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Retailers cut orders as sales wilt in Indian summer

Clothing suppliers have been hit by delayed, cancelled and reduced orders from high street chains as sales of outerwear and knitwear slump in the UK’s unseasonably warm weather.

Suppliers told Drapers sluggish sales of new-season collections have left multiple retailers overstocked and unable to take more deliveries. One factory owner said some retailers were delaying the intake of stock, as heavier-weight items are not selling.

“They are definitely cancelling orders,” he said. “We’ve been lucky as we haven’t had anything cancelled, but a few of our clients have asked us to delay delivery. One retailer asked us to hold an order over to next year. They are definitely overstocked on outerwear and heavy knitwear.”

Another said: “They (retailers) aren’t repeating orders at the moment. Normally we would have had a couple of weeks of cold weather by now and the knitwear reorders would be in, but that just hasn’t happened. The high street is panicking and clearing stock already; there won’t be any stock left when it gets cold.”

One factory owner said some retailers were making excuses for cancelling orders by picking faults in products. “The warehouses are on high alert to check if any details are not quite right so they can get out of orders. They are just making excuses as they have too much stock. When the weather changes at the weekend they will all be changing their minds.”

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