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Contemporary menswear indies make short work of spring sales

Contemporary menswear independents have enjoyed an upbeat spring 07, with sales outperforming the results from this time last year. About half of the retailers polled for this week's Indicator said their sales for the week were better than the same time last year.

This points towards a buoyant season, which some retailers believe is thanks to brands getting their product right. Shorts, although yet to hit the Indicator best-selling styles list, are providing extra sales for those retailers that have bought into them. Darren Clark, menswear manager at Elliotts of Lymington in Hampshire, said: "Shorts started to make their mark last year but were pretty average in design. We've increased our selection and this season tailored shorts are selling well, to the extent that we've nearly sold out, which is great considering the poor weather we've had recently."

Howard Rogers, owner of Montgomery in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, has also had success with shorts. "We've sold a lot of casual loose fitting, distressed cotton or linen styles. I bought some standard colours in navy, white and khaki as well as some brighter shades and striped designs, which have also sold well."

TOP 10

Name your best-selling brand of the week

1. Gant

2. Polo Ralph Lauren

3. Paul & Shark

4. Tommy Hilfiger

5. Sand

6. Boss Black

7. Bruno Saint Hilaire

8. Lacoste

9. Faaonnable

10. Camel Active

Top 5

Name your best-selling style of the week

1. Casual shirts

2. Polo shirts

3. Jeans

4. Casual trousers

5. Suits

Top 5

Name your best-selling tops brand of the week

1. Gant

2. Polo Ralph Lauren

3. Paul & Shark

4. Lacoste

5. Bruno Saint Hilaire

What is the most expensive item you have sold in store this week?

£1,200 - Ermenegildo Zegna suit at Sartori in Chester

FASHION IN FIGURES

How does your week's business compare with this time last year?

49% Better

30% Same

21% Worse

SHORT ORDER

Which short-order range have you bought the most product from this season?

1. Gant

2. Eterna

3. Bruno Saint Hilaire

4. Paul & Shark

5. Meyer

What percentage of the brands you stock offer short-order options?

44%

What percentage of your spring 07 budget is reserved for short-order purchases?

12%

By how much has this increased since the same time last year?

4%

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS

Are you selling tailored shorts this season?

Yes 74%

No 26%

How many international trade shows are you planning to visit this season compared with last year?

More 7%

Less 16%

Same 21%

None 56%

Which trade shows are you planning to visit?

Moda Menswear 75%

Pitti Uomo 21%

Bread & Butter 2%

Micam 2%

On average, by what percentage has the volume of jeans in your shop increased year on year?

6%

Which colours dominate your summer stock?

1. Light blue

2. Pale pink

3. Green

4. Brown

5. White

Drapers spoke to 50 independents about their men's contemporary footwear business for the week ending June 2.

Brands and styles appearing in the lists, including the Top 10 and Top 5, are ranked when mentioned by five or more retailers.

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