RED Distribution has entered the merchandising business with the launch of its own RED Merch company, which will sell T-shirts and other apparel to retail stores.

The debut catalog offers 50 T-shirts from bands like the Bad Brains, Primus and Cartel and labels like Rawkus, Okeh and Ferret Music. In addition to these basic shirts, the company will sell premium custom designed and/or organic shirts.

"Our accounts have been becoming more lifestyle oriented, and this is a perfect opportunity to super-serve them with products that meet their needs," says RED distribution president Bob Morelli. "Additionally, it's an extension of our marketing and artist development as T-shirt sales and merchandise are quit often the precursor to an artist's success. The ability to offer branded merchandise to our accounts diversifies our company and at the same time supports our primary efforts of selling music."

Liz Snair, formerly the East coast regional sales rep for Sanctuary, has been hired to oversee the effort.