Sunday, March 4, 2012

Peterman rides an Enfield

John Peterman started the J. Peterman company in 1987. It concentrated on the sale via catalogs and the internet of safari-themed clothing and merchandise, much like Banana Republic had initially sold before being acquired by The Gap. The descriptions of the products were particularly florid. He became a household name in the US after the Seinfeld TV show featured a character named Jacopo Peterman who ran a mail order company with complicated wording in the description of their products. Writing the descriptions was Elaine, the main female character of the show. Buoyed by the indirect free publicity, the real Peterman embarked in a massive expansion of his business including opening some retail stores. This did not go well and he ended up going bankrupt in 1999 and being acquired. The new owner went bankrupt in 2000. Peterman repurchased the company with investment money of John O'Hurley, the actor that played him in Seinfeld. Among other activities he has written a book titled "Peterman rides again" and has a blog in which he says he rode a Royal Enfield in India including the picture accompanying this post.

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