HALO Branded Solutions. “The more distance we put between ourselves and the 2008-2009 economic issues, the better of we are.”

In 2013, 86% of larger distributors (more than $5 million in annual revenues) reported an increase in sales, while 68% of all firms – regardless of size – reported gains. In Q4, 54% of surveyed distributors improved revenues over the same period in 2012, with larger firms again making the biggest sales jump. The 5.7% Q4 increase is the best quarterly sales gain since Q1 of 2013 as firms closed the year strong.

“Generally, I think the business is finally rebounding from 2008 and 2009,” says Rod Brown, managing director at MadeToOrder. “We were up 12% for 2013 versus 2012.”

With the economy strengthening, distributors have high expectations for 2014. Data shows 74% of distributors anticipate an increase in sales this year, while only 4.5% of distributor firms are expecting a drop in revenues. “Our overall experience is that we saw growth greater than the industry average,” says Jo-an Lantz, executive vice president of Top 40 distributor Geiger. “We anticipate another great sales year in 2014. The industry will have another growth year, and we are expecting the same.”