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Posts Tagged ‘promotional industry news’

Printed Bags remain top promotional product in a recovering market

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

A recent report on the promotional merchandise market in the UK and Ireland over the past five years – produced by Sourcing City, a leading provider of information services to the trade – shows the effects of the global recession but indicates that the market is slowly recovering, with printed carrier bags fairing better than other products.

The largest effect of the world economic downturn was felt by the promotional merchandise market in 2009, when the sector’s revenue fell by over 26%. During 2010 and 2011, the market has grown slightly to some £754 million but remains about 15% smaller than in 2008.

The report also shows a slow-down in the number of distributor companies ceasing trading. The number of failures in 2011 was just 69, although the overall number of distributor companies in the market has remained relatively constant over the past five years, due to both brand-new start-ups and the number of ‘phoenix’ firms that have restarted to shed their debts. The number of supplier failures in 2011 was 59, the highest annual figure recorded to date. Since January 2006 the industry as a whole has seen 769 companies cease to trade, of which 540 were distributors.

The market review also shows little change in recent years in the top promotional product groups. Printed carrier bags continue to be the top revenue earner, followed by pens/pencils and plastic giveaways. Then follows clothing at fourth spot and mugs come fifth. Interestingly, USB sticks lost their position at number six during 2011, slipping back to ninth.

The carrier bag category continues to show growth in market share, increasing its proportion from 12.8% in 2009 to 14.3% in 2010 and 16.6% in 2011.

Event industry may grow by 12 billion by 2020

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

A report presented to members of parliament earlier this week states that, with the right support in place, the UK events industry could grow from its current value of 36 billion to over 48 billion by 2020.

Commissioned by Britain for Events, the annual marketing campaign promoting the value of event tourism to the British economy, the report shows that the UK events industry could provide a much-needed boost to Britain’s economy over the next decade. As well as the industry’s economic value, the report highlights the benefits of positioning the UK at the centre of international business and the role that events play in bringing together world leaders. The report also outlines ways in which the events industry can work with national and local government to make Britain more competitive internationally.

Phil Mist of the Event Industry Forum commented, “With the countdown to the London 2012 Games and the Queen’s Jubilee well underway, the UK events industry will undoubtedly again show the world that organising major outdoor and sporting events is one of our specialities, and because of our expertise, the UK economy as a whole will benefit.”

According to Michael Hirst, Chairman of the Business Visits & Events Partnership, the report comes at a crucial time for the British economy: “The UK events sector is well set to play a pivotal role in facilitating economic growth and added employment by showcasing Britain as a world class destination for international conferences and trade shows, as well as staging its great sporting and cultural events and festivals.”

There’s an app for that!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) recently announced that ‘Promotional Consultant Today’, its daily e-newsletter targeted at distributors, is now available as a free iPhone app. A sister publication to ‘Promotional Consultant’ magazine, ‘Promotional Consultant Today’ has been in circulation since 2006, delivering sales tips and advice to more than 50,000 subscribers – to their desktops and now direct to their iPhones.

The PPAI is the only international, not-for-profit trade association for the promotional products industry. Based in Irving, Texas, the association offers education, exhibitions, business services, mentoring and legislative support to over 7,400 member companies worldwide.

“We are excited to be the first in our industry to offer our members this quick, easy and convenient way to read the daily, motivational sales tips and strategies found in PCT,” said Steve Slagle, PPAI President and CEO. “With the amount of popularity the iPhone has garnered in the last few years and with the number of members who own one, we thought it was important to be a leader in this technology in our industry and PCT is the perfect fit for it.”

Meetings and Events Manifesto launched

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) launched a ‘Meetings and Events Manifesto for Britain’ in London this week. Taking place at De Vere Venues’ Holborn Bars, the manifesto’s kick-off was attended by an invited audience of industry leaders and members of the press.

With its objective being “To make Britain the natural destination choice and an international hub for all sectors of the events industry”, the 12-page manifesto was created in consultation with leading industry trade associations. The publication, sponsored by ICC Excel London, sets out 10 reasons why meetings and events are important to Britain. These include the fact that the industry is worth £25 billion and generates 530,000 direct jobs. Also quoted is the fact that Britain is beginning a golden era of sporting festivals that include the 2012 Olympic Games, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2015 Rugby World Cup and maybe the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

BVEP Chairman, Michael Hirst OBE, described the launch as one of the most significant events for the industry, adding, “It begins the process of ensuring this vital sector achieves the voice it so critically needs.”

The manifesto has been sent to 350 MPs, key ministers and and 50 members of the House of Lords. They will all be invited to the House of Commons on 20 October – fittingly, during National Meetings Week – to a presentation on the meetings sector.

Mr Hirst admitted that, with government cuts looming, it would be a “big challenge” to keep local authorities engaged in live events in the public sector. However, he added that, “The beauty of this document is that there are very few requests for money – we are asking for recognition of our industry, support for bids, for local authorities to take events seriously.”

