Top-Tex is a major European supplier of textiles and clothing for the promotion wear and corporate fashion markets. The French company offers more than 1,500 individually customizable clothing and textile products (30,000 skus), ranging from T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, pants, softshell jackets and caps to gloves, scarves, underwear, towels, sportswear, shoes, bags, umbrellas and aprons.
“We market more than 40 internationally renowned brands, such as Fruit of the Loom, Gildan, B & C or Russell Europe,” explains Managing Director Laurent Marceau who had been with Russel before joining Top-Tex five years ago.
The company also distributes four own brands: Kariban (corporate clothing), ProAct (teamwear), K-up (headwear) and Kimood (luggage and accessories). Top-Tex is the leading distributor for promotion wear brands in France and the Benelux countries.
Top-Tex was founded by Laurent Marti in 1994, following the takeover of the textile distribution company IPC Distribution in Toulouse. In the 1990s, Top-Tex established subsidiaries in Bordeaux, Nantes and Strasbourg and created the Kariban brand.
In 2001, the company reorganized its distribution network and centralized all logistics operations in Toulouse. Two years later, Top-Tex acquired a competitor in Belgium, Action Tee. In 2008/2009, the sub-brand Kariban Sport and the sportswear brand ProAct were created.
In 2010, a new logistics center was opened in Heppignies, Belgium. 2011 saw the launch of the luggage brand Kimood and the extension of the Group’s warehousing facilities in Toulouse to 25,000 m² of storage space. The last brand added to the constantly growing portfolio was K-up in 2014.
Today, Top-Tex employs a total of 100 people and has annual sales of 80 million EUR. In France and the Benelux countries, the company has its own sales representatives. Top-Tex is very successful with its four own brands which contribute one third to the company’s overall revenues.
The Kariban brand comprises more than 240 products: a diverse range of classic promotional textiles, from casual to corporate, including a special Vintage collection.
“Kariban features a large collection of modern, prêt-à-porter fashion which is enjoyable to wear,” Mr. Marceau describes the brand philosophy. “This means that the customer logo on the garment is visible for a long time and thus provides the end customer with a sustainable added value.”
Kimood offers over 200 stylish, contemporary bags for business, sports, relaxation, travel, shopping and many other applications. K-up, the newest Top-Tex brand, includes a wide choice of headwear and accessories, such as caps, hats, scarves and gloves.
The extensive range of store brands is rounded off by ProAct, which offers a complete line of team sportswear for children and adults.
“We cover the entire processing chain from A to Z,” says Mr. Marceau. “The products are designed and developed in France and manufactured in Bangladesh and China. Before being shipped to Europe, all textiles are subject to rigid quality controls by our own structure in Hong Kong where all factories are visited and supervised.”
Top-Tex supplies to promotion wear and corporate fashion businesses and finishers customizing the textiles by printing or embroidering customer logos and other corporate advertising messages.
“We only reach the end customer through those companies processing our products further,” explains Mr. Marceau. “Nevertheless, we always focus on the final user: firms and organizations employing our products as advertising tools.”
The comprehensive selection of international brand-name manufacturers and its more than 20 years of experience in the promotion wear market enable Top-Tex to offer top-quality textiles at very competitive prices and exceptional value for money.
“We negotiate the best prices for our customers throughout the year,” states Mr. Marceau. In marketing its products, Top-Tex is making extensive use of digital distribution channels. “We receive most of our orders through the internet,” says Mr. Marceau. “Europe has become a village, the markets are open.”
Thanks to its large warehousing capacity in France and Belgium, Top-Tex guarantees the flexible meeting of customer demands and swift deliveries at the shortest notice.
“We have more than ten million articles in permanent stock,” explains Mr. Marceau. “We aim to fill every customer order within 24 hours. In our business, efficient logistics and warehousing are the keys to success.”
To acquire new customers, Top-Tex advertises in various trade journals and participates in major exhibitions, including the CTCO fair in Lyon, France, one of the main European events for the promotional garments and gifts industry, and Stuttgart’s TV TecStyle Visions in Germany, the leading European trade fair for textile decoration and promotion.
Top-Tex is constantly introducing novel products. “We change about 10% of our product range on an annual basis,” states Mr. Marceau.
In the near future, Top-Tex wants to further grow its market presence in Europe. “We are continuing to develop our own Kariban clothing brand and to strengthen our position in fast evolving promotion wear markets such as Germany and the UK.”