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Mainstream Indicator, July 18

Find out what’s selling now in the world of mainstream fashion.

Womenswear

Clare Ireland, owner of Sedici in Seaford, East Sussex

“This season we’ve been selling a large amount of dresses. The most popular brands include Adini (£50), The Masai Clothing Company (£80) and GR Nature (£80 to £90), which is a new label we started stocking for spring 15. One way we encourage a good relationship with our customers is through our loyalty card scheme. Members are able to preview discount items the night before they go on sale to the general public and also have the opportunity to attend launch events for new ranges.”

Delia Metcalfe, owner of Delia Metcalfe in Congleton, Cheshire

“Robell trousers (from £40) are selling especially well. Betty Barclay tops (£75) and Gerry Weber dresses (£110) are also very popular. We introduce a new brand every 12 months, which always prompts a positive response from our customers. For autumn 15 we’re looking to introduce Oska casual trousers, tops and dresses priced from £50 upwards. Introducing new brands keeps our store interesting and vibrant, and has helped boost sales by 12% on last year.”

Carole Ridley, owner of Carole Ridley in Whitstable, Kent

“Our current bestselling items include dresses from Annette Gortz (£340) and Xenia Design (£235 to £250), and trousers from Elemente Clemente (£115). As we’re on the coast the recent warm weather has had a good impact on sales. However, trouble parking on the weekends due to crowds of visitors to the beach means our loyal local customers prefer to visit the store during the week when it’s less busy.”

Melissa Sandwell, owner of Barbarosa in Battle, East Sussex

“We’ve found that this season jackets from Frank Lyman (£122) and Just White (£95) are among our bestselling items, as well as T-shirts from Lebek (£35 to £39). We’re hoping that both our loyalty card scheme, which will offer customers a 10% discount, and the launch of our Sale on July 10, will help boost trade.”

Denise Coyle, owner of Barbara’s of Standish in Wigan, Lancashire

“Co-ordinated sets, in particular trousers and skirts from Lebek, and tunics and trousers from One Life, are performing particularly well. Lebek jackets (about £100) and One Life trousers (£50) and tunic tops (about £40) are very popular, as are Robell trousers (about £39). We launched our Sale on July 1 and it has proven to be the best Sale week we’ve had for five years. It definitely helped sending out 13,000 letters to customers on our mailing list informing them of the up to 50% off Sale.”

Tony Murray, manager of Harveys of Halifax, West Yorkshire

“Colourful prints are proving very popular for spring 15. Relaxed dresses from The Masai Clothing Company (£89), jackets from Gerry Weber (£150) and Betty Barclay blouses (£89) are selling especially well. We launched loyalty privilege cards for the first time in March. These give customers access to VIP preview events where they can view discounted items a day before we go on general Sale. In March, for example, loyalty card customers represented 43% of the total sales, with this number rising to 56% in June.”

Jackie Allan, owner of Revolve in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

“Forever Unique kaftans (£150) have been very popular, as have By Malene Birger dresses (£200 to £250) and Indies dresses (£200to £350). Our trading is slightly down on last year as the bad weather had a negative impact on early spring sales. However, with the weather picking up and the introduction of our Sale, with up to 50% discounts, we are hoping to see trade increase.”

Menswear

Mark Clifton, director of Clive Menswear in Aberystwyth, Wales

“This spring 15 Hatico shirts (£39.90 to £45), Remus Uomo suits (£265 to £340) and jackets by Scott by The Label (£129 to £165) have been a hit. Unfortunately we had to go on Sale a lot earlier this year to keep up with local competitors, otherwise we would usually go on Sale at the mid to end of July. We have been offering 35%to 50% off our knitwear, shorts and jackets.”

Andrew Prow, co-owner of Halon Menswear in Shrewsbury, Shropshire  

“Our spring 15 collection has been selling very well, especially summer jackets by Gurteen (£130) and Scott by The Label (£130), as well as summer suits (£179) and sports jackets (£150) from Brook Taverner. We are 10% up on last year, which we think is down to the local businesses joining forces with the council to promote the town by spending a lot of money on marketing Shrewsbury to tourists.”

Darren Hoggett, co-owner of J&B Menswear in Norwich

“Short sleeved shirts from Ben Sherman (£50 to £55) have been popular, as have Fred Perry polo shirts (£55 to £65) and cotton stretch trousers from Bruhl (£65 to £75). Trade has been difficult and we’re down 5%. I think we’ve been affected by the fact that everybody has been going on Sale early as the summer kicked in late this year. We tend not to have a summer Sale as we find we can usually sell our spring season stock at full price and prefer to focus on a big Christmas Sale instead. However, our bestselling brands offer their product at less than cost price online, which is something we cannot compete with.”

Robert Wilson, owner of Wilson Bros in Monaghan, Ireland

“We’ve been selling a lot of suits by Magee (€350/£250) and Remus Uomo (€259/£184). Casa Moda shirts (€59.95/£43) have also been performing well for us. We are doing slightly better compared with last year as I think the Irish economy is improving since the crash. We’ve gone into Sale at the same time as we have previously, offering 40% off our spring 15 range.”

Matthew Warnock, owner of Peddars in Sudbury, Suffolk

“Fynch-Hatton short sleeved shirts (£60 to £65) have been in demand this season, along with Olymp casual long sleeve shirts (£45 to £55) and Bruhl trousers (£60-£80) and shorts (£60). Trade has been quieter over the past week as we’re not yet in Sale. We’re normally the last to go on Sale in our area, because we like to wait for the full price stock to stop selling first. If the shop stays quiet I’ll consider offering between 25% to 50% off.”

Lorna Crawford, owner of Crawford’s in Belfast

“Short sleeved tops by Gabicci (£35) have been in demand this spring 15, as have sports jackets from Douglas & Grahame (£149) and jackets by Magee (£199). Our spring 15 stock is selling well and we haven’t entered our Sale yet, although we will start to mark things down at the end of this week. We think the fact our window displays are not full of sale signs has helped attract customers, as a nice window display is more important.”

Raj Jain, owner of Preview Menswear in Worcester Park, Surrey

“Lyle & Scott casual tops (£50 to £75) continue to sell well for us, as do tops from Gabicci (£40 to £60) and shirts by Casa Moda (£45 to £60). We’re 9% up compared with last year, which we think this is down to more optimism in the general economy, meaning customers have felt more comfortable spending their money.”

Harvey Langer, manager of Chatleys in Bury, Lancashire

“Casa Moda shirts (£49) have been really popular this season, along with Meyer trousers (£69 to £89), and Espionage Clothing T-shirts (from £12). We moved from Manchester to Bury in December 2013 as we wanted a more prominent position and since then our trade has improved greatly, especially as we’re now opposite the bustling Bury Market.”

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