The Official AmeriBag® Healthy Back Bag® Newsletter

Header
 A note from De Boss


IrwinAnother year has come and gone, and while it's been a trying time for just about everyone, we are proud of the wonderful accomplishments we've made in 2008. Our Healthy Back Bag® tote continues to have a strong and vital following and thanks to our dedicated sales team we are opening new accounts all over the country. Our global markets are expanding as well, in fact more than we had ever anticipated. We now have a very strong presence in the UK as well as in European countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France and down under in Australia too.The ever present popularity of our HBB just seems to be growing and growing, thanks to the unequaled comfort, organization and utilitarian features that it offers its users.  We thank you all for helping to make 2008 a great year!

We already know that there are some very exciting things to look forward to in 2009. Our global markets are expanding and taking off into territories that we never dreamed possible just a few years ago. We have some great new products coming out this year - including the highly anticipated Earth Collection.  Margery and I are thrilled that we will be continuing to support charities such as Breast Cancer Options with our "big little bag" - the Cause Bag. There are so many opportunities for us to shine, even in the midst of such trying economic times.

As the economy is changing and the prospects for some may become challenging, I am confident that our HBB is here for the long haul. It is not a frivolous, fashion-oriented product that is subject to the whims of fashion or fad. Its sensible design and superior function have given its users unequaled comfort and organization in an every day bag. This is proven by the thousands of testimonials we have received throughout the years from our loyal customers, its continued success in the US retail market, and the rapid expansion into the global arena.

We learned an interesting lesson in the recession of the early 90's that I want to pass on to you. AmeriBag was young then and trying to grow in a most difficult time. The economy faltered and business spun into the eddy of confusion and distress. The lesson from that troubling time was two fold. First and foremost it is paramount to stay focused and don't give up. Second, and most important to us, was the fact that even in times of consumer stress, quality and value-oriented products continue to survive and flourish. Value and Quality is the foundation of our philosophy at AmeriBag and the inspiration that helped develop the Healthy Back Bag®.

I look forward to the new successes and challenges that 2009 brings for all of us. It's going to be an exciting year, full of challenges and adventures, and I invite you all along to share it with us.

All the Best,
Irwin Gaffin









Irwin Gaffin
aka "De Boss"
 
new logo
New logo. New marketing initiatives.

As you may have noticed, in the past few months we are utilizing a new logo to represent the company. The logo consists of the name of our core product (The Healthy Back Bag®), our company name (AmeriBag) and a curved line which represents the shape of the bag's unique profile. The logo represents the most important elements of our company and ties it in to our newest marketing initiatives.

Back to Basics
While we have some great new products that we are excited about, our core brand continues to be our world renowned Healthy Back Bag® tote. This unique bag was created solely with the human body in mind and continues to offer quality, style, functionality and value to customers. In a time when fashion products can be considered frivolous, the HBB (as we affectionately call the bag) is a bag that remains perfect for the value-conscious consumer AND retailer. It is no doubt, since to date close to 3 million bags have sold resulting in over $200 million in retail sales....and our market keeps growing!

So next time you see posters, ads, brochures, press materials...pay attention! The message comfort, quality, style, functionality and value will set the stage as to what's to come for the future of AmeriBag in 2009!



marketing posters


Innovative

Go Green!
Our much anticipated Earth Collection is here!

Earth

After months of anticipation, we are excited to announce that our new Earth Collection is finally here! Made of the eco-friendly material CyclePET, this collection blends the ergonomic and organizational features of the Healthy Back Bag® tote with a state-of-the-art recycled material. We are rolling out the Collection with a series of four bags including two totes, and smaller field pack and of course, a restyled Healthy Back Bag® tote. All bags come in three color choices: black and amber, black and spruce and solid black.

To say that we have been researching and developing this Collection for years is an accurate statement. It's taken a tremendous amount of research and development to find a material that would live up to our high standards. We decided on CyclePET which has the quality and durability that we have been looking for. We are excited about the designs as well and think that our customers will enjoy the attractive color blocking on the bags.

