Get to know Peter Gribby & Lizard King

Written by
Andrew Flynn
Published on
20/12/2023
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Welcome to the latest instalment of our 'Get To Know' series.

Each month, we shine a spotlight on one of our clients, introducing our audience to their products and services while delving into the latest trends within their specific industries.

This month, we’re delighted to have a conversation with Josh Gribby, who, along with colleagues Ben and Emily, is responsible for all things digital at the menswear brand Peter Gribby and its sister brand, Lizard King.

Welcome, Josh, and thank you for taking the time to have a chat. Can you start by giving our readers an overview of Peter Gribby, Lizard King, and how the two businesses coexist?

Peter Gribby is a menswear brand focused on classic British knitwear and shirts. The company was founded in 1985 by my grandfather Peter and family members. Daniel was part of that journey from the get-go and remains the Managing Director as of today. We have been a staple in the menswear industry, best known for our high-quality knitwear.

Lizard King was more recently created as a spin on The Doors frontman Jim Morrison–the original Lizard King–offering funky, modern fit print shirts. More recently we have developed a series line of t-shirts that illustrate famous musicians on the front, such as David Bowie and Kurt Cobain, with more to follow over the coming seasons.

Can you share any key milestones or achievements that either brand has reached recently?

We are continuing to grow a digital presence and see that as one of our biggest achievements for both brands in recent times. We have really started seeing growth in our eCommerce stores since moving over to Venditan in July 2022. 

Peter Gribby is coming up to its 40th birthday soon, an amazing achievement for a family-run business.

Definitely! Is there a particular product or range of products that you’re excited about at the moment?

Absolutely, the Peter Gribby Seawool range is incredibly exciting to share!

Seawool is a polyester made from upcycled oyster shells mixed with recycled PET bottles, making it a truly eco-friendly garment, which is then mixed with Merino Wool. The response from retailers and customers has been very positive, and the products are selling exceptionally well!

The surface of Seawool polyester is embedded with tiny pieces of scales derived from nanolised oyster shell powder. These scales simulate the unique surface structure of wool fibres, giving Seawool polyester the ability to feel like natural wool and absorb odours too.

We’re using the material in a new range of quarter-zip and crew neck jumpers. They have been very warmly received by retailers and customers and are selling very well!

In June, we published an in-depth exploration of the prevailing trends and topics influencing eCommerce within the clothing and fashion industry. What are your personal expectations for the sector over the next couple of years?

I could personally captivate you with my excitement over the development of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality!

However, I firmly believe that these technologies will play a significant role in the fashion industry in the coming years. I envision the ability to style your avatar with items of clothing you're interested in, providing a visual representation of how something will look on your body shape and overall appearance.

With Apple currently developing a headset, I anticipate widespread adoption, though it may take some time for people to fully embrace it, considering factors such as pricing and technological advancements.

On a lighter note, can you share a fun or interesting fact about the company that people may not know?

The company was established in 1985— Daniel, his Father and his Mother. Their family home in Scarrington, Nottinghamshire, served as their base, and they all contributed: Dan’s sister handled the admin, while himself and his brother packed orders at night. The journey began when Peter and Daniel each took eight jumpers and headed north on the motorway, Peter to the east, and Dan to the west. They returned armed with orders and bursting with pride.

The Peter Gribby brand found its roots in fertile ground—Nottinghamshire's early prosperity was shaped by the textile industry, and Nottingham lace remains renowned worldwide. They mined that historical expertise to produce clothing steeped in quality and heritage.

It wasn't long before the house was awash with knitwear, often leaving Dan with the sofa as his makeshift bed when night fell, given his own bed was piled high. As demand from independent retailers grew, it was clear no family member’s bed was safe! Consequently, they relocated to larger premises and have steadily expanded ever since.

Could you share some insight into our relationship? What specific challenges have we helped you overcome?

We used to manage stock levels on Excel spreadsheets! Nearly every aspect of our business was handled manually. As a result, many of us were unable to concentrate on tasks that contribute to selling products and improving our conversion rates.

Moreover, this manual approach led to a significant amount of human error, resulting in instances where we had sold items that were not actually in stock. Venditan’s eCommerce platform has played a crucial role in automating every facet of our business, spanning our eCommerce stores, wholesale dealings, and concession stores.

This automation has freed up a substantial amount of time for all of us, allowing us to engage in more creative pursuits.

And finally, what are they key goals and plans for 2024?

In 2024, our primary objective is to continue the momentum of growth by expanding our reach and exploring new marketplaces to diversify our sales channels. A key focus for the upcoming year is to extend our market presence by actively seeking opportunities to sell our products in Europe.

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