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Bank holiday beats indie sales forecasts

Independent retailers reported better-than-expected trading over Easter after milder weather boosted footfall in smaller towns.

Most of those polled by Drapers said they had opened for business on Good Friday and Easter Saturday but remained closed on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Nicholas Brown, managing director of three-store Yorkshire indie department store business Browns, which sells brands including Nougat and Elvi, said: “Easter was good for us. The weather was perfect because if it’s very sunny in Yorkshire over a bank holiday everyone flocks to the coast, whereas if it’s dry but overcast, as it was, we do well in the towns. Sales were well ahead of expectations because forecasters were predicting rain so I’d prepared for an absolute washout.”

Tom Brown, area manager of three-store indie Irish Clothing based in Leicester, which stocks brands such as Joules and Wrangler, said: “We were up 3% on Easter last year.”

Foz Gadit, owner of three-store indie Colors of Peckham in south London, whose brands include Versace, added: “Saturday sales fell but overall it was OK because things balanced out over the weekend.”

At Middlesbrough department store Psyche, owner Steve Cochrane had a bumper weekend. “We’re up on Easter last year by 4%. The greatest rise was 8% for kidswear and the website was up 24%. My stock levels are 0.8% down against last year, so things are alright.”

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