Independent retailers across the country are looking forward to the upcoming bank holiday weekend, as a chance to bolster sales and kick off the autumn 19 buying season.
Despite widespread concerns over Brexit and high street trading conditions independents were positive about trade.
“This is our second year trading and business is going really well,” said Megan Calcutt, store manager at Lewes-based independent Cordelia James. “We’re busier now than we were last year, even with all the troubles on the high street. Unless the weather is absolutely boiling, I’m expecting very good things this weekend. Ladies love to get out for the bank holiday and hit the shops.
“I think our new autumn collection will be especially popular, as customers have already shown lots of interest. They know that we don’t hold huge amounts of stock so tend to buy what catches their eye before it goes.”
Neil Vernon, head of retail at menswear independent Dapper Street, also said business was buoyant and credited its stores’ locations, in Witney, Oxfordshire, and Newbury, Berkshire, for their strong performance: “So far sales are up 9% year on year in 2019. It helps that our shops are in affluent towns where customers aren’t feeling the pinch as much.
“They’re really into the autumn collection right now and I think that will continue over the bank holiday.”
Victoria Suffield, director of Winchester-based The Hambledon, said an influx of tourists to the area helped boost sales this summer.
She added: “I am expecting to be busy this bank holiday weekend, but it always depends on the weather and if people go away. A lot of Brits are staying at home this summer and trading is normally OK over the bank holiday, so we should be fine.”
Director of London-based independent Oxygen Boutique, Joanna Nicola, also predicts good trading this weekend: “August is always a quieter month for us but this year has bucked that trend.
“I think we’ll do well over the bank holiday, as people are spreading their holidays out more and we’re not hit by everyone going away for the same weekend.
“I’m expecting people to come in looking for new clothes for autumn. Our sales have doubled since last year, which I’m hoping will continue throughout autumn and we’ll carry on growing.”