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Rahil Majid

Drapers probe leading Independents to get their View From The Shop floor.

Which new brands have you bought for autumn 08?
Monalisa, Chlo鬠Scotch & Soda and Energie. We introduced Chlo鍊last week and it’s selling well.

What is the current state of the kidswear market?
The general consensus is that it is tough. We’ve had a good season because we didn’t over-buy.

Are you pleased with the start to the autumn 08 season?
It’s been positive so far. Shop floor sales are down 10% on last year, but online is up 30%, so on average like-for-likes are on a par with last year.

Which brands are selling particularly well?
Christian Dior is still exceptional. Its prices have increased by about 20%, but it hasn’t deterred people from buying the brand – in fact, it’s had the opposite effect. Ralph Lauren always sells through at about 85%, which is excellent. But mid-market brands like French Connection and Levi’s aren’t performing as well. The higher end of the market is not affected by the credit crunch.

Is back-to-school important for you?
Not really. We see an increase in outerwear during the back-to-school season because mums know that if they don’t buy the coat they like now, it won’t be left in stock by September.

What dictates kidswear trends?
The mini-me trend is important, but shoppers are more interested in the look, feel, style and design of a garment, rather than the brand name. It means that you have
to be more creative with your buying.

Rahil Majid owner of kidswear independent Peppermint in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

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