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Apply some science to expose a fiction

For my first contribution to Drapers I want to tell you a secret. This is only between you and me, so don’t go telling anyone else. The secret is that independent retailers are doing well.

Keep this to yourself and don’t tell anyone including the media, particularly some of the tabloid press as they are absolutely convinced the fashion business, most notably independent retailing, is on its last legs. What balderdash.

Yes, as always, some retailers are experiencing problems. For all of you that are having your own business crisis, my question is why, when others are doing so well?

Not being a retailer, I‘m not here to preach but I do feel that, from time to time, some retailers forget the basic rules of business and think retailing is all about product – the pink and blue fluffy stuff. My experience is that all business is a blend of art and science. In the fashion industry it is usually the art that dominates and is supported by the science, so to speak. However, when times are tough, the science becomes more important and whether the product is pink or blue, if it was bought at the wrong price then it won’t sell.

So on behalf of all the members of the International Fashion Federation, I wish you good luck – but please meet us halfway by not believing everything you read in the newspapers.

Yes, life is not going to be as good as it has been in the recent past, but the Governor of the Bank of England has confidence in the abilityof the economy to ride out this storm. It is my preference therefore to believe the Governor and adopt an aura of optimism, because pessimism only makes life a misery.

Glynn Alwyn-Jones is chair of the International Fashion Federation, the trade association for branded merchandise in the UK and Ireland

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