Roy Lowe & Sons celebrates 25 years in the socks business

It was a mark of jubilation for the members and extended members of the Lowe family, who spent the past weekend celebrating a full quarter of a century in the socks business and the milestone 25th anniversary of Roy Lowe & Sons.

Founded in 1996 by brothers Tim and Martin Lowe, and named in tribute to their late father whose own sock career spanned more than 50 years, culminating with his appointment as managing director at Samuel Eden, Roy Lowe & Sons has become a go-to name in socks circles, supplying some of the biggest names in retail today.

For the past 25 years, the business has been providing licensed character and non-licensed socks to bare feet across the UK, working with high street retailers, grocers, independents, online retailers, and in recent years, directly to the consumer.

“When I left school in 1981, my old man said to me: ‘No-one else will employ you so come to the factory on Monday!’. That was the start of my affinity with socks. Because of this, I have been given the honour of never having a job interview during my working career,” said Roy Lowe.

“I have learnt a lot over the years, but I think my main lesson to pass on would have to be that the best business has always been done over a drink or five – I think Ben and Hannah are trying to emulate this!” 

Combining Tim’s technical expertise, with Martin’s in-depth knowledge of customer markets and the licensing industry has seen the company grow its reputation to be the UK leaders in licensed character socks.

“The new management structure is well covered with Steven, our Finance Director, and Phil, our Technical Director, who have been with us since the formation of the company. Then we have Ben, Kelly and Hannah who are stepping up to drive the business forward. We are very thrilled to take a back seat and watch the business grow,” said Tim.

Recounting his own time within both the licensing industry and the family business, Martin Lowe has paid tribute to the industry that ‘made socks fun’ over the years.

“I am proud to say that I have made friends for life; David and Nigel from Aykroyds and Tim at TDP to name but a few…” he said. “And of course, the sock monkeys who I have worked with over the years – thank you for your valuable time. It is great looking back at what we have achieved.

“When we started licensing at Eden’s we were in the top three in the Disney royalty stream. At Lowe’s we have worked on so many different deals, signing Harry Potter, currently coming up to a 20 year partnership with Peppa and Nickelodeon, and of course the numerous agencies all with their own unique selling points.

“Fundraising for The Light Fund was always a pleasure, Deannie Doo, Radda and myself started with the ‘tri-sockle’ biking from Mansfield to the licensing awards in London. As most blokes who become MAMIL’s (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), know that lycra tends to flatten certain bits out. We decided over a boozy lunch to enhance said certain parts by using large carrots as props. Needless to say, we were getting a few gasps of appreciation from the front tables! 

“Can I say it’s been an absolute pleasure, and if you haven’t argued or fallen out with me at some point, you weren’t doing your job correctly.”

Ben Lowe, now part of the third generation of Lowes to succeed in the socks business, said: “We Lowe children were told repeatedly since we were young that we were not to go into socks; clearly Kelly, Hannah and I failed to listen!

“From my first week at work in Las Vegas, where I received a warning on my first day for being late… it has certainly been a learning curve on socks, licensing and drinking. I think I speak on behalf of the whole company (past and present employees) when I say how proud we are of what Tim and Martin have achieved over their careers, and over the last 25 years with Roy Lowe & Sons.

“What an incredible tribute to Grandpa, and one that lives testament to his name and reputation. Here’s to the next 25 years of Roy Lowe & Sons!”

Roy’s Boys continues portfolio expansion with personalised character pyjamas

Roy’s Boys is expanding its portfolio and slipping into the pyjama space with a range spanning leading children’s entertainment and sport brands including Hey Duggee, Bing, Baby Shark, a portfolio of football clubs, and more.

It’s the latest move from the sock specialist to diversify it product portfolio which now encompasses quirky fashion socks and leggings, as well as pyjamas. The firm has teased that more “exciting additions” to the range will follow in due course.

“The personalised pyjamas are a great addition to our range,” said Hannah Lowe. “We are continuing to tap into the online market that the bricks and mortar retailers do not have the capacity to reach, with bespoke gifting. We are building on what we do best and what Roy’s Boys is all about – giftable products at a high quality.”

Over the past year, Roy’s Boys has grown to a reach of over a million customers and is planning to significantly increase its following further over the next year. Marketing is the key to online success, a mix of posts and ads through the Roy’s Boys platforms as well as additional organic posts from licensors has contributed to an uplift in sales. 