Furthermore, we are thrilled to have the endorsement of Nikki and David Goldbeck, authors of the acclaimed books Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Eating Healthy and Choose the Reuse, who state:

"When we're on the Healthy Highway, there's no bag more appropriate than one from the Earth Collection from AmeriBag, The Healthy Back Bag® Company."

The bags' material, CyclePet, is made from 100% recycled materials and is a great choice for the environmentally conscious. We've already received a tremendous amount of interest from our customers, retailers and the press regarding this innovative collection.

The Earth Collection will debut at the WSA Show in Las Vegas February 12 - 14.



Global Growth
Healthy Back Bag® International News
The groundwork has been done, the foundation laid and 2009 is predicted to be the first year of significant EU growth outside of a well-established UK base. Nancy Evans, of global business development, gives us the scoop:
New additions:
Harris Tweed
Spain: focused launch targeting the tourist/resort trade in the southern Costa del Sol area.
France: immediate placement in Au Vieux Campeur, THE premier destination in the Outdoor/Adventure travel channel featuring Expedition along with a premium offering of Harris Tweed and Melin Tregwynt. We anticipate this to be a high end market with an equally high taste level.

Gaining traction:
Italy: after a successful market test, our group has partnered with a sales network to launch in 60 doors throughout Italy in 3 channels; apparel, sporting and gift specialty.

Channel diversification continues...
Based upon unique market trends, we are seeing potential and receiving unsolicited interest from the likes of high end pharmacies and anti-aging clinics that focus on products that promote health, wellness and fitness.


Above and beyond.....
2008 represented the HBB's 1st anniversary in Japan (re-launch), Taiwan and Australia and a 4th quarter launch in Hong Kong. A few highlights:

- Japan now has a designated HBB employee to oversee the brand. 2009 should find us in Haneda Airport, in addt'l Takashimaya dept stores, men's specialty doors and a strategic plan to garner placement within all geographic regions of the country. Opportunity abounds.

- Taiwan reported selling 3,300 HBB's in their 1st full year with a plan to sell over 5,000 in 2009. We currently have 69 points of sale with website sales predicted to have the greatest potential. Their favorite in-store signage is the 'How To Wear' poster. They are seeing younger consumers in their stores and are shifting assortments to reflect less clothing and an increase in the amount of accessories represented. That works for us!

Emerging Markets:
Middle East: while new Foot Solution store openings in Dubai and Saudi have been pushed back to March, there will be several more to follow in 2009.

China: research is taking place right now in Shanghai to determine market viability with a targeted and controlled launch plan focusing on the corporate comfort travel market and web sales.

Research continues in both South Africa and Central America. The Outdoor/Adventure Travel channels are up for consideration in Korea and Thailand.

Stay tuned. 2009 looks to be a global growth kind of year!




Aspiring Designs

The Contemporary Collection Wave Series:

Our classic profile with an eclectic look


3 bags

AmeriBag introduces a new series of Healthy Back Bag® totes with a variety of materials and color-blocked detailing. Each bag is a size small Healthy Back Bag® tote, featuring all the organizational details and quality for which the Bag has become known.

Three different materials make up this upbeat, colorful series; microfiber, cotton canvas and metallic.  One of the bags in this series features rich brown microfiber with garnet detailing along the exterior pockets, making it a real eye catcher.  Our three most popular colors in cotton canvas are back (hazelnut, natural and fern) and are all featured in one bag!  Elegant copper detailing lines the exterior pockets of a black microfiber bag, giving it a whole new look.

Three very different bags for those who prefer something a little "outside of the box."
 
 
What's New In The Press?
The Healthy Back Bag® tote in the media


We have some exciting PR opportunities coming up in the near future. Here's a peek at some of the things in the press now and what we can expect to see soon...

· Travel Goods Showcase - December Article Feature
3 bags
· Mothering Magazine - January issue product feature

· CNN Radio - Executive Vice President and co-founder, Margery, has alr
eady recorded an interview with CNN radio. We are awaiting information on its air date and will keep you posted. For a listing of CNN stations in your area, click here.

