Melanie Moller, Owner of womenswear indie Just Jumpers in Beccles, Suffolk, and a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB).
Like many independents, I’ll go into the new buying season intending to cut back on forward ordering. After the tough spring, with March and most of April particularly grim, I want to limit my risks for spring 14 by buying more
of what I need in-season.
Whether forward ordering or buying short order I will be looking for suppliers to show me something different, something that won’t be seen in the multiples or department stores at lower prices than mine.
Despite my shop’s name, in the spring especially I sell a lot more than knitwear, such as dresses, skirts, blouses and cropped trousers.
I’ve done very well this season with a lovely Italian shirt brand called Milano, which offers stylish items with floral trim. Importantly, they retail at about £50, which is the ‘pain barrier’ for most of my customers.
When many of my suppliers tell me they are doing something different they produce styles suited more to 15 to 25-year-olds, not the 25 to 60-year-olds that make up most of my customers. With so many small boutiques closing, there’s an opportunity for those of us that survive to win new customers, but suppliers have to give us something that’s different yet appropriate.