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Evolving and adapting is the key to longevity

Derek McCormack is menswear buyer for independent department store Majors, which has three branches in Shropshire and Wales, and a member of the International Menswear Company (IMC).

Derek McCormack

Derek McCormack

This summer was a brilliant season for us; possibly the best we’ve ever had. Our womenswear has developed enormously and is now targeting a younger customer profile. It is reflecting what we do in menswear, which has always included a strong contemporary element. The average age of the customer coming through the door in both departments is about 35 to 45, which is 10 years younger than before.

While our repositioning means we now attract 20 to 25-year-olds, we are mindful not to alienate our traditional customer who has been shopping with us for many years. We have tried, and largely succeeded, to create a niche.

We’ve sought to balance our more contemporary, premium brands alongside our more classic brands in an effort to provide something for both customer groups. Increasingly the two groups overlap, since ‘older’ men are now opting for younger styles and slimmer fits.

Gant, Ted Baker and Without Prejudice bridge beautifully over to brands such as Oscar of Sweden, Remus Uomo and Camel Active.

We’ve been delighted with our IMC brands this season; the quality is first-class and the exclusive discounts we receive as members make a huge difference.

Price resistance is not something we commonly encounter at Majors, since our customers buy from us for the service and experience as well as our product range. They tell us they can find cheap products anywhere; what they are looking for is quality clothes that fit and will last. We are celebrating Majors’ 140th anniversary this year and I think longevity has a lot to do with an ability to evolve and adapt.

The IMC Show provides us with a good cross-section of classic and contemporary brands, and often something new. Next season, we are looking forward to introducing Men of All Nations, which was showing at the IMC show for the first time this August. A coastal-inspired casualwear brand, it is well priced and we feel it will sit nicely alongside our other brands.

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