Summing up 2013 – Keep your eyes peeled: Last year brought signs of optimism, yet the market remains full of challenges: As every year, European promotional products suppliers and distributors are sharing their personal experiences, insights and opinions in the Industry Monitor conducted by eppi magazine. On the following pages you will find some interviews:
Marc Pas – Artihove, NL-Bergschenhoek
How did the fiscal year 2013 go for Artihove?
Marc Pas: As a manufacturer of high-quality promotional gifts, we operate in a niche market and fortunately one looks for special gifts that are allowed to cost quite a bit, for special occasions. At the same time however, we are noticing that many companies are reducing their budget for gifts for their business partners. The fact that all gifts costing more than 10 Euros have to be recorded doesn’t exactly help. Our export business is still experiencing growth, but not as strongly as in the past few years. With regards to our turnover, we are expecting to achieve a slight increase for 2013. The margins are much wider due to the reduction of general costs and improved buying conditions.
What significance does the theme product development have for your company?
Marc Pas: Product development is a continual process at Artihove. New drafts are created for every new series. Furthermore, our designers try out new materials all the time and experiment with new processing methods. Furthermore, I am also observing an increase in the demand for custommade products. Although we cover many occasions with our current collection, more and more customers want something totally special. This is why we have already found solutions for smaller volumes and budgets.
Give us your forecast: What is 2014 going to bring your company and the promotional products industry?
Marc Pas: 2014 is going to be a good year. The Dutch crisis is gradually coming to an end. Germany will show further positive development and will continue to be Europe’s driving force. Furthermore, I believe that the overall turnover of the promotional products industry will experience further growth.