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Indies delighted by GIVe launch

Independent department stores have hailed the launch of serial entrepreneur George Davies’ GIVe range a success.

Indies including department store mini chain Beales and Elphicks in Farnham, Surrey, said the premium range, Davies’ fourth major fashion venture, had been well received by customers who had bought into the range for its quality and style.

Davies, who also founded the Next chain, Asda’s value clothing range George and Marks & Spencer’s casualwear sub-brand Per Una, chose to launch his most premium fashion venture via a profit-sharing operation with independent department stores, as well as a handful of standalone stores, in order to ensure exclusivity and a commitment to customer service.

The range launched on October 1 into stores including Arnotts in Dublin, Austins of Newton Abbot in Devon, Barkers of Northallerton in North Yorkshire and Collingwood Batchellor of Horley in Surrey.

Davies has also opened stores in six locations, including London’s Regent Street, and will open in Buchanan Street in Glasgow and in Harrogate at the end of this month.

Tony Brown, managing director of Beales, which launched the range into all 11 of its stores earlier this month, said GIVe had “fantastic customer response on the quality of the fabric”. He added: “The style and value is outstanding.”

Deborah McMinn, merchandise director of Tudor Williams, the parent company behind Elphicks, said she was “really pleased” with the reaction since the launch. Elphicks has devoted 1,100 sq ft of space to the brand, half of its own-bought space. “We had George Davies in the second day, which really drove interest,” she said.

“For an indie in a town like Farnham it is great to have something exclusive and so different. Customers have said that the quality and texture is so superior compared with some of our other brands, and that’s to do with its Italian manufacturing.”

McMinn added that customers felt the brand was competitively priced and that reaction to the sizing - which is in Roman numerals rather than standard UK sizing - had also been positive.
GIVe’s alteration service, in which garments are sent off to a warehouse in Leeds and returned within two to three days, had also done well, said McMinn. Alterations are free. McMinn said products featured in women’s glossy Grazia had sold well.

She added that she had sold more higher-priced pieces, such as a £249 jacket, than a £29 basic top. “The more expensive ranges have sold better,” said McMinn.

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