News & Noteworthy

We stay current on issues and trends through research and education

More Manufacturing Slowdowns as Chinese Factories Face Power Plant Shutdowns, Electricity Rationing

Chinese factories have been working hard to keep up with global demand as they recover from complete COVID-related shutdowns in China’s manufacturing sector, both earlier in the pandemic and more recently.

Latest COVID Surge Hampering Factory Activity in Asia

The pandemic is detrimentally effecting the global economic activity the development spells more supply chain trouble for the North American promo products industry. 
Manufacturing output is slowing in key production centers in Southeast Asia due to the rampant spread of COVID-19’s delta variant, making it more difficult and more expensive for western brands to get goods produced and shipped to North America.

U.S. Job Growth Strong, But Industry Hiring Difficulties Remain in Promo

The U.S. added 943,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is ahead of analysts’ expectations and helped push the country’s unemployment rate down to 5.4 percent. Tracking this growth, The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased again in July for the fifth consecutive month, reaching 109.8, up from 108.96 in

The Story Behind The Supply Chain Trouble…

Global sourcing experts weigh in and provide strategies for navigating the disruption. Below are highlights from the story by Christopher Ruvo   The supply chain disruption that’s affecting the promotional products industry and virtually the entire global sourcing network probably isn’t going to relent anytime soon. Still, there are strategies and practices that suppliers, like

Promo Price Increases Loom Due to Importing Woes

Shipping challenges and rising raw material costs are poised to drive product price hikes, as COVID lockdowns threaten promo supply chains in China. Call it a perfect storm. A complex concoction that includes skyrocketing shipping container costs, rising raw material prices, reduced shipping capacity and log-jammed ports, much of it fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,

Notorious Markets – It’s That Time of The Year

It’s officially ‘Notorious Markets’ time again. Every year at this time the U.S. government, by way of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), publishes a list of sellers it identifies as being notorious markets. This notorious markets list identifies retailers and online sellers accused of selling counterfeits, as well as those accused of being involved in

Lady Gaga Launched Branded Oreos to Promote Her Latest Record and People Are Going Nuts

What is it about promotional Oreos that just makes everyone go … dare we say … Gaga? (You’ll laugh in a second.) First it was Supreme dropping branded Oreos. Those sold out (and popped up on resale sites for stupid money) immediately, which is no surprise for Supreme. Now Lady Gaga, a titan of promotional marketing herself, created

House Votes to Ban Xinjiang Cotton

If the bill becomes law, it could affect supply chains, drive up cotton prices and influence apparel trends. Those developments would impact the promotional products industry, experts say. Concerned over reports of forced labor, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the import of all cotton from the northwestern China

Luxury PPE: Hazmat Tuxedos and Louis Vuitton Face Shields

Fashion brands are releasing high-end masks and other personal protective wear. It seems PPE has gone Hollywood. At the Emmy Awards, aired Sunday, Sept. 20, trophy presenters were decked out in “tuxedo hazmat suits” to give out some of the awards live during the virtual ceremony. The protective formalwear was designed by Katja Cahill, a

A Gift Still Worth Giving

The end of this year may be unlike anything we’ve seen before, but don’t give in! It’s more important than ever to show employees and customers that they’re appreciated. Year-end celebrations are meant to commemorate all the good times and successes of the past year. But clearly no one’s in a mood to celebrate all

Setting the Record Straight on Gaiters

Chris Bernat is willing to stick his neck out for gaiters. The chief revenue officer of Vapor Apparel (asi/93396) was unhappy with the way the national media was portraying a Duke University study that measured mask efficiency. Researchers used a laser, box and smart phone to measure how many respiratory droplets were able to pass through more

FDA Issues New Warning About Hand Sanitizers

The agency expanded its list of dangerous or ineffective sanitizers to avoid and raised a new alarm about a toxic chemical to look out for in certain sanitizers.   As reported poisonings from deficient hand sanitizer rise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded its list of alleged toxic sanitizers to avoid, raised a new

Companies Focus on Mask Innovation

Happening at retail and in promo, some manufacturers are aiming to produce masks with enhanced performance features, breathability and comfort, especially as summer takes hold. Still, innovation comes with risks.

COVID-19 Crisis Disrupts Bag Market

Reusable bags are under fire due to concerns over spreading the coronavirus.

What’s the Deal With Tariffs and Promo?

The Phase One trade deal between the U.S. and China injects some optimism into the tariff discussion, but doesn’t erase the price pressures felt by the promo products industry.

Impact of Coronavirus on Promotional Products

Fears that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus would prevent factories in China from quickly resuming operations following the extended Chinese New Year are becoming an unfortunate reality, promotional products executives say.

Trump To Put 10% Tariffs On $300 Billion More In Chinese Imports

The move has potential to trigger price increases on a broad spectrum of promotional products.

State of the Industry

When Counselor asked distributors for one word to describe the sales environment in 2018, these were the most popular answers. There’s no secret why.

SOI 2019: Top Products in the Promo Industry

In 2018, for the fifth straight year, T-shirts reigned as the number-one promotional product category.

Patagonia’s Corporate Sales Strategy Shifts Toward Ecology-Minded Clients

Logoed Patagonia vests are set to become a rarer site in some corporate circles, as the Venture, California-based

Five Merch Trends From the Masters

For golf lovers, The Masters can feel a bit like Christmas in April. The excitement, the anticipation, the tradition, the…

U.S & China G-20 Agreement Postpones

The pace of escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China have slowed following a bilateral meeting last week…

Pantone Names Living Coral ‘Color Of The Year’

Pantone announced today that PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019.

Tariffs: Impact & Advice for the Promo Industry

Increased products costs, price fluctuations, supply chain disruption and thinner margins could all be coming to the promo market in 2019 as a result of U.S. tariffs on…

ByRiversTechNews and Noteworthy