Sublimation & Wool Factory Fire Updates

Frequent updates will be posted here as we continue to gather information and install action plans that address our Wool and Sublimation business.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Wool Update

In order to resume our varsity jacket and football business, our plan required access to the undamaged portion of the building impacted by the fire. This plan allows us to retain talented and experienced operators to quickly return to production. In partnering with the Mexican government, we have been given the go-ahead to re-enter the building and resume production. We plan to restart production in early July with all of the jackets on backorder. If you have a jacket on backorder it will ship by 10/01/2022. While we work through the backlog, we will be engineering our plans for a broader return-to-market strategy and taking new orders. Please stay close with your sales rep on those plans.

Sublimation Update 

We continue to accelerate the ramp-up in our brand new FreeStyle Sublimation Performance Center.

By August, we will have more equipment than our pre-fire levels and our staffing efforts remain on plan. With equipment and people coming together we can take some big steps around our build-back efforts:

Improving Lead Times

We are reducing lead times on our Turbo product. It will move to 15 days and we look forward to continuing to drive it down in the coming weeks. Rushes are still not available on the builder.

Football Is Back

We are adding sublimated football products back online. This is a great opportunity to pop in the 2022 season for those special games featuring a unique jersey. We will be at a 7 week lead time out of the gate. Rushing orders will not be available so please do not make these requests.

New Styles Coming Online

In addition to football, we are adding several new shorts and baseball pants back to the line-up. A full list of active styles can be found on the builder.

We are incredibly optimistic about the future of our sublimation business.   The procuring of equipment and buildout of our Mexico production team is on plan. Let’s partner together for a great fall season.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Brad Sullivan, VP of Business Development, provides a weekly update on what is happening with our sublimation business after the fire in our Mexico facility.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Varsity Jacket Update

Open Orders

In our last update, we communicated that in order to provide accurate ship dates on open wool orders we needed to procure raw materials and have clarity on where we will produce the jackets.  We are now further along in the recovery process and wanted to provide an update.

  • We have worked with our suppliers on expediting all raw materials to resume production. The raw materials will be arriving in July.    
  • Our plan is to resume production in the portion of the building not impacted by the fire.  Remaining in this building will allow us to utilize our employees and quickly ramp up production. We are working with local officials on a plan to reoccupy the building and are optimistic we will be able to finalize those plans in the coming weeks.   Once these plans are finalized we will be able to give you a ship date on your open order.   

With these pieces likely coming together, we are optimistic that the open orders will be able to ship in the late summer/early fall range. We will keep you updated if there are changes and will be confirming more definitive dates in the coming weeks.

New Orders

We are working to ramp up capacity and fully understand the remaining capacity for 2022.  We are confident that we will work through the open orders and still have additional capacity to take orders and ship prior to the holiday season.  We are working on a plan to allocate that capacity and clearly communicate our abilities so that we operate transparently with our partners.  We are aggressively working on this plan with the goal of putting out some guidance in late June.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

In our effort to continually provide updates regarding the fire in our Mexico facility, David Goerke, VP Marketing & Merchandise, and Dave Elliott, CEO, provide a weekly update on what is happening with our sublimation business and the outlook for the Fall season.

Friday, May 13, 2022

In our effort to continually provide updates regarding the fire in our Mexico facility, below you will find our weekly updates on our impacted sublimation and wool businesses with Brad Sullivan, VP Business Development, and David Goerke, VP Marketing & Merchandise.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Varsity Jacket Update:

Open Orders

It’s taking us longer than expected to get new shipping dates on all varsity jacket orders placed prior to the fire.  The most challenging aspect has been the raw materials.  A large percentage of our raw materials for varsity jackets were lost in the fire. We’re working with suppliers to expedite new orders for all components.  However, the process of securing these fabrics is taking longer than expected.  We now believe we should be able to provide you with specific shipping dates and shipping windows by May 25.  Thank you so much for your patience during this process.  

Additionally, in some cases, we already know that certain components won’t be available for the remainder of 2022.  If your open order has any of those components that won’t be offered, we will be reaching out to you to provide you with some alternative options.  

New Orders

The good news – the varsity jacket manufacturing portion of our facility was minimally damaged by the fire.  As such, we are optimistic we will be able to use the same equipment and same employees once we received the fabric and prepare the area for operation.  We will communicate soon on a plan to open up a new early order window once we have a firm timeline for our production.  This will be an incremental ordering opportunity that we haven’t had in the past.  Our goal is to have the specific window dates and shipping dates to you no later than May 25 as well.  

