Founded in Leicester in 1914, Pex is the UK's leading branded children's hosiery supplier with a conservative estimate of 50 per cent share of the independent retail market. In 2004 the company, Pex Kids Limited was acquired by John Norton, now the company's managing director, in partnership with its financial director, Jim Kirkman.
John Norton joined Pex in 1998 as General Manager and headed a successful management buy out of the company in 2004. Since taking over the company John has driven Pex brand growth through major product diversification and a commitment to providing the best customer service possible. To this end he introduced a new school uniform range and a special occasion wear collection. To maximise stock and delivery services to Pex's independent retail customers he then moved the entire Pex business to a modern, purpose-built 36,000 sq ft warehouse and distribution centre, where his team maintains product stock of over one million items.
He lives in Leicestershire, England with his wife and two sons, the latter of whom regularly appear in Pex photo shoots. John is a wannabe Masterchef and an enthusiastic, but not very fast, runner. His favourite food would be a continental dish of olives and hams enjoyed in his best holiday destination, the Scottish Highlands.
Jim Kirkman joined Pex in 2003 as part of the new management team responsible for bringing Pex back into UK ownership. As Financial Director, Jim has a strong and experienced hand on the company's finances and offers clear guidance on future strategies to grow the business.
Jim's background in accountancy covers many different industries from manufacturing and clothing through to property and distribution. He is involved with the day-to-day financial control of the business as well as working closely with the company's bank and financial service providers.
Jim lives in Leicester with his wife and two sons. He enjoys camping with his family and considers a month's tour of the Far East and Australia as his top holiday to date. His favourite food is an authentic Chinese and a trip to the Normandy landing grounds is on his wish list.
Marie Tolan has been with Pex for over 12 years having joined as Sales Administrator. She is now responsible for the day to day running of the brand's customer support services, headoffice administration and global supplier and distributor liaison. Marie has learnt to speak basic Mandarin to help her communicate with Pex's Chinese suppliers. She also plays an active role in product selection and development.
Marie lives in Leicester and enjoys cycling and travelling in her spare time. Her all time favourite food would be a 'real' cream tea and her favourite holiday of all time was to the Greek island of Kefalonia. She still has a visit to Machu Pichu in Peru on her wish list!
National Sales Manager
Paul Rich joined the Pex sales team in 1997 becoming National Sales Manager in 1999. He heads a team of six full-time Business Development Managers spread the length and breadth of the UK and Eire. In recent years he has also become more involved in product selection and was responsible for securing the exclusive sourcing deal on Pex's special occasion wear and new cotton knitwear ranges on buying trips to Columbia.
Paul lives with his wife and son in Cardiff, Wales where he is an ardent cricket and rugby supporter. He also plays snooker, tennis and has recently taken up running. He has a liking for international spicy foods from India, China and Italy. His favourite holiday to date was to Cyprus and he hopes one day he will be able to take a round the world cruise.
Stock and response
Our Leicester-based purpose-designed 36,000 sq ft warehouse and distribution centre holds the UK's largest stock of children's hosiery with over one million pairs of socks and tights available for a rapid response delivery service. It also holds stocks of some 30,000 items of school uniform and over 100 designs from its special occasion wear range. You will also find large and available stocks of babywear, bibs, hats, scarves, gloves, anoraks and shoes.
In addition to our telephone sales and help-lines in Leicester we are the only children's hosiery and clothing brand to support our customers through a team of seven full-time regional executives. We currently sell Pex brand products to over 1,500 retailers throughout the UK and Eire in addition to export customers in the Caribbean, Hong Kong, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.