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Lifestyle labels lead the pack

Lifestyle labels seem to have got it all right when it comes to reeling in the revenues, but what is it that sets them aside from the pack?

In the last week Joules and Seasalt have both proved the strength of their strategy with the former attracting £22m investment and the latter posting a pre-tax profit three times the size of last year.

Both fall under the lifestyle sector, which also encompasses the likes of Fat Face and White Stuff, both of which are doing well despite weak clothing sales, according to the British Retail Consortium.

So what have they got that others haven’t?

Both Joules and Seasalt have maintained strong relationships with their wholesale stockists, despite opening a selection of their own stores.

Many other brands have angered indies by cannibalising sales with the opening of their own bricks and mortar, however this pair have been selectively limited in their store openings. Seasalt has just 16 stores, while Joules, which launched three decades ago, has just 76.

Exclusive products are another key ingredient in both businesses’ recipes.

Seasalt tailors its wholesale womenswear range to indies needs following research with stockists which demonstrated they wanted product exclusivity. Last year the brand revealed plans to ensure that 70% of its womenswear range would feature styles exclusive to wholesale customers by the end of 2014.

Meanwhile in August Joules credited its tailored collections and brand extensions with helping to double its earnings over the past year. Specialised products have included jumpers featuring town and village names local to its stockists.

They know their market. They are not trying to be all things to all people and instead have retained their niche. They all have a strong identity with their routes in coastal living or equestrian activity core to all they do.

Although it may sound corny it is what lies at the heart of the brand that makes these labels special and these brands make you feel warm inside. Joules and Seasalt, along with White Stuff and Fat Face, all exude a friendly community-led atmosphere, whether that be offering cups of tea in stores or hosting events for the local Christmas lights switch on.

With consumers continuing to be selective about where they splash their hard earned cash it’s these little things that really make a difference.

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