Industry insiders share their thoughts.
I no longer allocate budget solely to cover the Christmas season, preferring instead to buy in advance from ranges that we can sell through the season, up to Christmas.
These include brands such as Almost Famous (pictured), Hoss Intropia, Urbancode and Vadum. For us, accessories play a large part in our Christmas sales, therefore jewellery, scarves and bags are key to keeping the gift-buying customer content.
When talking about Christmas product, we have mid-season deliveries of Christmas-driven dresses and tops and we also run a full department of gifts and hampers. We keep around 10% of our autumn budget back for it. We have great accessories from brands such as Helen Moore (pictured), and Dents’ range is stunning. Smith & Canova’s smaller pieces have also been fantastic. In clothing, knitwear and coats are moving well and look great boxed and wrapped, which we do free of charge.
Every year we set aside about 40% of our budget for Christmas product. The party season is our busiest time of year, with customers investing in black-tie and cocktail dresses. Jovani, Bernshaw and Forever Unique have the highest sell-through. Gift shopping is also a big part of our trade from mid-November and so affordable accessories are key. On-trend handbags by Modalu (pictured), Helen Moore faux-fur products, shawls, cashmere scarves and even ear muffs are all winners.
We do leave a little budget back for Christmas, but this year we’ve invested it differently. Whereas in the past we’ve gone for eveningwear and party dresses, we found it is harder to cater for a broad range of customers in those kinds of products.
Also, the price points on eveningwear tend to be quite high. This season we’ve bought into more casual knitwear from brands such as Zuppe Clothing. Scarves and accessories from Bewitched (pictured) have also been doing well, and we are selling gifts we made ourselves such as lavender pillows and brooches.