Drapers probes leading independents to get their View From The Shop Floor.
How’s trade? Trade has been challenging in the past five weeks. In our womenswear store sales are up 6%. In our menswear store sales are down about 10%, but that compares to a very good autumn last year. It is usually the other way round but competition in mid-level menswear has increased in Cambridge.
Which brands are doing well for you?
Gucci, Prada and Christian Dior are our best performers every week. In womenswear, just below premium level brands are performing well, such as Miu Miu, Joseph and Juicy Couture.
Will you be buying into new brands for spring 09?
We introduced Marc by Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenberg for this season but I am not introducing any new brands for spring 09.
Is the premium end of the market immune from what’s happening in the wider economy?
If we are heading for a recession, we have all got to tighten our belts, and everyone has got to make sacrifices. But with our end of the market, if somebody’s not splashing out on that £50,000 Aston Martin, they might treat themselves with a £1,000 suit.
Which trends are helping to drive business?
In menswear there’s been a shift to skinny, with slimmer silhouettes and more detail.
Are you feeling cautious or confident about business next year? I’m feeling optimistic about next year. Retailers need to generate a good mood at the moment, that’s why people go shopping.
Giulio Cinque owner of two-store designer independent Giulio in Cambridge