Key points highlighted in the manifesto include:

  • The need to improve infrastructure and transport by offering incentives to airlines to increase access in major cities, and investment in rail networks, especially to and from airports to major event venues.
  • A demand for fair fiscal and taxation measures that encourage the growth of business visits and events – for example, bringing VAT in line with other European countries on accommodation, conference and event services.
  • The proposal to trial adjusted daylight saving measures to produce lighter evenings all year round, benefiting outdoor events with longer opening hours and increased business opportunities.

Merger off as PROMOTA says “no”

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) called by PROMOTA (Promotional Merchandise Trade Association) to vote on the proposed merger with the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) proved something of a damp squib. Although only some 25% of PROMOTA members bothered to vote, the number of anti-merger postal votes received before the meeting actually decided the result. A resounding 129 of the 176 votes cast were against, with only 47 being in favour.

After two years of merger negotiations – ­during which there have been rather public arguments between the boards of the two associations – PROMOTA members have followed the lead provided by the body’s new board. In a press release, PROMOTA thanked its members and stated that it believed it was “the right decision” for PROMOTA and the industry. New chairman, David Webster, said he was “absolutely delighted” at the members’ decision.

The BPMA board, on the other hand, issued a press release that included the statement: “Our belief remains that one unified Association is the most cost-effective and efficient future for our industry.”

Trade Only announce new show

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Manchester-based show organiser Trade Only has announced plans to launch a new exhibition for the promotional products industry in September next year. The Trade Only National Expo and Conference will be held on 7 and 8 September 2011 at the International Events Centre, Coventry.

Trade Only already runs the successful Trade Only exhibition at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry with a January slot. This year’s show was hailed as the most successful ever, with nearly 2,400 visitors over the two days – 18% up on the 2009 figures.

Speaking about the new show, Event Director Nigel Bailey said, “We are going to stick with the successful Midlands based format that has seen the January show become so popular but we will be focusing the design and layout of the expo to make the Trade Only National Expo and Conference 2011 more intimate allowing more time for networking and detailed conversations.”

Only time will tell whether the UK promotional products market warrants yet another event, stretching exhibitor budgets further and thinning footfall across the board. Let’s hope the economy recovers sufficiently to justify Trade Only’s move.

BPMA-PROMOTA merger hits the buffers again

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It’s on, it’s off, it’s on and now it’s off again. The merger between the two leading associations in the British promotional products industry – the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) and PROMOTA (Promotional Merchandise Trade Association) – has been derailed once more, as PROMOTA has postponed the EGM due to take place today, 27 April.

This latest delay is just one in a long series of problems encountered in getting this industry association merger off the ground. The politics and personalities involved have reached such a tense state that many industry pundits think this marriage – which was due to begin on 1 May – will never come off.

In response to the postponement, Gill Thorpe, Chairperson of the BPMA, has posted a detailed history of recent negotiations on the BMPA website, which is prefaced with the following statement:

“As your Chairwoman I feel I owe it to you to respond to the inaccurate statement released yesterday by PROMOTA. ‘Subject: EGM postponed due to lack of information’. Sadly, the communication within PROMOTA between its secretariat, solicitor and treasurer has caused an inaccurate statement to be communicated to the market. For correctness we would like to clarify these inaccuracies and copies of all communication between parties is available. The BPMA await a formal apology from PROMOTA with regard to this statement.”

Oh dear. If you thought this was a marriage made in heaven, don’t buy your hat just yet!

UK promotional industry battered by the recession

Friday, April 9th, 2010

It’s not that surprising but it is rather sad to hear of figures issued by the BPMA recently that show just how badly the UK’s promotional industry has been battered by the storm of the global downturn. 2009 witnessed another large rise in the number of companies ceasing trading, with both distributors and suppliers hit – but distributors definitely feeling more of the pain.

The number of distributor firms going to the wall per annum rose by over 450% between 2006 and 2009, jumping from 32 to 181 companies (a staggering 10% of the market). For suppliers, the number ceasing trading during the year rose by almost 100%, from 28 in 2006 to 53 in 2009.

The overall worth of the UK’s promotional merchandise market has also taken a hit – down to an estimated £722 million, from over £1 billion just a couple of years ago.
Some high profile distributors have fallen victim to the economic turmoil, including CMC (for many years the third largest distributor in the country), Non Stop Promotions & PPAG – the latter two having dealt the blow of large debts to several supplier firms.

What is the forecast for those – like The Corporate Carrier Company – who have managed to weather the storm? We do seem to be seeing some green shoots in the promotional products industry but – and it’s a big but – the marketplace is very different to that experienced a few years back. It’s significantly smaller, of course, and it’s full of clients with value for money at the top of their shopping list. But, as ever, there’s always quality of service to differentiate suppliers from one another…