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Drapers Next Gen: Industry needs '12 months' medicine’ from discounting, says Jigsaw's Ruis

Jigsaw chief executive Peter Ruis has said the fashion industry needs to take “12 months’ medicine” to wean itself off the prevailing discounting culture.

Peter Ruis

Peter Ruis

Speaking at Drapers Next Generation event at 30 Euston Square in London Ruis this week said the level of discounting was “distressing”.

“It’s up to the retailers to stop Black Friday. As an industry we need to take 12 months’ worth of medicine. I haven’t seen anyone grow profit year on year by discounting. And from a customer point of view, there’s nothing more distressing than saving up to buy a special piece and then seeing it discounted two weeks later.”

Ruis added: “Fashion has to mean something and when we discount it reduces the meaning of what we do. We need to take the medicine for a year then move on.”

The chief executive advised the audience of first, second and third jobbers to seek opportunities with both big and smaller organisations as the learnings vary between the two.

“You learn a lot from big companies about strategies and they have more money to spend on marketing and travel however when you go up the tree you can some feel a bit paralysed so a smaller company will allow you to be more entrepreneurial again.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • The trade needs a complete clear out of the dead wood. And there is a lot of dead wood. Only then, we may start to see some progress.

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  • Thierry BAYLE

    Why do we discount?
    * Overstock
    * Get more traffic
    * Others...
    Why is it that few retail forums discuss the reason number 1 above?

    When I look at some financial statements I see 4 to 6 months worth of stock and that IS A LOT!
    So let's focus on how to improve the buying :
    get the right product at the right time in the right quantity and naturally discounting will go down (because of reason number 1).

    Happy to contribute more to get it improved...

    Thierry Bayle

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  • The market is being commoditised. Department stores will own label on the back of brands (just like the supermarkets did in grocery). Amazon an accelerant.

    Brands can succeed, though few if any, evidence sound strategy. For example, more time seems spent on international growth, at cost of local market.

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  • over the years the public have been trained to buy discounted about focusing on product quality & design
    I agree with Mr Ruis...lets all take the medicine...if we don't try to get better we never will.

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