This month PenCarrie celebrates its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we’ve gathered together some of the landmark moments from the history of the one of the UK’s pioneering multi-brand distributors
Twenty-five years ago, in April 1991, Paul Persey, his sister-in-law Penny (Pen) and his wife Caroline (Carrie) founded a new Exeter-based start-up, and PenCarrie was born. The fledgling venture would usher in a new era of multi-brand distributors and reshape the very fabric of imprintable garment supply in the UK. In the same year, Images, a new trade journal dedicated to the garment decoration industry, was launched, and over the following quarter of a century we have followed closely PenCarrie’s progress and growth, regularly reporting on the company’s many groundbreaking developments and landmark achievements. It’s been quite a journey: here, we provide a snapshot of some of the memorable moments along the way.
1991 The company starts out working from “a glorified broom cupboard” and its first warehouse measures a mere 350 sq m. Russell joins the PenCarrie family, as does Andrea Charteris, customer services manager, who takes a summer job with the company and is still an integral part of the team today.
1992 Fruit of the Loom and Result come on board. Expansion is rapid as PenCarrie opens an 18,000 sq ft distribution centre.
1993 PenCarrie’s first exhibition stand.
1993 PenCarrie celebrates its second birthday by pioneering what it believes to be an industry first with the publication of its first colour brochure at just 12-pages long.
1994 Paul Persey predicts future investment in “bigger and bigger buildings, better and better systems, more and more product ranges and an ever increasing inventory.”
1995 John Mallett joins PenCarrie as a member of the company’s warehouse team; today he is the company’s highly experienced warehouse manager.
1996 PenCarrie reaches its fifth anniversary
1999 New brands Skinnifit (now SF) and Towel City (pictured) – are added to the PenCarrie collection. The following year, in 2000, the brochure passes the 100-page mark for the first time, with garments from 26 brands.
2000 The new millennium sees Francis Bevan join PenCarrie as management accountant; Francis joins the growing number of employees who have developed with the company and is now the company’s finance director.
2001 The company celebrates its 10th anniversary, with womenswear the new growth area.
2002 An Images news story reports on the company’s warehouse staff gaining their NVQs. Finden+Hales and Tombo are among five new brands appearing in the Activewear section of the latest brochure.
2003 PenCarrie takes its products and service offering online with the launch of its first marketing website.
2006 PenCarrie toasts a decade and a half at the forefront of the garment distribution business and prepares to add well-known brands Gildan and Canterbury the following year.
2007 PenCarrie is planning for the future with its appointment of Tony Lock as managing director – welcomed here by Paul Persey (r) – a position that Tony has made his own and which he continues to hold nearly ten years later.
2008 PenCarrie launches its first online ordering service in the same year that the Just Hoods by AWDis College Hoodie (JH001) arrives in a choice of 30 colours.
2011 PenCarrie turns 20.
2013 PenCarrie adds the new – and exclusive – Sol’s brand. The same year the company completes its move to its current 135,000 sq ft state-of-the-art warehouse, offices and demonstration centre in Willand, Devon.
2014 PenCarrie opens The Academy, a fully equipped training and demonstration suite.
2014 PenCarrie adds outerwear specialists Trespass – another new and exclusive brand – and launches its Showcase App.
2016 PenCarrie celebrates its 25th anniversary by welcoming yet more new and innovative brands to the fold, including AWDis Academy, So Denim, Denny’s Brands, Mantis World and Comfort Colors. The 800-page brochure is available on USB sticks and www.full-collection.com, the unbranded end users website for customers to use, is launched.