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Mainstream Indicator, April 4 2015

What’s selling now in the world of mainstream fashion? Read our indicator to find out.


Jane Cross, co-owner of The Old Smithy on the Isle of Wight

“The Masai Clothing Company casual printed dresses (£75) are popular and customers love the fit of its linen dresses (£105). Classic look Gerry Weber is selling well, in particular its lightweight smart jackets (£160). Seasalt raincoats (£120) are perfect for walking dogs on the beach. As an island, we’re dependent on the weather for good sales and we also rely heavily on tourist footfall.”

John Bowden, owner of Gertrude Fashions in Victoria, London

“Eugen Klein blouses (£95) and knitwear (£140) are selling well. Rabe’s lightweight knitted jackets are ideal for spring evenings (£160), while Lucia jackets are also very flattering and exceptional quality (£220). This season, we’ve introduced US dress brand Tahari (£95 to £125), which is doing well.”

Mary Le Poidevin, owner of Miss Nob in Guernsey

“Gerry Weber is selling well across the board, particularly long-sleeved tops (£40). We stock Betty Barclay high summer casual jersey dresses (£80 to £90), but it’s too cold at the moment for these styles. That being said, we are quite a glamorous community so shift dresses and swing skirt dresses (£180) by Joseph Ribkoff are always popular. My business is based on local custom, although I do benefit from the tourist trade. We’re getting busier in the run-up to Easter.”

Janie Theaker, owner of Bridge in Solihull, West Midlands

“We’re seeing a lot of demand for Sandwich casual cotton jersey tunics (£80) and dresses (£90 to £100) in strong pastel shades. Our customers are also fans of The Masai Clothing Company’s casual silhouette, in particular loose A-line fit sweaters (£80 to £100), tunics (£60 to £90) and dresses (£70 to £90). Shoppers also love Joseph Ribkoff dresses (£200) and Mac jeans (£110), the latter which we’re selling in pastels, floral and paisley prints. We’ve just hosted nine seasonal fashion shows in store, inviting 40 customers to each show, which has created a real buzz.”

Tiffany Moore, owner of Renes Lapelle in Lancaster, Lancashire

“Gerry Weber is a strong brand for us, in particular T-shirts (£45), jackets (£160) and trousers (£95). In dresses, Ted Baker (£159) and Joseph Ribkoff (£220) are in high demand. This week we held a 25% off Sale across the whole spring 15 collection, which we promoted on Facebook to attract interest. Our latest new launch for spring 15 is A Postcard From Brighton, which is popular among our younger clients. The sweatshirts (£50) are great for weekend wear.”

Sarah Millet, owner of N Shelley of Billericay, Essex

“Marc Cain dresses (£235) are very popular because of the fabric and fit, while we also see demand for Luisa Cerano tops (£200) and tunics (£200), and Oui lightweight sweaters (£109). We stopped carrying Brodie cashmere last season as it was a slow seller and introduced Robell trousers (£55) instead, as customers have been interested in the brand for a while.”


Charles Hobson, owner of Charles Hobson in Easingwold, York

“We launched a transactional website a year ago, which is faring well. We also advertise in regional newspapers to help drive more customers in store. Our current bestsellers are Gant’s classic Oxford banker shirt (£85) and Meyer trousers (£85), which are an extremely good fit with a stretch waistband. Magee two-buttoned sports jackets (£249) are also quite popular.”


Matthew Warnock, owner of Peddars of Sudbury, Suffolk

“Bruhl navy and beige classic chinos (£80), classic Fred Perry smart casual shirts (£60 to £80) and Fynch Hatton cotton shirts (£60) in vibrant colours are popular with our customers. We’re looking at dropping Ben Sherman. We introduced its shirts over a year ago but our customers have stopped buying the brand over the past two seasons. We’re considering replacing it with Gant shirts and Meyer trousers because they’re popular with our customer base.”

Giulio Cinque, owner of Giulio in Cambridge

“Recently we introduced large chest sizes up to a 60-inch chest and taller sizes in our suits. Brook Taverner smart jackets (£240) in soft leather sell extremely well, as do Meyer trousers (£75 to £99) and Fynch Hatton shirts (£60). Our next step is to set up a transactional website.”

Trevor Boobyer, director of Austins Department Store in Newton Abbot, Devon

“We’re up 65% for the first seven weeks of this year after having extended our shopping space to 3,000 sq ft. We’re offering new Moss Bros (£149) three-piece suits, which really resonate with customers. Tommy Hilfiger shirts (£70 to £120) and knitwear (£80 to £100) are performing well, as are shirts (£85) and light knitwear (£70) from Gant. Superdry is a new brand launched for spring 15, which is selling really well, especially sweatshirts (£70).”

Daniel Green, director of Broadbridges in Horsham, West Sussex 

“Our sales have been consistent over the past seven weeks. It helps that we have customers coming in who have seen our website, which is a great way to remain in the public eye. Gurteen trousers (£50 to £75) and Meyer polyester/wool trousers (£90 to £130) are selling well, alongside Peter England shirts (£39).”

Dave Bulgin, manager of Astaires in Taunton, Somerset

“Our consistent bestsellers are Eterna smart shirts (£60), Magee knitwear (£59) and Maddox Street London smart jackets (£190), especially the fashionable three-button jacket in shades of beige and stone. We do not have a transactional website, as we prefer our customers to come in and feel the fabrics for themselves.”

Karen Hume, owner of A Hume in Kelso, Roxburghshire

“Currently our bestselling products are RM Williams boots (£295), Gant smart shirts (£80), and Dubarry of Ireland boots (£300). Locally, we’re in the middle of the spring fishing season, which brings visitors to the area. We retain repeat customers by offering a quality service, including free in-house alterations. Ecommerce means we can connect with customers that may not be able to make it into store, helping us attract a wider demographic.”

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