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Mainstream Indicator, June 7 2014

What’s selling now in the world of mainstream fashion?


  • Tanya Hardy Owner of Orchid in Skegness, Lincolnshire

“At the moment, casual day dresses are our bestsellers, particularly the Jórli range of dresses (£130 to £170), as people love the bright acid colours. Although our footfall has slightly dropped off in the past few weeks, it’s been good recently. Compared with spring 13 people in Skegness are definitely buying more dresses. Last year they turned their noses up at them and opted
for skirts. However, this year, they’re pointedly coming and asking for them.”

  • Claire Fallon Owner of Jacquies in Weybridge, Surrey

Betty Barclay

Betty Barclay

“Our most popular brands are Betty Barclay and Joseph Ribkoff, particularly their dresses as they have a good variety in terms of style and colour. We normally bring in a new brand of some kind every season; this season it was Q’nell. It’s been well received and is holding its own among the other labels. Its dresses are the most popular pieces, from £95 to £130. Our average customer spend is £100 to £120.”

“We bring in new brands every other season. We usually look for something a bit different at a good price. This season we brought in Faber, which is a knitwear range priced at around £100, and it’s gone down well with our customers. Our top-selling brand is Michèle, whose range of trousers is from £100 to £130. It offers excellent fit and quality.”

  • Mandy Dawson, Co-owner of Amanda in Ashtead, Surrey
  • Julia Sawford Proprietor of Davenports, which has two stores in Kendal and Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria

“Tops are selling strongly, particularly Olsen’s in neutral shades (from £39). Our core customers are looking for a good price more than anything, which we take into account when looking for new brands. We’ll be considering new brands in August; variety is important to us and we like to compare this to what other shops are selling.”

Jane Stanley Owner of Private Collection in Barnstaple, Devon
“Our bestsellers are Marella and Pinko. Customers just love the dresses, particularly in white. Our sales are slightly up on last year, by around 10%, as there seems to be a lot more footfall. Dresses are in demand as there are a lot of upcoming events this season, and we sell plenty of dresses in all different styles, cuts and shapes, with lots of lace and prettiness.”

Richard Broadbent Director of Broadbents, which has two stores in Stockton Heath and Knutsford, Cheshire
“We aim to bring in a new brand every season, more if something catches our eye. We recently brought in a Vie Ta Vie knit top with a gold zip feature down the front and have already sold 70 pieces. Robell trousers are our bestseller, due to the fabric and fit paired with a good price at £39.95 to £45. They are made of a slightly stretch fabric and come in capri cut-off and standard lengths.”


  • Grant Mitchell Director of Cooper & McKenzie in Dundee

“At the moment, our biggest-selling items are Culture shirts (£65), Meyer trousers (£78 to £89) and Canson zipper jackets (£69). We look for new brands to introduce on an ongoing basis, particularly labels that are not already available in the UK. We have sole rights agreements with some suppliers, which is important as I believe some other brands are overexposed.”

  • Peter Watts Owner of Peter Watts Menswear in Worcester



“Right now Eterna shirts (£50 to £70) and Gardeur trousers (£90 to £100) are very popular, which I expect is due to the high quality and fit of these products. We rarely introduce new brands as our customers like to see continuity in our products - change is not always a good thing. In terms of this season, it hasn’t been a particularly busy start to summer, but we are doing better than this time last year.”

  • Karen Hume Owner of A Hume in Kelso, Roxburghshire

“Our most popular brands right now are RM Williams trousers (£59.95 to £139.95) and shirts (£34.95 to £119.95), and Gant trousers (£60 to £90) and shirts (£50 to £80). Compared with last year, our sales are on the up both online and in store. We’re always on the lookout for new brands and try to add something fresh most seasons.”

  • Mark Clifton Owner of Clive Continental Menswear in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

“Short-sleeved shirts have been popular due to the change in season. We’ve also seen a rise in demand for long-sleeved formal shirts because we are approaching wedding season; men are buying suits and accessorising them as well. Sales are up this season as we are much better prepared in terms of stock positioning, making room for new summer stock, and buying is better.”

“The bestsellers are Gant (£12 to £290) and Brook Taverner (£55 to £390). We’ve also recently brought in Lacoste. We’ve been really busy and are up on last year. This month we’ve seen a rise in sales of jackets, shirts, polos and chinos.”

  • Oliver Trevail, Buyer at Trevails of Truro, Cornwall
  • Keith Warren Manager and buyer at R Scott in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

“Our top-selling items are Meyer trousers (£75 to £89), which is due to the quality and fit. We haven’t brought in any new brands recently as we are a very traditional store. We tend to gently tweak our offer as we like to stick to what we know.”

  • Amanda Heath Director of Larry Adams in West Kirby, Wirral, Merseyside

“Peter Gribby’s cotton and lightweight knitwear (£45) is more popular this season than for spring 13. Other items selling strongly are Double Two short-sleeved shirts (£35 to £50) and Gurteen trousers (£65). Mark-up is definitely important - I look for no
less than 2.7.”

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