Fall/Winter Season

In all cases, we will be manufacturing varsity jackets for fall and winter delivery.  We are simply working to provide you with accurate shipping windows at this point.  As mentioned above, we plan to have this information for all open orders and all new orders by May 25.  Please stay tuned.  And thank you again for your patience and understanding during this extraordinary time for our business.  

Sublimation Update

Open Orders

For the remaining 20% of orders that we were not able to requote a new delivery date, many of which were football and fleece, we now have all the information to provide you with options on those orders.  We are reaching out to all of the customers impacted by these orders over the next two weeks, where we’ll present you with various options, including alternative in-stock styles that could be delivered immediately from our distribution center.  Thank you for your patience with these orders.  

New Orders

We are actively taking orders for many of our top-selling sublimation styles.  These are being produced in our new FreeStyle sublimation facility and currently have lead times of 20-25 days.  We continue to move equipment into our new facility and increase capacity. In aggregate, we believe that by July we will have restored our overall capacity to pre-fire levels.   This will allow us to drive lead times down and increase our style offering.

We are still working through some style-level details which may delay our ability to offer certain styles for several more months yet.   In all cases, however, we’re confident that we will have a plan to service the majority of fall sports and needs.  We continue to add styles to turn styles “back on” via the builder, including many of our cotton hand tees, which were added this week.  

Custom Football

As mentioned in our previous communication, our team has worked through every custom decorated football order to create a compelling solution that still arrives prior to the football season.  Many of you have already received this information.  However, it’s taken a little longer to get through all of the orders.  If you haven’t received a call yet, our goal is to reach out to everyone by May 20th.  Thank you so much for your commitment and partnership with ASB.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

It has been roughly two weeks since a fire broke out in our Champoton, Mexico factory that produces varsity jackets and a portion of our sublimation products. Augusta Sportswear Brands CEO, Dave Elliott, and SVP Manufacturing & Sourcing, Brett Bjorkman, provide an update on the challenges we are facing and the short and long-term outlook for our impacted products.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Holloway Wool Jacket Update:

Holloway has been the industry-leading supplier of varsity jackets for more than 50 years and is 100% committed to the category.  Our first priority is to provide new delivery dates for all open orders, with backorders being our top priority.  Unfortunately, after a long week of assessing the situation, we still have a little more work to do before we can send those dates out.  Our goal is to have new delivery guidance on all open orders, which includes open booking orders by the end of next week.  We will keep you posted if this changes.

Our second priority is to provide an outlook on all future orders.  While there is still plenty of work to be done, our goal is to be shipping for the fall/winter season.  Please stay tuned.  Similar to current orders, we hope to have more specific delivery guidance by the end of next week. 

FreeStyle Sublimation Update:

In our last communication on Tuesday, April 26th, we noted that there were some orders (less than 20%) that were still waiting to be scheduled due to specific equipment that needed to be moved into our new sublimation facility.  The orders impacted by this equipment were largely football and fleece orders.  Unfortunately, we’ve had some delays outside of our control in moving this equipment that has delayed our ability to provide detailed guidance on these orders.  However, we know how important these orders are to you and how important it is to provide clarity on delivery dates for your customers as quickly as possible.  As a result, we are actively building alternative solutions for those orders and will be reaching out to you early next week to discuss these options.  

We are confident we will find a solution that will work for you and your customers.  Thank you for your patience with these orders.  

Custom and Decorated Football Orders:

Our team has also been working hard on all custom and decorated football orders, including those orders in our Russell Blitz and Two-Minute Drill programs.  The good news – the vast majority of our football fabrics were held in a different location than the fire.  However, our ability to create fully custom products has been impacted.  As such, our team is working through every single order to create a compelling solution for that order that still arrives prior to the football season.  Our goal is to have this work finalized by May 6th, with your local sales representative reaching out to you with these options.   

Thank you again for your patience.  We’re almost there.  Much more to come next week.  

Sincerely, 
Augusta Sportswear Brands

Derek Ernst
Chief Commercial Officer, Augusta Sportswear Brands
Cell: 561-445-4605

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Dear Valued Customer,

It has been one week since a fire disrupted service at one of our sublimation facilities in Mexico. Our team has been working tirelessly to rebook all impacted sublimated orders to our other sublimation facility. Over 80% of orders have now been updated with a new delivery date.  If your order has a new order date, you will be able to find this information on your customer dashboard under the “my orders” section. The customer dashboard can be accessed with your user name/login on our website – augustasportswear.com and augustasportswear.ca.

