Independent retailers at Pure London were holding back budgets for more short-order buying after a tough season, but remained optimistic for autumn 07.
Buyers told Drapers they were saving up to half of their budget for in-season buying. However, despite last year's mild winter, they said coats would still be key.
Deryane Tadd, owner of The Dressing Room in St Albans, said: "About 30% of my budget is now spent on short order, which is higher than last year. Colours for autumn are still dark, but work well for winter. There are some chocolate browns coming through, which will be more commercial than last year's grey. As for coats, customers still want them."
Nicola Sewell and Wendy Moorhouse, owners of Pipa Nik in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, said they were buying more in-season, but would continue to invest in coats. "There are some great coats and jackets around, which we'll be buying into, with finer knits for layering."
Retailers were pleased with autumn's sombre tones, despite last year's abundance of grey. Martina Kelly, owner of Elegance in Kerry, Republic of Ireland, said: "There are some bright colours, which will co-ordinate well with the dark season. We've had a fantastic autumn and, as long as we continue to buy right, that should continue. "
Exhibitors at Pure said buyers were cautions about autumn 07. B Young showroom manager Hannah Sawyer said: "We've had a good show, with new and existing customers coming to see us, but buyers are spending less. They're placing orders but holding back for in-season buying. We've added some colour to our collection because the shops looked so dark last year. Knitwear has been selling really well and we've cut back on our coat range."
Visitor numbers rose 4% at the show, which is organised by Drapers publisher Emap Retail.
- Turn to page 30 for a full report from Pure. For more on brightening the season's dark palette, see page 13.