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Exclusive: Charlie Barley kidswear to close

Brighton indie Charlie Barley will close its doors for the final time next month after more than eight years of trading.

The kidswear store, which stocks brands including Bugzz Kids Stuff, Molo and No Added Sugar, will shut in around four weeks’ time although a final date is yet to be decided. A closing down Sale is currently taking place, with owner Charlotte Wilkie also selling off fixtures and fittings.

Wilkie blamed poor trade and an increase in high street Sale activity for the store’s demise. “I’ve had a decrease in salary and feel I’m working too many hours for peanuts. I can’t see the market changing in the foreseeable future,” she said.

“People don’t tend to buy things at full price any more.

“Retailers have been discounting on products and people are now quite shop-savvy and are always waiting for bargains, with many retailers offering coupons and online discounts. Stores have become almost like a showroom.”

Wilkie, who has previously been an agent for kidswear brands such as Dolls & Dirt and Lilly & Sid, said she would like to remain in the industry.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    It is a sad news.
    Now, let's be real. You may be thinking the same thing or you may be in a similar situation in 6/12/18 months.

    What do you need to look for to prevent that from happening? We can't comprehensively cover your specific situation but let's throw some directions.
    1. Do you have a vision and values and therefore goals and an action plan that guides you every week/ every month?
    Issue: we do not have enough time in a day so you MUST use your time wisely and dedicate enough time to the IMPORTANT things in the business - not just the URGENT things.
    2. Do you have some key retail measurements you follow at least monthly? Do you take actions on those numbers when they are below the minimum standards you had PREVIOUSLY established to run a profitable business?
    Issue: if you do not, I pro;ise you will be spending your time on the wrong things. You will be fixing a problem but not THE problem.
    3. Is there a culture of constant improvement in the business? Who is challenging you to run the business differently? You need an outsider's point of view. What have you changed in your buying, visual merchandising, sales techniques, discount strategies over the past 3/6 months to get better resutls?
    .. on staff management, open to buy, stock analysis by product class, marketing...
    I created a new hash tag on twitter (#helpretail) so that all business ideas, advice can be gathered under this hash tag.
    Request help and tweet under this hashtag. THANKS
    Tweet me anytime @retailfashion

    Good luck. Here to help.
    Thierry Bayle

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