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Former Perfection Uniforms Merchandising Model to be Marketed under Conqueror Label

An agreement between a former Perfection Uniforms’ top exec and Leventhal Ltd. will bring popular items from the line back to customers starting in the fall, ending months of turmoil surrounding the public safety provider.

 

Products meeting former Perfection specifications will be marketed under the Conqueror label.

 

Perfection Uniforms was a premium brand of Police, Fire, DNR and EMS uniforms, and was known for its innovative product development initiatives. But the company ran into trouble, and on February 15, received foreclosure notification from its bank. “It’s a shame, we had a good marketing model, but our pockets simply weren’t deep enough to finance growth,” Steve Gilkeson says candidly.

Perfection did, in fact, reach an agreement in principle with American Capital Financial Group to form a new company, Perfection Atlantic Manufacturing Corp., comprised of Perfection Uniforms & Atlantic Manufacturing, a 20-year old apparel manufacturing company based in the Dominican Republic.

But the personal relationship ultimately fizzled. “They are fine folks, and we had good initial conversations, but we differed with the investment group over the business model,” says Gilkeson.

“As I understand it, American Capital intends to distribute the line directly to agencies, while I believe strongly in keeping the traditional dealer distribution system intact. I have always worked with dealers, not against them,” he continues.  “A uniform program is more than just pants and shirts – it involves service and relationships cultivated over time.”

In the end, American Capital retained the rights to the company name and its existing inventory. The company has relocated to Florida. “I certainly wish them well. The Perfection brand means a lot to me, but the spirit now lives on at Leventhal, which is very exciting” says Gilkeson.

That is partly because Gilkeson personally holds the product patents. He quickly formed Gilkeson & Associates, a business development consulting firm, seeking opportunities to recreate the former Perfection Uniforms model. On board from the defunct Perfection team are Bob Blevins, and Tom Stock, who will serve as field reps, and Jan Ring, Account Development Specialist.

Strong Commitment from Leventhal

Gilkeson found the perfect supporter in Leventhal Ltd., no stranger to the public safety market. For over 90 years, Leventhal has been a brand recognized for quality, value and service. “Rajan & Kathy bring stability and commitment to this, and they absolutely understand the business” Gilkeson says, referring to Leventhal’s Rajan Shamdasani & Kathy Sujanani.

The original Perfection factory in Columbia is already back up and running. Fabrics have been ordered and color standards will be the same as before.

And because Gilkeson holds the patents, many previously popular products, like those in the Eco Series, along with many of their features, such as the gusseted crotch and the clip knife pocket found in cargo pants, will also remain unchanged.

There have already been a few sign-ons, most notably the Chicago PD, who approved a poly/cotton Eco shirt last week. Special programs are also in the works for several Canadian agencies, where Perfection had always been strong.

And because Leventhal Ltd. is classified as a minority owned business that operates a U.S. union manufacturing facility in a Historically Underutilized Business, or HUB Zone, the agreement may create new opportunities with government agencies.

As for former Perfection dealers, Gilkeson says “I personally apologize for the disruptions that we caused our valued dealers, but going forward, any bid won using Perfection specifications will have a product to meet those needs.” Until new inventory is ready to ship, he advises using as a substitute Leventhal’s current Conqueror Elite stock line, conceived three years ago as a variation of the Perfection product model.  

For further information, please contact Steve Gilkeson This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / 615.428.8298