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Kidswear Indicator, April 18 2015

What’s selling now at UK and Irish kidswear independents

0-4 years

Sarah Lee, owner of Bossy Boots in Bolton

“Dresses from Mayoral (£28 to £30), A-Dee (£40) and Kate Mack (£50) are really popular. Sales are up on last year, because the recession is easing off. We also find brands like Kate Mack and Mayoral sell better in the summer because their pretty styles are suited to warm weather.”

Amanda Johnston, manager of Zebra in Portishead, Somerset

“Our bestsellers are Hatley raincoats (£30), Emile et Rose babygrows (£25 to £35) and Pitter Patter babygrow gift sets (£15 to £20). Sales are down on last year, which I put down to changing shopping habits and people buying less.”

Billy Coysh, owner of Kids Plus in Glasgow

“T-shirts from Ralph Lauren (£15) and Hugo Boss (£32) are popular at the moment, as are Kate Mack dresses (£45). We do most of our research on new brands at shows like Pitti Bimbo in Florence. For autumn 14 we introduced Silvian Heach T-shirts (£20) and jogsuits (£70) and Jessie and James dresses (£70).”

Dorothy Jack, owner of DJ Kids in Elgin, Moray

“Mayoral (from £24) is our customers’ favourite, although Monnalisa’s Tom & Jerry sleeveless top and leggings set (£90) and Microbe by Miss Grant top and shorts sets (£90) are also popular. It’s been very quiet recently, although we always have a rush when summer stock comes in. As we’re located in such a small village, we do most of our trading online. It helps us to gain an international reach.”

Janette Reed, owner of Cotswold Kids in Witney, Oxfordshire

“Our customers love Lilly & Sid all-in-ones (£20), Mayoral rompers (£28) and Sarah Louise smock dresses (£40). Trade has been awful, but we can’t really put our finger on why. David Cameron is our MP and this has always been a reasonably prosperous area, but there isn’t as much disposable income as you’d think.”

Nicki Philipson-Stow, owner of The Orange Pig in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

“Smocks from Pretty Originals (£50 to £60) and Sarah Louise (£45), as well as Mayoral shorts and T-shirt sets (£18.95 to £25), are selling well. Trade has been pretty good recently. We always do better when the sun is shining, with a mixture of tourists travelling into town and more local people out shopping.”

Pamela Shafe, owner of Lollipops in Burntwood, Staffordshire

“Our current bestsellers are Mayoral’s bright green shorts (£22) and T-shirts (£16), Tutto Piccolo linen shirts and shorts (£60) and Sarah Louise skirt and top sets (£72). At the beginning of the year trade was really busy, but it’s been a bit up and down recently because of the changing weather.”

Pauline Brown, owner of Kiddiewinks in Keswick, Cumbria

“Minoti T-shirts (£5.99), Funky Diva’s navy and white striped dress (£15.99) and Babaluno’s jungle animal short romper with matching socks (£7.99) are all in demand. Local people don’t have the money to spend on high-end designers, because living in a National Park area is expensive. Also, we’re an outdoor community and children play outside a lot, so more affordable brands are preferred.”

5-12 years

Donna Powell, manager of Olive Loves Alfie in Stoke Newington, north London

“Sales are up on last year and I think the nice Easter weather has made people think about their summer purchases. Our bestselling garments at the moment are Mini Rodini sweatshirts (£30 to £40), Bobo Choses dresses (£25 to £30) and Indikidual sweatshirts (£30).”

Lynne Toner, manager of Kids Cavern in Liverpool

“Sales have been good and we’ve had a very busy Easter. We’re in the process of scouting out new brands for autumn 15 and will be attending shows like Pitti Bimbo in Florence. Kenzo Kids tracksuits (£110) are selling very well, along with boys’ T-shirts from Hugo Boss (£45) and Moncler (£55). Once the weather warms up, we should be even busier.”

Caroline Dickson, owner of Stampede 4 Kids in Lytham Saint Annes, Lancashire

“In the recession people didn’t want to spend money on designer kidswear. However, this is changing and people understand you get what you pay for. We’ve done very well over Easter, which was helped by the weather. Our bestsellers are Kate Mack swimsuits (£40 to £48), Eliane & Lena dresses (£40 to £70) and Cakewalk playsuits (£28 to £45).”

Annabel Pollet, co-owner of Iris in Chiswick, west London

“Ilovegorgeous dresses (£30 to £55) are popular this season, along with playsuits from Dandy Star (£20) and Bob & Blossom dresses (£20). We’ve had a great season as luckily our four stores (Chiswick, Queen’s Park and Northcote Road in London and Amersham in Buckinghamshire) are located in areas with a high number of mums and young kids.”

Sonia Thomas, manager at Koast in Haslemere, Surrey

“As the economy is slowly improving, people are willing to spend more, which is why we stock a combination of designer brands like Mayoral (starting at £45) and more affordable brands like Animal (£16). Our current bestsellers are Catimini dresses and leggings (£60 to £75), Scotch Shrunk T-Shirts (£25 to £35) and Deux par Deux dresses (£40 to £50).”

Frances Bishop, co-owner of Pud in Doncaster

“Since opening in October last year, sales have been up 25% each month. We put this down to improvements in staff training to create a great shopping experience and increasing our brand awareness on social media. Traditional styles are very popular, especially heavy-print dresses and pastel colours. Knot So Bad dresses (£39.99) are a bestseller, along with Bea Cadillac A-line skirts (£39.99) and Couché Tot dresses (£39.99).”

Heather Chandler, manager of Designers at Adams in Radlett, Hertfordshire

“Mayoral dresses (£40 to £50) are very popular, as are Billieblush summer dresses (£50 to £60) and Armani polo shirts (£58 to £80). We have taken on Fendi kidswear for autumn 15, which is priced at more than £100, so we’ll see how that sells before deciding to add it to the collection permanently.”

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