Distributor The Image Group (UPIC: IMAGEGRP) has acquired Bag Warehouse and Thirsty Promo from Mark-it Smart (UPIC: MARKSMAR) of Santa Ana, California. The deal includes Mark-it Smart’s web-based direct sales platform.

“Our customers are increasingly interested in researching and procuring promotional products online,” says Jon Levine, The Image Group’s president. “We believe the shift to online purchasing reflects the growing influence that Millennial employees are having in company buying decisions. This acquisition helps us remain ahead of that shift.”

Bag Warehouse and Thirsty Promo operate web stores that sell logoed bags and drinkware directly to businesses, rather than through distributors. Levine says The Image Group plans to expand beyond those niche categories and give customers online access to a wider selection of promotional products and marketing services.

“Our ability to offer the same online shoppers our entire product and apparel lines, as well as access to our creative design and print services, enables those buyers to complete more of their procurement responsibilities with one vendor,” he adds.

Levine says The Image Group will move the California operations  to its headquarters in the Toledo suburb of Holland, Ohio, where it runs a 30,000-square-foot production facility with screen-printing, embroidery, engraving, warehousing and fulfillment services.