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DFF: Debenhams trading director: ‘We need to be season neutral’

UK high street retailers need to create “season neutral” ranges to combat disruptive weather patterns, Debenhams group trading director Suzanne Harlow told the Drapers Fashion Forum in London today.

Suzanne Harlow DDF2016

Suzanne Harlow DFF2016

“Customers want to buy what they want when they need it,” said Harlow.

“Shoppers don’t think six months ahead, so that’s one of our biggest challenges,” she added.

Harlow said retailers need to create trans-seasonal product and invest in how they relate that message to shoppers.

“It’s all about getting your head around the weird September month, which is usually warm, and getting that message out there.”

Debenhams “derisked” its autumn collection by reducing its outerwear buy by 20%. The department store also added more layering pieces to the range.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Firstly this is not rocket science. Secondly, it simply highlights how poor fashion retailers listen to customers.

    The industry is so product centric. Even those talking 'customer centric'. No wonder pure e-tailers have enjoyed rapid growth.

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  • Totally agree with the above comment. Some brands still behave in an arrogant manner in which they think they know everything, yet know very little.

    Brands and stores are so hopelessly out of touch of what the modern consumer wants and when they want it, you wonder how they are still employed? Probably because they are no better!

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