· Latitudes, the inflight magazine for American Eagle passengers. To view the feature online, click here.

Winter 2009Issue: 3
logo
Comfort, Quality, Style, Functionality & Value
In This Issue
A Note from De Boss
The Earth Collection is Here!
New Logo. New Marketing.
Global Growth for AmeriBag International Divisions
The Wave Series
What's Up in the Press?
AmeriBag Company Store Opens in Barbados
Welcome Baby Emma!
OEM News
New Catskill Bags are here!
Welcome Gerry Leclerc
Winter / Spring Trade Show Schedule
AmeriBag Company Store
Opens in Barbados

We are excited to annouce the opening of our new Company Store in Barbados.

Just before Christmas, the store opened its doors and has been pleasantly surprised at the amount of product it's sold.  Patrons of the Company Store consist of mainly locals, but include tourists as well, all who love to indulge in the story behind the Healthy Back Bag® tote while trying the Bag out.  In addition to the HBB, the store sells many other AmeriBag® products, such as the Catskill and Metro Collections, as well as comfort shoes.

barbados store 1

barbados store 2

AmeriBag has been operating on the island for quite a few years, and therefore has the ability to make some of the product that is sold in the store at our local factory.  A unique feat, it makes AmeriBag one of few companies that sell product that is produced locally.

An interesting fact about Barbados and the Healthy Back Bag® tote - they share the same shape!  The HBB's patented profile is that of a kidney or teardrop, almost identical to the shape of the island of Barbados!
barbados

This is just the beginning for the Company Store!  We'll keep you posted on its progress...


Emma

Welcome
Emma Sun-OK Kim!

On September 29, 2008, Hanna Kim, our Chicago OEM Sales Rep, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Emma Sun-OK Kim. We wanted to welcome Emma into our AmeriBag family and send our well wishes to the Kim family.

Hanna please send more pictures of Emma - we'd love to see them!
.
 

OEM logo


OEM News


We spoke with Curt Schock, our Vice President of OEM Sales and Hanna Kim, our Chicago based OEM sales rep and this is what they've told us:

ABag OEM is currently working with Image Sellers, a Colorado-based company who makes accessories for some large name distilleries. Our product designers are working hard to create unique tote designs for their well-known brand names.


We are also working with Western Heritage, a company that does all the branding and OEM products for the National Forest Service.

A six-piece collection ABag OEM designed for Badland Beauties  previewed at the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in Orlando.  The company asked us for help creating a line of hunting gear designed and developed for women.  

Anyone with questions about our OEM Division can contact Hanna Kim.



Welcome Gerry Leclerc!


We would like to welcome Gerry Leclerc to our sales team!

In September of 2008, Gerry began representing AmeriBag in the shoe and outdoor industry in the New England territory.  He brings with him many years of experience and we are pleased to have him on our team.

We are looking forward to working with him in 2009!

 

Sensible Style

The Catskill adds two more bags to the Collection

New Catskill Bags
Welcome the Modena (left) and the Accord (right) to the Catskill Collection!

The Modena is a thin, modern silhouette featuring two waterfall pockets, an adjustable shoulder strap and great interior organization.

The Accord is super thin and sleek, with a separate interior zippered section to keep your valuables and personal items secure.

Both new bags have the same great features that make the Catskill Collection so popular.  The sleek, smooth microfiber comes in black, taupe and chocolate with our easy-see silver lining and brushed silver hardware.  Two classic additions to a popular collection!
 



Winter/Spring 2009Trade Show Schedule

···

We will be at
WSA Show
February 12-14, 2009
at the Las Vegas Sands
BOOTH # 2036

···

We will be at
Travel Goods Show
March 3-5, 2009
at the Las Vegas Convention Center
BOOTH # 119



Anyone with questions regarding our upcoming show schedule, please contact Beth at
beth@ameribag.com
 





We'd love your input and ideas for our quarterly newsletter!


Please feel free to contact us at
marketing@ameribag.com