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Jenny Clarke

Merchandise director at indie department store Stringers in Lytham, Lancashire. Brands include French Connection, Noa Noa, Van Dal, Viyella

How is trade at the moment?

We’re cautious, but trade during the first eight weeks of our financial year has been better than expected.

Which brands are hitting the mark with your customers?

White Stuff continues to trade well, French Connection has had a good reaction and Phase Eight is also working well.

Which categories are selling well across departments?

It’s all about tunics and dresses with leggings and slim trousers.

What, in your opinion, is the current state of the market?

Customers want versatility and freshness and the brands providing that are selling best.

How important is online to you?

We are looking into it, but it could be a very costly learning curve if we are not careful.

How do you think indies are faring compared with the high street?

Indies that invest in their environment and keep the mix fresh with a careful eye on stock turnover have every chance of fighting their corner well.

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