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Reiss goes back to basics but at what cost?

Premium retailer Reiss is moving away from trend-led design to focus on quality for its autumn 13 collection, but will shoppers be willing to pay higher price points for a higher thread count?  

In a bid to differentiate themselves from lower-priced retailers, Reiss has placed the emphasis on luxurious fabrics, intricate detail and clean, polished finishes in its new men’s, women’s and accessories collection.

A spokeswoman for the brand said that the retailer was returning to “showing off what its good at” rather than trying to compete with “trend-dependant high street retailers”.

For menswear this autumn, the focus is firmly on high quality fabrics and classic design, worlds apart from the “crazy ties and colour pop socks” that was “all a bit Topman” last year.

Reiss has also extended its range of women’s tailored pieces for next season, boasting a range of Victoria Beckham and Celine inspired dresses, but I can’t help but wonder whether customers will be willing to pay higher prices for none of the high-end fashion prestige?

Is it really wise to push prices skywards in the current turbulent retail climate?

While I applaud Reiss’s ability to put their hands up and admit when they have been beaten in the fashion forward stakes on the high street, (take a bow Zara and co), I question whether the typical Reiss shopper who spends £70 on a top would be willing to part with up to £500 for a forest green trench coat.

Returning to the brand’s core ethos of quality is essential for the retailer’s survival, but the fashion chain needs to be wary of alienating the high street shopper who may give the new high-end prices the cold shoulder come autumn.

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