Top 40 supplier BIC Graphic North America (asi/80480), long known for its hard goods promotional products like writing instruments and drinkware, is now venturing into the branded apparel space through a new partnership with global apparel maker HanesBrands (asi/59528).
Launched July 1st, the collection includes some 70 pieces from brands such as Champion, Alternative, ComfortWash, and Gear for Sports. BIC Graphic noted that the deal allows for Gear for Sports to again be available in the promotional products industry. Twelve Gear for Sports styles included in the launch are exclusively available through BIC Graphic, as well as nine Champion garments. Come September 1st, BIC Graphic will also begin offering Hanes brand apparel.
Leaders at BIC Graphic, the seventh largest supplier in the ad specialty industry based on 2017 North American promo sales of $313.1 million, said the partnership gives promo products distributors a single destination to come to for their logoed apparel and hard goods needs.
“We are very excited to provide this one-invoice solution to the market in partnership with HanesBrands,” Lauren Gantz, BIC Graphic senior product manager for apparel, said in a statement. “With this collection of brands, we are able to provide a solution for any apparel need. With products in nine out of every 10 homes, Hanes is a powerful brand that gives end users confidence in their purchase decisions.”
In a press release issued Monday afternoon, BIC Graphic said it has worked closely with HanesBrands over several months to “eliminate pain points that distributors typically experience when ordering promotional apparel.” The collection will offer a “simple pricing strategy” and centralized shipping, BIC Graphic said.
Headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, HanesBrands says it’s the largest marketer of basic apparel in the world, selling its portfolio of brands in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa. Hanes executives said that BIC Graphic was the right partner with which to join forces to expand its reach in promo.
“At HanesBrands, we value environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship as much as we are committed to providing comfortable garments for our customers,” Rachel Newman, vice president and general manager of HanesBrands Activewear, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with BIC Graphic, a leader in responsible sourcing and ethical business practices, to expand our network within the promotional products industry.”
The partnership is representative of a growing trend in promo – namely, large suppliers and distributors making efforts to incorporate more products, solutions and services into their offerings to be a “one-stop shop” for customers. One of the most significant developments in this regard came in 2017 when apparel firm alphabroder (asi/34063), the second largest supplierin the promo industry, acquired Prime Line (asi/ 79530), a Top 40 supplier that specializes in hard goods.