Under new owners, the contemporary womenswear brand is bringing designer looks to 35-plus women.
Existing orders are up 20% on spring 11. The problem is getting [new] indies into the showroom. Once there though we have a 95% sales conversion, which is very encouraging,” says Charlotte McHardy, managing director of Veldhoven UK, the UK distributor of Dutch womenswear brand Turnover.
Turnover has been a staple brand in the UK contemporary womenswear market for 21 years. So when Dutch brand house Veldhoven Group bought it last year from Dutch brand house Secon Group, to bridge the gap in its existing stable of womenswear brands Sandwich and Stills and kidswear brand Nononsense, there was some concern among stockists. However, the design team has been retained, to the relief of long-term stockists like Upstairs Downstairs in Ripon and Foundation in Cheltenham.
Turnover had 40 UK stockists when Veldhoven Group took it over. For spring 11, 70 stockists were added, taking the total to 110 for autumn 11. McHardy is aiming for 300 stockists in the UK and Republic of Ireland within three years. “Our strategy is to develop through UK indies - we don’t want to be on the high street,” says McHardy.
Turnover differentiates itself from its sister brands Sandwich and Stills by offering a more fashionable look than the former and a more casual look and lower price point than customers get with Stills. “Every brand has a different sales and design team and there are three clear positions in the market between the brands,” says McHardy.
At Turnover, each season is split into four collections, with an autumn 11 drop available to buy from the start of April for delivery in September and October.
The signature handwriting is soft jersey tops for layering, with comfort an important factor. “Turnover is aimed at the 35-plus woman who is disappointed with the offer [elsewhere]. She doesn’t want to pay designer prices but she wants better quality and fit than what’s on the high street,” says McHardy.
Wholesale prices range from £10 to £60. Trousers and knits are two of the best-performing categories, with jackets and skirts taking less of the share.
Gemma Wiseman, co-owner of Cheltenham womenswear indie Foundation, has stocked the brand for seven years and has seen a change since the new owners took over. “We are confident with the new owners,” she says. “The basics have been good [under the former owners], but on occasions the brand looked too severe. For autumn 11, we’ve bought into cape knits, wide-leg trousers and skinny jodhpurs in addition to a quilted military-style coat - it’s more rounded as a collection [under the new owners]”.
110 - Number of UK stockists
Four - Number of collections each season
£10 - Starting wholesale price for mainline, rising to £60