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Lingerie and men's accessories indicator, August 31 2015

Find out what’s selling in the worlds of lingerie and men’s accessories.

Lingerie

Ann Young, manager of Ann-Margaret in Heswall, Wirral

“Triumph’s white Doreen bra (£32), Playtex’s Flower Lace bra (£27) and Slenderella’s cotton nightdress (£25) are selling well this spring. Personally, I like to stick to trusted labels like these because they ensure a standard of quality and they always have a very good range. We mostly stock floral patterned ranges throughout all seasons, which appeal to our 60-plus clientele. As usual, we started our Sale at the beginning of August and we’re waiting for the stock to shift before we put out the autumn 15 product.”

Sally McGann, owner of Fit to Bust in Leeds

“Marie Jo’s Avero bra (£65), Empreinte’s lace bra (£80) and Lise Charmel’s entire range (around £90) have sold well in store for spring 15. After visiting Moda in Birmingham in August, I decided to take on Hanro as a new brand and it will come into store in two weeks’ time. I chose the brand because of its quality. Nightwear and bras in pretty shades of stone, white and grey are always popular. The average age of my clientele is 40 years old, which doesn’t mean they don’t follow fashion. They are looking for quality lingerie that is beautiful and fits well.”

Marion Rolfe, co-owner of Kathryn Rolfe Lingerie in York

“PrimaDonna’s Deauville Full Cup bra (from £74) and Marie Jo’s Avero bra (£65) have sold well for spring 15. Overall, I feel like the brands this spring offered some fabulous colours like Marie Jo’s neon shades and Lise Charmel’s turquoises and pinks. We introduced the autumn 15 collection at the start of August and we’re finding lingerie in darker shades from PrimaDonna, Marie Jo and Lise Charmel have already taken off.”

Nicola Hansford, owner of Loncherie in Farnham, Surrey

“We’ve had a really good spring 15 and experienced a 20% increase in like-for-like sales. Marie Jo’s Avero T-shirt bra (£65), along with PrimaDonna’s Deauville full-cup bra (from £74) and Chantelle’s Vendome T-shirt bra (£60) have been driving sales.”

Sarah Connelly, owner of Odyssey Boutique in Edinburgh

“Our bestsellers from spring 15 are Simone Pérèle’s Spacer bras (£60) and Stella McCartney’s Gwyneth Gazing bra (£45). We’ve had a great summer season this year, despite the cloudy weather. Mimi Holliday by Damaris (bra about £59) sold out before the season finished. We introduced Juliet Dunn’s kaftan collection (starting from £119) in store for spring 15, which has sold really well.”

Penny English, manager of See-Saw in Hale, Cheshire

“Simone Pérèle’s Spacer bra (£70) and Chantelle’s T-shirt bra (£45) are definitely in demand. As we cater to a middle-aged customer base, we tend to sell out of practical bras in plain colours. Take the Marie Jo collection – we’ve sold out of block colours but still have the fashion prints. I would say 70% of our customers prefer plain or block colours, with 30% prefering prints, so I don’t take risks with new overly trendy statements. We like to stock practical but pretty styles, such as the Simone Pérèle Spacer bra.”

Nora Watson, manager of Upfront in Dunfermline, Fife

“The PrimaDonna Madison bra (£65) and Fantasie everyday bra (£32) are our bestsellers. Triumph’s Doreen bra (£32) is also in demand, which I think is because we stock the cotton version, unlike high-street competitors like Debenhams. Although we are smaller than department stores, we still offer a fully stocked range of sizes and colours for each brand and style. I used to stock 33 brands, now that is down to 20, including Freya and Wacoal. I take fewer fashion risks these days and focus more on quality over quantity.”

Men’s accessories

Matt Horstead, owner of Dartagnan in Chichester, West Sussex

“Our bestselling products are Paul Smith and Hugo Boss plaited brown leather belts (both £80) and Armani’s plain brown belt (£80). The poor summer weather has had an impact on sales. As a result we introduced autumn 15 product to the shop floor as quickly as we could at the start of August. We went on Sale during the second week of July, the same as every year. We felt we had to stand our ground and not set a negative precedent for the future by going on Sale too soon.”

Neil Harris, assistant manager of Jonathan Trumbull & Hatters in Norwich

“Our bestselling accessories this spring 15 have been Diesel boxer shorts (£25), Paul Smith cufflinks (£80) and Hugo Boss wallets (£99). The season has left us with slightly decreased sales and subsequently we started our Sale a week later than usual within June to sell for longer at full price.”

Anthony Turner, owner of Terraces, Stoke-on-Trent

“Our Sale only started three weeks ago. Personally, I don’t see why you need to go on Sale as early as mid-May, unless overall you are struggling as a store. We start our in-store Sale later than others because we do 75% of our business online. This season, sunglasses from Pretty Green (£90) and Lacoste (£119) are selling well, as are Fred Perry bucket hats (£35).”

Nick Mennell, owner of Sefton in Islington, London

“Comme des Garçons zip wallets (£119) and Han Kjøbenhavn Timeless sunglasses (£130) have been selling well for spring. Our Sale started in mid-June and finished a week ago in-store, although it continues online. As an independent store we tend to finish our in-store Sales earlier than other retailers so we can offer customers the pre-autumn collections earlier on. Overall, we’ve had a positive season in terms of sales and will be looking to carry this through into autumn.”

Jonathan Chapple, owner of Hewetts of Marlow, Buckinghamshire

“The bestselling accessories at the moment are Paul Smith wallets (£150) and Profuomo woven belts (£45). Our Sale started at the beginning of July, which was earlier than usual since our local competitors, such as Repertoire and Landmark, did the same. We pride ourselves on having a strong selection of quality products, with Ted Baker about to join our five other main men’s accessories brands in autumn 15.”

Guy Hudson, owner of Lynx Menswear, Harrogate

“Paul Smith socks (£17) and D’Amico bracelets (£95) are selling well, as are belts from Cinturificio Bresciano (£75), a small, quirky Italian brand we launched for spring 15. The belt market has polarised, with casual belts going for around £50 to £70 and occasion pieces selling for approximately £200. We like to source brands that experiment with their range and have real quality. Our Sale began at the start of July, offering 40% discounts. Generally, accessories are becoming increasingly hard to sell because of the growth of online shopping platforms offering higher discounts.”

Daniel Webber, manager of Hugh Harris Menswear in Woking, Surrey

“Spring 15 has been a tough season and annual like-for-like sales are down by 24%. We’ve found that our overall spring collections weren’t as strong as we anticipated. However, we’ve been looking into buying more quirky brands like Tiger of Sweden, Replay and Denham, which came into store for autumn 15. We launched the autumn collections in-store towards the end of July because our local customers want to see something new on the shelves. For spring 16 we’re investing more into accessories, especially bags and leather goods. Current bestsellers include belts from Hugo Boss (£75), Ralph Lauren wallets (£65) and Armani boxer shorts (£25).”

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