Anita Majhu, senior licensing manager, BBC Studios, said: “I am delighted that Hey Duggee is part of our valued partner’s expanding product range. Our customers have responded really well to Roy’s Boys’  new nightwear and it’s great to be able to reach our customers in such a fun and personalised way.” 

Roy’s Boys’ Ben Lowe, added: “After only launching the personalised pyjamas at the start of this week, they have gone wild already and with Father’s day looming we are anticipating a busy one. After the past year, 2021 is looking incredible for us and the buzz around the office is so great to see. Roy’s Boys is growing at a phenomenal rate – a silver lining to the pandemic.”

Roy’s Boys launches new baby and toddler leggings as team promises ‘further expansion plans in months to come’

Roy’s Boys is launching a new addition to its matching family socks range with the introduction of a new line of leggings featuring family favourites Pepper Pig, Hey Duggee, and Little Miss Sunshine. The new leggings range will be added to throughout the year.

The expansion of the family range arrives following a year of ‘unprecedented growth’ via the Roy’s Boys website, marking just the beginning of plans to further build the portfolio over the coming months.

“Since lockdown began last March, we have seen unprecedented growth on our Roy’s Boys site that is incredibly exciting for us all,” said Hannah Lowe, account manager and self-named Roy’s Boys’ favourite child.

“We want to continue to keep things fresh and new for our customers to keep them coming back for more. Leggings are definitely the beginning of our expansion, hold tight for more news in the months to come.”

Ben Lowe, First Boy at the family run business, added: “We have taken Roy’s way of makign the perfect sock, and applied it to these baby and toddler leggings. A soft combed cotton, and a super springy backing yarn create leggings that hug and wear well.

“The only seams are around the nappy panel, and we have made them to lie as flat as possible on the fabric. As always, our aim it to maintain a high quality product that will even last the test of a toddler.”

View the collection of leggings here 

Josh, Roy’s First Marketing Guru, concluded: “Over the past year, like many companies we have experienced constant change and we are rolling with it. One of the main focus’ of our business for the year ahead is our online growth, as this is now over 50 per cent of our business.

“Retail and the way consumers are shopping is evolving rapidly and we as a company pride ourselves in being adaptable, maintaining a rapid response and changing with it. With Roy’s Boys, we believe that the quality and giftable presentation set us aside from other retailers and keep customers coming back for more.”

Roy’s Boys gears up for ‘most successful Christmas to date’ as online socks sales surge

Following what’s been a challenging year across the industry, Roy’s Boys is bucking the trend and gearing for what looks to be its ‘most successful Christmas to date,’ with sales already booming for the licensed socks specialist, as early as October.

Early signs for a successful 2020 in spite of the year’s current narrative, appeared when the family-run outfit sold ‘a year’s worth of stock’ for Father’s Day alone. Now, buoyed by the trending increase in spend on its clothing line, the business is ‘going full force’ to make sure it is fully stocked up for what looks to be its best festive season so far.

“We are looking to employ additional staff locally to make sure we can get all the orders out in time for Christmas,” said account manager Hannah Lowe. “And yes, it is looking like the bald-headed sock seller is going to be pulled out of retirement (temporarily, don’t worry) as we will need all hands on deck down at the Sock Mine.”

The company expects the ongoing Christmas shopping surge to reflect consumer trends of earlier in the year, a matter that is now underpinned by the second wave of Covid-19 infections now washing over the country. The team is expecting to see a majority of sales coming through the online channels – mirroring the Father’s Day uptick – as the most convenient or accessible means for Christmas shopping this year.

Roy’s Boys’ family packs offer a bespoke gift made unique to each customer, a point of difference, states the company, to what most brick and mortar retailers are able to do.

Matching family socks in the range include Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee, PAW Patrol, Bing, Mr Men, and Baby Shark, with ‘at least half a dozen’ characters being added at the start of next year, too.

Ben Lowe, added: “As a business that has been running for almost 25 years, it has been great to see the whole company pull together and completely adapt the usual ways of working.

“For us, one of the main positives to come out of 2020 has been seeing Roy’s Boys take off and as online sales are soaring, it is only looking up in our eyes. For 2021, we are looking to expand the amount of characters we offer with even more key licenses on board – it truly is an exciting time. Watch this space.”