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Indies slash buying budgets for autumn

Menswear independents are cutting their forward budgets for autumn 08 yet again, this time by 10% to 25%.

Indies told Drapers they would hold more cash back for in-season buying and growth areas such as accessories. Tessuti Group buying director Jay Montessori said he would cut his forward budget further and allocate 10% more to in-season buying, funding other areas of the business such as made-to-measure suits, and keeping greater budget flexibility.

"We're aiming to maximise sales at other times of the year and not be so dependent on Christmas," he said. "Christmas isn't the big pay day that it used to be."

Kevin Carew, a partner at Redfords in Solihull, said he would reduce his forward buying budget by 10% to 15% and would fill in any gaps in his ranges by buying in-season.

He believed brands were keeping a lot of stock in reserve because some customers were either slow in paying or had gone bust.

Carew said his business had drastically reduced the number of labels it sold to concentrate on a few big-name brands, but he added he was still looking for smaller labels and ranges that would interest his customers, and was hunting for product with better fabrics at higher price points.

Sal Walibhai, director of Couture Designer Wear in Preston, said he was cutting around 25% from his buying budget for next autumn because he preferred to buy in-season, with brands such as Boss offering a stock service and many labels offering repeats.

Peter Bell, partner at The House in Harrogate, said he would keep his forward order budget static and buy into more accessories for the coming season. "We never seem to have enough scarves and gloves at this time of year," he said.

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