About 70% of womenswear independents are slashing their budgets for spring 09 as tough trading conditions bite into their buying.
A Drapers straw poll of 25 womenswear indies found that almost 70% planned to reduce their spend. However, many retailers said they would reduce their risk further by cutting back on forward orders and holding more budget for in-season top ups.
Katriona Monaghan, owner of womenswear independent Katriona in Banbridge in Northern Ireland, said: “Our budgets are down, but I’m not sure how much at this stage. The start of the year was good, but the middle was wobbly.”
Monaghan added that she planned to shift her budget away from spring and more towards high summer to capitalise on the pre-holiday market.
Melanie Deeley, owner of The Wardrobe in Dulverton, Somerset, said: “If we’re heading for a recession, we need to cut back.”
Primrose Oakley, co-owner of Biscuit in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, said: “We’ll hold more spend back for high summer, as it’s such a short selling period.”
Glynn Alwyn-Jones, chairman of the International Fashion Federation (IFF), warned that buying patterns would change significantly due to the tough climate on top of the concept of two seasons disappearing.
He added: “Independents are not as gloomy as the market would like to think they are. Spring 08 has been patchy, but overall in line with expectations. Based on that, while retailers will be careful for spring 09, I don’t believe attitude will translate into extreme caution.”
Geraldine Bennett, UK sales director for Oui Group, said sales had been mixed. “Bridge level has been strong but mainstream and premium has seen budget holding,” she said.