A long-serving member of Giant’s Australian team is wrapping up his career in the bicycle industry, for a new challenge in the textiles sector.
Sales agent Luc Gilmore ended his 18-year association with Giant Bicycles Australia at the end of last month and will soon begin as General Manager for clothing and packaging company Milc Group.
For nearly two decades, Luc has been Giant’s connection to retailers in Melbourne and Tasmania. He started as a company sales representative Vic metro and the apple isle, then transitioned his role to sales agent six years later by setting up his own business, Pave Agencies.
“There was a shift in the industry at the time. Up to that point, there were only two territories that were company employees, metro NSW and metro Victoria,” he said.
“All the rest were agencies. Then Giant decided they wanted to go that way with all their territories. Becoming an agency and setting up Pave gave me the flexibility to work for other companies as well.”
That included half a dozen years as an agent for Shimano.
“The Shimano territory initially covered a large zone but over time it streamlined to a point where my Giant accounts were also my Shimano accounts,” Luc said.
“For those key stores, Giant and Shimano were their biggest accounts, so they were dealing with the one person, which was a good set-up for all of us.”
After a six-year stint with Shimano, the Japanese company did the reverse of Giant and reverted to company reps.
Introduction to Clothing
In the meantime, his involvement with Shimano and its Pearl Izumi brand, gave him experience in the garment and custom clothing sector. That insight was bolstered when Pave Agencies started working with Sydney clothing company Cuore, including selling its knicks under the Pave label.
That experience will be valuable at the helm of Milc Group, which includes overseeing its Alliance Promotions operations supplying custom clothing to corporate and industrial clients. The group also comprises the Milc packaging business, which includes supplement brand Swisse and skincare company Bondi Sands among its clients.
“I’ve been doing the sales role for 18 years, I’ve just turned 44 and I’ve been evaluating where I’ve been. As much as I’ve enjoyed doing what I’ve done as a sales agent, I couldn’t picture myself doing it as a 50-plus year old,” he said.
“I wanted to step up and progress my career. That opportunity wasn’t going to happen in Giant because all the key positions are taken and there was an opportunity outside the bicycle industry.”
He said he still has a lot of fire in his belly to further his career and wanted more of a role in determining the strategic direction of a company, so he bought into the Milc Group business.
“If you’re a store owner, you probably need to align yourself with a key brand. That’s my point of view.”
Born and raised in Tasmania, the sales agent role has enabled him and his family to regularly visit his Tassie relatives, as well as building many relationships throughout his territory that will continue as personal connections.
“I’ve been around bikes all my life. I was born into a cycling family, so they’ve been a huge part of my life and I’m not sure how I’m going to feel being removed from that,” he explained.
Conversely, Covid has rejuvenated his own cycling and got him out on his gravel bike.
Luc said he was leaving the bike industry at a particularly interesting time in its evolution.
“There’s a lot to play out in the bicycling industry over the next few years,” he said.
“If you’re a store owner, you probably need to align yourself with a key brand. That’s my point of view.
“Key brands are willing to invest in businesses if they’re being shown that type of commitment.”