Recent developments at The Superior Group of Companies (SGC) include a significant expansion and upgrades to its flagship warehouse and distribution facility in Eudora, Arkansas, and the formation of a strategic partnership between its subsidiary distributor BAMKO (PPAI 242148, D11) and Dallas-based distributor Lapgevity (PPAI 260498, D4). The latter gives Los Angeles-based BAMKO a new foothold in the Texas market and Lapgevity clients access to the California company’s technology, creative and distribution capabilities. The Superior Group of Companies also operates in the promotional products market through its subsidiaries, distributors Tangerine Promotions, Ltd. (PPAI 439779, D1) and Public Identity, Inc. (PPAI 230372, D1).

The Seminole, Florida-headquartered SGC’s $10 million investment at its Arkansas distribution center over the next three years will add 125 additional jobs, expanded capacity and upgraded technology. SGC worked with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) on this project, receiving a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $1,625,000, and the investments will expand and upgrade the current facility, which was first opened in 1962 and has undergone multiple expansions and upgrades to support the company’s growth.

“Eudora, Arkansas, continues to be an important part of SGC’s success now and as we look to the future. We are pleased to be the largest employer in the area and we appreciate the support of the AEDC as we continue to invest together in the community,” says CEO Michael Benstock.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says, “We’re so pleased Superior has chosen to expand and modernize their facility in Eudora, continuing their long legacy of quality embroidery and apparel manufacturing. With the modernization of their operations and distribution center they will boost the workforce in a community that will certainly benefit for years to come.”

Speaking to PPB Newslink, Joshua White, general counsel and senior vice president, strategic partnerships, at BAMKO, reflects on what the investment in the facility means for the promotional products market. “BAMKO has grown so much over the last couple years, in particular winning a number of major national enterprise programs, that we felt it necessary to expand our warehouse and fulfillment facilities and make long-term investments in upgraded technology that will be unrivaled the industry,” he says. “We’ll be making substantial capital investments in technology like robotic automation and other next-generation warehouse optimization tools. This will create a significant competitive advantage in the coming years and will make us the obvious choice for high-profile enterprise programs. This is another big step forward in one of our key company initiatives: continually investing in and extending our technological supremacy across the business.”

BAMKO’s collaboration with Lapgevity leaves the ownership structures of the two companies unchanged, but offers substantial growth opportunity for both. Steve Lapensohn, CEO of Lapgevity, says the deal has been in the works for about a year. “I spent a lot of time getting to know the team at BAMKO and they spent the time to get to know our business. The more time we spent together, the more impressed I was. Getting to know the character of the folks at BAMKO and seeing just how much they’ve accomplished in the time that we’ve been talking convinced me that Lapgevity needed to be in business with a company that is a leading force for change in this industry.”

Lapensohn says the partnership creates opportunities to expand both companies' client bases and develop new accounts both nationally and in the state of Texas. It also gives Lapgevity clients new services. “BAMKO’s capabilities are incredible—no one can touch what they do from a technology perspective. They obviously also have world-class creative and warehouse capabilities. Access to those capabilities allows us to go to some of our big-name clients and massively expand our footprint within those accounts and offer a much wider range of services. Our clients are going to realize immediate and significant benefits from this partnership.”

Lapensohn says his clients won’t notice much difference on the front end; most will be on the backend, involving operational infrastructure and solutions. “We’ll be tapping into BAMKO’s proprietary technology systems to help run the business. From order management to invoicing, we are going to be at the leading edge of what anyone in the industry is doing. This is going to create massive efficiencies and significantly reduce friction for our customers in the sales process. Just as exciting is what this means for what we’re able to offer our customers. BAMKO does so much more than just promo. Custom tech integrations, online stores, award-winning creative campaigns, retail merchandise, warehouse and fulfillment programs … the list goes on and on. Our clients will get the benefit of access to about as robust a suite of resources as can be found anywhere in the industry.”

BAMKO’s White adds, “We think there’s massive value to be created by combining Lapgevity’s sales acumen and customer relationships with BAMKO’s technology, creative, and warehousing and distribution capabilities. This partnership also establishes an important tentpole in the lucrative Texas market that we intend to aggressively expand upon. There is tremendous demand for a company like BAMKO in Texas and we plan to become the dominant player in the Lone Star State in the coming years.”