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Why Christmas can be full of cheer for indies

As fashion retailers head into the festive party season, it’s definitely time to banish the ‘bah humbug!’ attitude that it is only too easy to adopt in a tough retail environment.

The shops that organise fashion shows, put on special charity events and promote themselves in the local press are the businesses that have not only survived, but thrived. There is no better time of the year to grab footfall with impressive festive window displays and promotions to entice customers. 

The line-up of multiples and store groups on the UK high streets sadly lacks the breadth of selection and levels of customer service that you get from the independents. At Bernshaw, we have been designing and manufacturing dresses for 65 years, and in central London, where our showrooms are, there are now very few womenswear indies.

The vast majority of multiples offer the same merchandise on high streets across the country. This is where the indies score heavily – they offer their customersn
great choice, good service and that personal touch, which is so often lacking in the mass-market stores. They are also so aware that choice, good quality
and great value are the most important criteria for healthy sales. 

We were recently lucky enough to have a dress featured in The Daily Telegraph, and the public response was truly amazing. We were inundated with emails and phone calls the whole week and were able to direct them to retailers throughout the UK.

What does this prove? That there really is an appetite out there for something different.

  • Alex Bernstein is the director of occasionwearn brand Bernshaw

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