Unfortunately, there are some orders (less than 20%) that are still waiting to be scheduled as we move some specific equipment (largely football and fleece) into the new facility.  Those orders will continue to have the previous delivery date under the “my orders” section of the website.  We sincerely apologize that we’re not able to update those orders yet, but please hang tight.  We expect to have delivery dates on those orders by the end of the week.  

Please know that our team has done everything possible to get you the fastest possible delivery date.  However, we know that in some cases, this new date may not work for your customer.  In that event, please contact your local sales representative for the fastest response time.  Your local sales representatives can work with you to develop a solution that works best for you such as moving to an alternate sublimation style or selecting from one of the 30,000+ blank stock items that are ready to ship from our warehouse same day.  We are confident that we can find a solution that works for you and your customer. 

This has been a very difficult week for our team. But in trying times, good people do their best work. Personally, I have been incredibly inspired by the work of our team and the care and compassion that we have received from our customers.  Thank you for all your support.  And thank you for your continued partnership with Augusta Sportswear Brands. 

Sincerely,

Derek Ernst
Chief Commercial Officer

Friday, April 22, 2022

Sublimation Update

We continue to add styles to our new sublimation facility to minimize any disruption. Today we are adding 30 sublimation styles back to our offering. These styles are within our reversible, compression, and volleyball categories. The styles can be found online within the sublimation category. We will continue to work around the clock to get our full offering restored as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Sublimation Update

Active Orders: Art Finalized

We will have detailed order information on all unshipped orders by Monday.   At that time, we will be able to provide a projected ship date for every order and provide you with alternatives, including keeping the order with the new date, substituting the order for a blank item at a discount, or canceling the order.  Your local sales representative will provide you with these options.   

Additionally, to make sure you have a complete listing of your orders affected by the fire, we are currently in the process of sending you this information via email.  You will have this in your inbox by the end of the day today (4/20).  This information is also being emailed to your local sales representative. 

Active Orders: In Art

For orders in art proofing or pre-production, we are currently evaluating every single order to determine if we can accept and produce that order or potentially have to cancel and provide an alternative option.  The art and customer service teams will facilitate this communication with you as these orders work through the process.  

New Orders

We will continue to offer a sublimated assortment that will be produced out of our second sublimation factory.  This factory is a new, state-of-the-art facility and is located in a completely different city and was unaffected by the fire.  This assortment, which will not include our entire sublimation offering, will have a 20-day lead time and is now active. 

Additionally, we plan to invest aggressively to ramp up this new facility over the coming months.  Our original plan was to utilize this factory entirely for sublimation, with a capacity of 5x our previous levels.  This continues to be our plan, albeit with a much more aggressive timeline.  We will continue to expand our offering over the coming months as this capacity comes online. 

Varsity Jacket Update

All Orders: Stock Varsity Jacket Orders

All stock varsity jacket orders that have inventory will ship as planned.  Additionally, we continue to accept orders for all stock varsity jackets with active inventory.  However, we are not accepting backorders on stock varsity jackets at this time.

Active Orders: Custom Varsity Jackets

We are evaluating various options to service these orders and plan to share definitive options by early next week for all current orders in the system.

New Orders: Custom Varsity Jackets

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting new custom orders until we finish the evaluation of options for current custom orders. 

Football Blitz and Two Minute Drill Update

Active Orders: Blitz and Two Minute Drill

We are evaluating various options to service these orders and plan to share definitive options by early next week for all current orders in the system.

New Orders: Blitz and Two Minute Drill

The order window for these programs has already closed so we are no longer accepting new orders for the Blitz and Two Minute Drill programs. 

Stock Football Update

Unfortunately, we also developed some Augusta Sportswear and Russell Athletic® football styles in the facility affected by the fire.  We will continue to offer these styles on our website but will not take backorders. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

It is with a heavy heart that we share that one of our sublimation and wool jacket facilities in Champoton, Mexico was impacted by a fire overnight. Thankfully, all our teammates in our facility have been accounted for, are safe and no injuries have been reported. We are grateful to the local fire services departments who reacted quickly and worked tirelessly throughout the night to contain the fire within our facility. Our leadership team is on the ground in Mexico and is working with local authorities to understand the cause of the fire.  

As you can imagine, this is an extremely fluid situation and we do not have specific information on orders yet, however, we will be reaching out over the next 24-48 hours to update you as that information becomes available.   

Additionally, please note, that the fire only had an impact on sublimation and wool orders. The remainder of our entire portfolio of products and services, including all blank apparel and all headwear, is produced in one of our additional facilities and was not impacted or disrupted by this situation.   

Our commitment remains to be your most trusted partner, especially during this time. 

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