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Men's accessories - Colour drives sales of scarves and ties with bracelets making a mark

Spring 07 men's bags and larger accessories are sticking to a colour palette of neutrals and black or brown leather, rather than accent colours. As a result, independents polled by Drapers for this week's Indicator said they were reluctant to risk buying odd colours in case they fail to sell.

But this is not the case with scarves and ties, which are injecting some new-season colour. James Kelly, a buyer at Andrew Gardner in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, said that brighter accessories were doing well, despite having only been on the shelves for one week. "In terms of accessories we're finding our customers are trying to get a bit of spring into their January slouch," said Kelly. "Brighter coloured ties are an economical way to brighten up without going over the top, so they are a good transitional item."

While the popularity of men's bags suggests man-bags have entered the mainstream, belts and even bracelets are cropping up more often, indicating that accessories are becoming more important for men.

At Establishment in Weybridge, Surrey, partner Michael Kinge said: "Our bracelet business is increasing. I got some from Boss and they sell really well - they're becoming a bit of a fashion statement. It's the 40-year-old man who is buying them, as well as women buying them as gifts."

TOP 10

Name your best-selling brand of the week

1. Boss Black

2. Paul Smith

3. Armani Collezioni

4. Duchamp

5. Gant

6. Canali

7. Boss Orange

8. Mulberry

9. Pal Zileri

10. Square Mile

TOP 5

Name your best-selling style of the week

1. Cufflinks

2. Belts

3. Ties

4. Wallets

5. Scarves

TOP 5

Name your best-selling tie brand of the week

1. Boss Black

2. Armani Collezioni

3. Canali

4. Paul Smith

5. Duchamp

What is the most expensive item you have sold in store this week?

£400 - Paul Smith holdall at Pockets in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs

FASHION IN FIGURES

How does your week's business compare with this time last year?

40% - Better

40% - Same

Worse - 20%

AUTUMN 07 BUYING

What accessories will you buy into most heavily for autumn 07?

1. Scarves

2. Wallets

3. Cufflinks

4. Bags/luggage

5. Belts

What percentage of your autumn 07 buy will be accessories-based? 9%

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS

What percentage of your December sales were taken by accessories purchases? 16%

What percentage of your post-Christmas sales were taken by accessories? 5%

Which brand has produced the best men's bags for spring 07?

1. Boss Black

2. Paul Smith

3. Mulberry

4. Boss Orange

5. Armani Collezioni

Which accent colours are dominating spring 07 product?

1. Brown

2. Black

3. Tan

4. Pastels

5. White

What is the average price point for accessories sales? £60

Drapers spoke to 50 independents about their men's accessories business for the week ending January 31.

Brands and styles appearing in the lists, including the Top 10 and Top 5, are ranked when mentioned by five or more retailers.

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