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Women’s indies stay positive for autumn

Independent womenswear retailers have flat-lined their autumn budgets ahead of this month’s main trade shows.

Most of the retailers polled by Drapers said they would not increase their spend for autumn 08, but were optimistic that the autumn trends would entice shoppers to part with their cash later this year.

Barbara Dugdale, co-owner of Muse Lifestyle in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, said her budget was likely to remain the same, but added: “If you play it safe with product, customers won’t spend. I will go to Pure in London for two days so I’ll be looking for anything new. My customers like variety so I don’t believe they will buy less, but they will buy more expensive products, as the industry has suggested.”

Stephanie Monteiro, owner of Submission in Preston, said she would spend slightly less this season compared with last autumn. “We’re slightly cautious about autumn 08, but you have to be optimistic too. If you get the product mix right, shoppers will spend,” she said.
Monteiro added that she would be looking for dresses and colourful knitwear.

At Hub in Manchester, owner Alison Murphy bucked the trend by saying she would increase her budget this season by about 10%. “It would be nice to see some new silhouettes. Accessories do well for us, so we’ll probably pick up a few new labels for autumn,” she said.

 Pure, organised by Drapers owner Emap Retail, takes place at Olympia in London from February 10-12. New accessories brands at the show include Jocasi London, Anaya and Olga Berg. Womenswear labels Jackpot and Seasalt will also debut.

Pure will also launch a dedicated footwear area, with Steve Madden and You by Crocs among the exhibitors. The Jacobson Group will unveil its first range for Ravel, which it bought last year from Clarks.

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