The crucial Easter trading weekend failed to pack a punch for independent retailers polled by Drapers this week.
Indies told Drapers that sales had been as mixed as the weather over the bank holiday break - when the sun shone sales were poor as shoppers enjoyed the weather, while rain in London and parts of the south kept shoppers at home.
Mark Bage, owner of designer independent Sarah Coggles in York, said: “Friday and Saturday were excellent but Sunday and Monday were down, so overall sales were flat year on year. On Monday it was nice weather so I think customers headed to the coast and then shopped online in the evening. Our web sales were up 400% on Monday.”
Mainstream womenswear indie Fall Woman in Knutsford, Cheshire, reported slower year-on-year sales, but manager Pauline Tyrer said buoyant trading post-Easter weekend had pulled back sales.
Discounting by high street multiples impacted trade for some indies and riled others who tried to maintain a full-price trading strategy.
Giulio Cinque, owner of designer men’s and women’s indie Giulio and a Hugo Boss franchise in Cambridge, said: “I don’t think the high street discounting pulled shoppers away, but it is creating a change in shopping culture and is hammering the independent sector.”