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Xmas Sales come early for mainstream indies

Mainstream indies are going on Sale earlier this year in a bid to trigger customer spending during the all-important Christmas trading period.

Drapers’ Indicator poll this week revealed that 58% of mainstream menswear and 52% of mainstream womenswear indies think Christmas trading will see a last-minute spike this year, as shoppers hold out for pre-Christmas discounts.

James Exton, owner of menswear and womenswear indie Extons, which has two stores, in Raglan and Usk in south Wales, selling brands including Bladen, Adini and Pomodoro, said: “People usually do their Christmas shopping in the five weeks leading up to Christmas but this year it’s going to be left until the last two. People are watching their money and hoping they can pick up things cheaper at the last minute.”

The delay in Christmas spending this year is prompting several mainstream indies to begin discounting earlier.

Dorothy Griffiths, owner of mainstream womenswear and occasionwear inde Belles & Beaux in Lincoln, which stocks brands including Chianti and Gina Bacconi, said: “We’ve already put half the stock on Sale and will start the full Sale just before Christmas. People are shopping later this year because they are waiting for prices to drop.”

Some mainstream indies brought their Sales forward in reaction to high street discounting. Luisa Minchella, owner of Aria in Sunderland, whose brands include Marella and Oui, said: “We’re
planning a 20%-off Sale from December 12. High street stores, particularly Debenhams, put pressure on us with similar sales and discounts.”

However, other indies are planning to hold firm and delay their Sales until the new year. Neil Philips, manager of menswear indie Hylton John, in Haverfordwest, south Wales, which sells brands including Gurteen and Barbour, said: “We’re not going to blindly follow the high street because I don’t want customers to think
we’re struggling.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Customers are becoming more savvy ever year, and while it has been a difficult season retail must think , why do we have Sale? The obvious (albeit too soon in the season break) is Christmas, although even this is early in the winter. To start before this is retail suicide. What enticement will be left for the dark weeks of January and February? Independents in particular must think long term and maintain their good will by holding strong until at least Boxing Day(it is a Saturday!)
    john@leggs darlington

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