Lyn Knights is managing director of Denny of Southwold in Suffolk and a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB).
Southwold is not only known for its stunning location and scenery, but also for Denny, one of the longest established and most well-known businesses in Suffolk. The retail landscape in Southwold has changed dramatically over time and, as a fifth-generation business, Denny has seen it all.
Every season, we try to introduce something new and exciting, and our customers have come to expect that. We pride ourselves on the quality and variety of our stock. Pure and Moda provide us with a good cross-section of brands and the opportunity to find something colourful and new. We have found the IMC Show gives us exclusive brands for our menswear, which is enormously valuable. Recently, we’ve been trying to concentrate more on menswear and find something different to offer our male customers, as they are getting more adventurous in their clothing and usually there is far more choice for women. We were extremely pleased with the colour range at the shows this season, especially the IMC Show.
As Southwold is a seaside town, clothing tends to be casual and relaxed; this is the style we are recognised for at Denny. We carry a lot of quality French brands as they sell incredibly well here, including Armor-Lux, which remains a strong seller. We try to avoid any crossover of brands with neighbouring stores and pay great attention to detail when buying.
Southwold used to be full of independent shops at one time, but it is now peppered with chain stores that can be found on every high street - a terrible shame, as every store has the same stock. As an independent retailer for both men and women, we know it is very important to stand out by stocking colourful casual clothes sourced from the very best manufacturers in the UK and Europe.
We make sure that the heritage of Denny comes through in the shopping experience, with excellent staff ensuring a warm welcome. The building interior is oak-panelled and clothes are displayed amongst antiques and oil paintings. A crystal chandelier sparkles over a tempting array of jewellery, scarves, hats and gloves. Is Denny different? Most definitely.