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Making the most of the credit crunch

Every morning I am reminded that the economy is on the verge of a recession but will it affect the amount of money that is spent on fashion?

While customers may have started to think about their complete wardrobe, rather than just buying one-off items, they are still willing to part with their cash. Because of this we need to turn this credit crunch to our advantage, so here are a few things that we have found useful.

Versatility is key. Knitwear, both fine and chunky, is working well for us this season, especially oversized knits that can be worn over dresses and jeans or as a dress with thick tights.

We love this season’s slim bootcut jeans they flatter all ages and shapes, whether the are worn casual or smart.

Our bestseller is the “dress with a difference” and we are applying this concept to next season by selecting more specialist brands. The dress plays a major part in our Christmas turnover and a new collection brought onto the floor mid-season keeps customers interested in our offer.

We buy a smaller number of individual items and we hold fewer mainstream pieces than other shops. This encourages our customer to invest a bit more money in an item that no one else will be wearing on a Saturday night out.

Havetolove also holds fashion shows, charity events and shopping evenings. The cost of holding these events is minimal and the interaction with clients and the coverage from the local media ensures that we are always a step ahead of the competition.

We have also opened a Sale shop to cater for people who are on tight budgets but want to buy into Havetolove and designerwear.

Kate Walton is director of Havetolove in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne

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