Industry insider’s share their thoughts.
Over the past few years we’ve invested more into pre-collections from labels such as Chloé (pictured). Pre-collections have longer to sell and so achieve better sell-throughs. Customers also expect to see new-season stock in the store early. Pre-collections often offer more classic, signature styles that have been recut from previous seasons’ bestsellers, allowing the customer to buy into a designer’s signature look.
We are focusing more on the mainline spring 14 collections than resort. We’re buying more considerately, with an emphasis on occasionwear and wedding and summer party dresses (Selected Femme, pictured). Swimwear, footwear and accessories are also key categories and although we’ve seen a shift in the seasons, we’ve concentrated on good transitional pieces to bridge the gap.
With the UK’s increasingly unpredictable weather, we are definitely factoring pre-collections into how we buy. With seasons completely out of kilter, designers are producing pieces you can wear all year round (Austique’s own label, pictured). There are a lot more lightweight layering pieces instead of heavy pieces in the winter, which customers can wear into spring.
Yes, we’ve bought into resort collections this season, including Draw In Light (pictured). We’ve only recently launched so weren’t trading for spring 13, but we saw that retailers had less time to sell collections at full price with summer Sales starting earlier. Buying more deeply into resort gives us a better selling window and should result in a higher sell-through by the time we go into Sale.