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Mainstream Indicator, August 8 2015

What’s selling now in the world of mainstream fashion?


Merle Robinson, owner of Vanessa Merle in Burnley, Lancashire

“Our customers are really responding well to our selection of Frank Lyman dresses (£100 to £250) and Enrico T-shirts (£20). NYDJ jeans (£100) is also selling fast.”

Jane Stanley, owner of Private Collection in Barnstaple, Devon

“My clients are local and have always remained loyal to the store, given that we have been here for more than 20 years. Recently Marella dresses (£179) have been popular, as has Pinko knitwear (£179). Our customers are also proving quite receptive to InWear knitwear (£99).”

Venetia Anderson, manager for Barbara Easton in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

“Ankle boots by K&S (£165), Elisa Cavaletti dresses (£125) and Femmes Je Vous Aime fake suede jackets (£135) are selling well. At the moment there’s an influx of people going on holiday and summer breaks, so we’ve been very busy.”

Julie Clewlow, owner of Julie’s Boutique in Nantwich, Cheshire

“While we’ve always been based in Nantwich, 12 months ago we moved to a better position in the town centre and the boutique is definitely busier. However, recently the weather has been cold, which is hindering footfall. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Germany and it seems to be the same is true with retailers over there. Basler trousers (£99 to £135) are proving very popular, as well as Eugen Klein knitwear (£85 to £135) and Sommermann T-shirts (£65).”

Teresa Ellingworth, owner of Betty Ann in Hinckley, Leicestershire

“The weather has been a massive factor during this spring 15 season. April was a fantastic month, because of the sunshine. At the moment we are a little bit quieter because the weather is not so good, but I’ve recently received new autumn stock which should generate more interest when it goes into store later this month. Our current bestsellers are Olsen jeans (£85), Pomodoro shift dresses (£79 to £89) and Lebek T-shirts (£39.99).”

Mary Couthlan, owner of Lucindas in Purley, Surrey

We currently stock Marc Cain as it’s a smart, elegant range that appeals to most people. The brand’s trousers are particularly in demand (£120). Dresses from Joseph Ribkoff (£200) and Frank Lyman (£140) are also selling well.”

Shawn Fisher, owner of Novello Fashions in Preston, Lancashire

“Our bestsellers are Robell trousers (£45), tunics from The Masai Clothing Company (£70 to £90) and Studio linen tops (£25 to £35). We’re also doing well with tops (£60) and trousers (£80) from Sandwich, as well as dresses from Joseph Ribkoff (£200) and Frank Lyman (£150). We’re nearing the end of our centenary year in September, but over the past couple of months we’ve offered customers discounts of up to 50% on specific days, which has helped boost footfall.”


David Wink, owner of Crosbys of Seaford, East Sussex 

Gurteen trousers (£50 to £70) and Gabicci knitwear (£35 to £75) are selling well. Old Guys Rule has been popular ever since we launched it for autumn 14, particularly its T-shirts (£19.99). We’re currently up £4,000 compared to last year, which we think has been helped by the closure of our competitor menswear indie Hope & Co in Eastbourne in September last year.”

Martin McQuillan, owner of McQuillans in Portadown, Craigavon, Northern Ireland

“As 20% of our customers currently work in agriculture and there’s a downturn in farming at the moment, we’ve noticed a decline in spending. Carl Gross suits have been popular (£300 to £500), as have Joseph Turner shirts (£50) and Eden Park knitwear (£70 to £80). We’re just about to launch a new shoe range from German brand Prime for autumn 15, which spans fashion brogues and classic styles (£180 to £250).”

Huw Boyce, manager of menswear at Walker & Ling in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset

Meyer trousers (£90) and Douglas & Grahame casual jackets (£100) have been popular recently. Our customers have been very receptive to Crew Clothing since we launched it for autumn 14. The brand’s shirts (£44) are selling especially well. We’re approaching the end of summer 15, so we will end the season with a 50% off Sale. The weather has been fantastic, which has definitely increased footfall.”

Elaine Roche, owner of Tony Roche Menswear in Waterford, Republic of Ireland

“At the end of March we unveiled our refitted store. We gutted the ground floor and completley changed the display, introducing new flooring and lighting. We also made minor adjustments to the second floor. Since unveiling the refit we’ve seen profits rise 50%, which we think is down to customers really loving the new environment. At the moment Casa Moda shirts (£59.99) and Remus Uomo suits (£100) are selling well. We started stocking Selective for spring 15. The brand’s chinos (£49.95) are proving popular.”

Damien Evans, owner of Symonds of Hereford

“Personally I think we’re out of the recession. People are not afraid to spend any more, which is helping to boost sales. Olymp shirts (£55) and Meyer trousers (£89) are in demand, as are Magee jackets (£100). Anyone working in the fashion industry must be tenacious and dynamic. Having product knowledge and the ability to explain the benefits of products to customers really helps.”

Jonathan Williams, owner of Montague Jeffery in Northampton

“While we’re in the shadow of Milton Keynes’ big shopping centres, Northampton houses more independent retailers than Milton Keynes so we feel we have an edge. Our bestsellers at the moment are Meyer trousers (£60), Olymp shirts (£59.99) and Gibson suits (£160).”

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