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Summer sunshine can soothe away my pain

Thank goodness the selling season for autumn 09 is all over. There are a few bits of tidying up to do, but ‘painful’ does not begin to describe it. However, no pain, no gain, as they say, and all is well at the end of it, much to my surprise and despite the best efforts of the press to talk us deeper into this recession.

What we all need now is some excellent summer weather to come along and help boost sales for everybody. Already, the early burst of sunshine has started the ball rolling and the signs bode well for the summer season.

Going out and about to visit customers has been a positive experience for me in the past few weeks; obviously the long-
established retailers have experienced all of this recession business before and know what the necessary coping
strategies are.

The problems faced in wholesale are much the same as in retail - I have added more labels to my offer and varied the price points. The same sales targets have also required considerably more effort to reach. Customers say “jump” and with a few exceptions, I say “how high?”

All this is valid in both the wholesale and retail sections of the industry. However, the one issue that I hear so many mixed views on is the value, or otherwise, of putting on fashion shows. It is quite striking how opinions among those in the industry vary on the benefit of shows, and their mention always brings forth strident views on the subject.

Just a gentle warning for the rest of the season though - if you are tempted to ask me “how is it going?” and I have to reply “like pulling teeth” one more time, I will scream.

  • Clare Morgan runs the Clamor Fashion Agency in Wilmslow, Cheshire

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