5 Minutes With Tom Glover, Managing Director, Peregrine

A quintessential British fashion business with roots in Leicester, J. G. Glover & Co has been lovingly passed through eight generations of the Glover family. In 1956, it established Peregrine Clothing as a separate entity - but it was still very much a family brand. In 2003 Tom Glover took the helm of Peregrine and since then it has enjoyed success as both an online retailer and stockist. He chats to Retail Gazette for this week's '5 Minutes With' profile.

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Tom Glover Peregrine

Tell me about the Peregrine story.

The brand started out in the 1700s and was founded by my grand father Thomas Glover.

He started out in Leicester market as a bag man, this was a great place for him to be as Leicester was the wool capital of Europe at that time.

How has Peregrine changed?

We are constantly growing and evolving the brand. The most recent has been introducing outerwear and shirting into the range.

What is it like running a family business that goes back 220 years?

The family history and story behind the brand is hugely important.

Unfortunately there are no longer any family members other than myself who work with us – but the heritage is key.

What’s in store for Peregrine in 2018?

There are lots of new and exciting things in store for Peregrine in 2018, physical store openings are something we look to do if the right opportunity comes about.

The family history and story behind the brand is hugely important”

How is Peregrine addressing some of the challenges facing the fashion sector?

We are addressing some of the great challenges in the market by becoming more sustainable and transparent as a brand.

These are areas that are becoming increasingly important to customers.

Describe your role and responsibilities as managing director of Peregrine.

Oh, where do I start? I am very closely involved in all aspects of the business – so means being a designer, head of sales and product control.

Tell us a bit about yourself before Peregrine.

I grew up spending a lot of time with my dad in the Peregrine factory in Leicester and having both parents in the fashion industry meant that it was something that I was always surrounded by.

I went on to study product design in Cardiff, which is where I began to find my own design vision and where I really began to hone in on certain skills.

Design is something I have always loved and the fact that I have been immersed in it since so young, I think just gives strength to the fact that we have a real heritage and that Peregrine is first and foremost a family brand.

What got you into retail in the first place?

As well as the family history with Peregrine, my mother owned 30 ladies lingerie shops – so I think it was always in my blood.

How has your previous experience aided your current job?

My previous experience has helped me with people management and sales, which are two big aspects of my role.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

I would probably say that employing people and trying to control things that are out of my hands are the most challenging.

And the most rewarding?

The most rewarding is seeing the complete journey of the product being made, from design to the end piece being developed at the factory.

It’s always great to also hear people’s kind words and positive feedback.

What advice would you give someone who is considering embarking on a career in retail?

I would say my main piece of advice to people would be to have a good backer and passion for what you’re doing.

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