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Wholesaler launches into B2C e-commerce

Wholesaler launches into B2C e-commerce
Photo.Clothing t-shirt featuring Martin Parr image
Monday June 2 2014

PAG Leisurewear partners with premiere photographic agency to power innovative Kickstarter project selling t-shirts featuring images by famous photographers

UK clothing wholesaler PAG Leisurewear has today launched a new crowdsourcing project to bring a range t-shirts adorned with popular photographic images direct to the consumer in partnership with a London photographic agency.

Magnum Photos is licensing images chosen by some of its most famous photographers to appear as all-over prints on a new range of T-shirts produced by Photo.Clothing, which launched today on Kickstarter.

The brainchild of Michael Hanreck, director of business-to-business (B2B) clothing wholesaler PAG Leisurewear, Photo.Clothing is offering consumers an initial choice of five T-shirts.

Showcasing famous photographers

The t-shirts will be initially available through the Photo.Clothing Kickstarter page, featuring images by Martin Parr, Chris Steele-Perkins, Bruce Gilden, Richard Kalvar and David Alan Harvey.

And the venture is also due to launch a business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce website that will sell a wider range of t-shirts featuring images from more Magnum photographers later this month.

RetailTechnology.co.uk first spoke with Hanreck earlier this year about its success in scaling its business using an all-in-one retail management software package by NetSuite, which included supporting its role as the sole supplier of clothing for the opening and closing ceremonies of London 2012 Games. The company has now extended its use of the cloud-based system to support this new venture.

“A single system resonated with me back in 2006, where there was ongoing erosion in our B2B sales channels,” he said. “So embracing the internet and NetSuite’s cloud-based system seemed forward thinking in its approach – it gave me one place for managing the business and one system of record.”

IT platform supports diversification

Having based its operations on NetSuite since then, Hanreck added that its financial, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and, more recently, e-commerce functionality has supported innovative growth and differentiation, alongside helping to run the business from day to day.

“NetSuite makes you feel positive about new project,” he said. “So when I approached the co-operative photographic agency, Magnum Photos, earlier this year, I was able to take a template version of the site to essentially add a B2C channel to my traditionally B2B business.”

PAG Leisurewear is using the SuiteCommerce Advance Store Front B2B technology to run the new Photo.Clothing site alongside its existing B2B web presence. “We will also be making the garments available for retailers to sell via bricks or clicks," continued Hanreck. "The website will re-purpose the designs created for our new SuiteCommerce site. 

"We are only tweaking the product page and improving the responsive design to improve the mobile experience. I'm certain PAG will be the first company to deploy the architecture on separate B2B and B2C sites."

Technology facilitates partnership

Jonathan Bell of Magnum also told Creative Review that each photographer was first asked if they wanted to take part in the project, then given the opportunity of selecting the images they would like used themselves or allowing Magnum and Photo.Clothing to choose for them. 

The idea appealed to the agency as a way “of getting Magnum photographs in front of a new audience in a new way,” he said. 

Hanreck added: “It’s the ease of doing business that NetSuite enables, plus the speed and agility it gives me that I like. I was able to take all the technical complexity out of the proposal because of our IT systems.”

Tagged as: PAG Leisurewear | wholesale | B2B | B2C | management | e-commerce | architecture | Kickstarter | Magnum Clothing | NetSuite