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Takling shop: Savvy buying will raise our fortunes

So it’s a new year and a new season, and we now have a new economy to consider.

We are aiming to really shake the collection mix up for autumn 08. If there is a downturn in the economy, as predicted by the national press, we need to be able to cope with it, not moan about it, so we are going to be brave and proactive and look at the partnerships we have with our fashion suppliers.

Our brand mix is like our staff – it must be made up of strong players, because we can’t allow the strong performers to carry the weak. We must look at each collection dispassionately and assess it on its own merits.

A brand may be backed by a company full of lovely people that is efficient and delivers everything on time, but if the collection itself fails to excite our customers then it may be time to edit it out.

In recent months, as fashion has become more glamorous and consumers move away from the trend for cheap, throwaway fashion, we too have invested in more luxurious brands. We have put our faith in the higher end of the market and hope that we can inspire our customers to do the same.

We have bought collections that fill us with passion and have taken a few risks, introducing more challenging shapes, bold prints and colour clashes on unusual textures.

It could be a gamble, but if customers are tightening their belts we want to present them with truly irresistible pieces and give them the confidence to spend. Watch this space.

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