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Paul & Shark agent takes pay cut to avoid price hikes

G-Wood, the UK agent behind Paul & Shark, has met the casual menswear brand halfway and taken a cut in commission to enable it to fix spring 10 prices at autumn 08 levels.

The strength of the euro against sterling meant prices of the brand’s spring 10 range rocketed by 25%, but G-Wood managing director Giles Greenwood struck a deal with the brand that G-Wood would take a 25% cut in commission rate if the brand also reduced its prices by 25%.

Paul & Shark has 120 stockists in the UK, including premium independents such as Six Whiting Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and designer mini chain Flannels.

Greenwood, who has been the UK agent for the Italian brand for 16 years, told Drapers it was vital to maintain market share and price positioning during the downturn.
“95% of our stockists are independents and we try to look after them. We have decided to take a short-term cut in commission to support indies through tough times.”

Greenwood added that if the price increases had been passed on to the stockist base, it would have resulted in the brand being priced out of the market.

“We have only ever been at a 5% premium to the next brand below us on the shop floor and we need to make sure we hit certain price points. Spring is a key season for us and we need to have polo shirts retailing for under £100.”

Taking a bite out of Paul & Shark’s prices

Product Proposed price Price after cuts

Striped polo shirt £43 £33

Long-sleeved cotton shirt £54 £38

Basic spring jacket £115 £88

Five-pocket jeans £55 £41

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