TREVOSE, Pa., Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today announced North American promotional products distributors increased sales to a record $25.8 billion in 2019, up 4.7% from 2018 and breaking a distributor sales record for the 10th consecutive year.
The growth was fueled by sales of branded items like T-shirts, caps and pens that companies typically give away to promote their business, brand or event, or to thank employees or clients. ASI's most recent Global Ad Impressions Study on return on investment (ROI) shows promotional products consistently rank among the most influential, enduring and cost-effective advertising mediums available.
"Distributors in the promo industry are living proof of the persistent power of promo products, beating back negative economic forces like tariffs, trade wars and political unrest to post record sales," said Timothy M. Andrews, ASI president and CEO of ASI, the largest membership organization in the promotional industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.
In 2019, 47% of distributors reported that their annual sales increased, with 36% saying sales stayed the same. Firms with more than $1 million in annual revenue generated the greatest growth, increasing sales 6.1% on average. Mid-sized distributors – those with $250,001 to $1 million in annual revenue – increased sales an average of 3.5%. Distributors with yearly revenue of $250,000 or less reported an average 3.2% year-on-year gain.
As for the economic outlook for 2020, distributors consistently used words like "hopeful," "optimistic" and "growth" when asked for their viewpoint on future sales, according to Nathaniel Kucsma, ASI's executive director of research and corporate marketing. "Demand for promo products continues to outpace the overall economic growth rate, showing no signs of weakness," said Kucsma.
ASI's research shows 2019's fourth quarter saw the greatest year-over-year growth of any quarter in 2019. Distributors' collective sales were 5% better than in 2018's Q4. In 2019's final quarter, 46% of distributors reported a sales rise, while 33% said revenue was steady with the prior year.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®; asicentral.com) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $25.8 billion promotional products industry.
SOURCE Advertising Specialty Institute