Interesting Facts from PPAI's Industry Sales Report
Earlier this week, PPAI released its 2012 sales volume study, its annual State of the Union address to the promotional products world. The fact sheet providing a quick glimpse at the past year's sales figures and popular products and is a nice way to take the industry's temperature.
The report is available for download at PPAI's website (PDF), and for a little more info, I looked at past year's figures and pulled a few interesting facts that you can find below.
- Distributor sales in 2012 were estimated at just under $18.5 billion. This is a 4.38 percent increase over 2011 ($17.72 billion), and is also the third highest sales volume ever. The two years with higher figures are from the pre-crash era: $19.44 billion in 2007 and $18.78 billion in 2006.
- Not only are sales higher, but the number of active distributor companies is also increasing. There are estimated to be 23,096 operating distributor businesses as of 2012, compared to 22,364 in 2011. The number of companies as of the market crash in 2008 was 22,330, which dropped to a low of 21,659 in 2010.
- Bigger distributors are selling more. Businesses making more than $2.5 million annually accounted for $9.31 billion in 2012 sales, with those making under $2.5 million generating $9.17 billion. The last time this happened was in 2009.
- The number of distributors making more than $2.5 million also grew at a faster rate (13 percent) than those making under $2.5 million (3 percent). Hard numbers still favor the smaller operations: between 2011 and 2012, the number of distributors making under $2.5 million grew by 605, compared to 127 for those over that volume.
- Sales grew for the third consecutive year, but at a slower rate. Over the past five years, 2011 saw the largest recent increase at 7.02 percent, followed by 2010 at 5.89 percent. The worst year was 2009, with a 13.61 percent decrease.
- What's selling is shifting. Between 2008 and 2011, the top two product categories have been wearables and writing instruments, followed by (in varying order) bags, calendars and drinkware. In 2012, bags replaced writing instruments as the second most popular category, and calendars dropped all the way to number eight on the list. It was replaced by desk and office accessories.
There is a lot other interesting information on the sheet, including online sales figures, top selling program categories and more. Get the full 2012 report, as well as older reports, on PPAI's website.