Distributors PromoShop, Inc. (PPAI 204997) and Icon Blue, Inc. (PPAI 217321), both located in Los Angeles, California, have announced a strategic partnership alliance beginning in December. The partnership was first announced Wednesday in PPB Newslink Breaking News. PromoShop entered into a similar partnership with Seattle, Washington-based distributor Compleat eight years ago.

The companies’ sales will merge, with Icon Blue sales and staff members moving to join PromoShop’s Los Angeles location. Initially, the partnership will be identified to Icon Blue clients as “Icon Blue, a PromoShop Partner.”

Speaking to PPB Newslink, Memo Kahan, PromoShop president and owner, says, “There are so many ways to do what we do that we will, for sure, learn best practices and different ways to go to market from each other. This is what makes our industry so very unique and special. We will be one entity with two different client-facing logos for now. Over time, we believe there will only be one logo.”

Icon Blue President and COO Eden McClellen tells PPB Newslink, "Together we are a powerhouse of knowledge and capability. We bring a strong, steady client base with an experienced staff and PromoShop compliments us by expanding our services in marketing and creative services. We will also be better positioned in bids with some of our larger clients. Our staff will continue to service our current client base, but we will otherwise be one entity working out of Promo Shop’s LA office."

Kahan and Icon Blue CEO Walter Hill have known each other for 25 years, having met while working at distributor Idea Man. While McClellen will not be joining the new organization, on Hill’s future with the company, Kahan says, “Walter has been a great guide, friend and inspiration. It would be a waste if we do not take advantage of Walter’s experience and ways of doing business. We very much look forward to learning from him and sharing that education for the betterment of all of us.”

PromoShop and Icon Blue identified symbiotic benefits in combining the talents of both organizations, and company leaders say the synergies between the two organizations feel like a good fit.

“This particular deal was in the works for a few months and everything fell into place very quickly and nicely,” adds Kahan. “The beauty of this transaction is the synergies that our companies already have. We, of course, will have more customers and more sales executives, and this should be a seamless transition both with our suppliers and clients. An absolute win-win for everyone!”

McClellen adds, "Walter and I looked at some other options, but felt that joining Promo Shop was the best move for everyone. It all came together very easily. Promo Shop has been great to work with. And while in talking with them, we learned of some crossover in the market, but it is a very small amount in relation to the whole. We are like family already due to the long standing relationship between Walter and Memo, so no one is at all concerned about market share."

In a statement Hill said, “We are excited about our partnership with PromoShop. PromoShop holds many of the same values that Icon Blue has practiced for 20 years. Together, both award-winning companies will create a stronger value proposition for our customers. We look forward to servicing Icon Blue clients with an increased bandwidth of services in marketing and creative services, as well as global sourcing and logistics.”