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Mainstream Indicator, May 2 2015

What’s selling now at mainstream independents around the country.


Liz Hope, owner of Shirley’s & His Essentials in Alderney, Channel Islands

“Dresses from Pomodoro (£55), Marble jeans (£44.50) and sweaters (£36), as well as Emreco 100% cotton T-shirts (£25) are our bestsellers. Lots of people fly over to the island, so lightweight material is an important feature of our clothing. Being on a small island, we only have around 2,000 residents so we benefit a lot from tourism. People like the individuality of our stock, which you cannot find in chain stores.”

Irene Mackie, owner of Bentleys in Banchory, Aberdeenshire

As people are starting to go away on holiday they’re buying summer tops from Eugen Klein (£40 to £120) and Mado et les Autres (£80). This week we’re also selling lots of Frank Lyman (£150 to £200) and Joseph Ribkoff(£200 to £220) dresses. The business is benefiting from consumer demand for summer holiday clothing such as Robell cropped trousers (£40 to £45).”

Tanya Hardy, owner of Orchid in Skegness, Lincolnshire

“Summer tops and shirts from Mado et les Autres (£50 to £150), Monari tops and tunics (£50 to £150) and White Stuff blouses (£80 to £120) are selling well. Recently we’ve seen a rise in sales of summer tops as the weather has improved. The area is dominated by charity shops and pound shops, which don’t drive footfall in store, but our core customers are very loyal.”

Alana McCabe, owner of Butterflies in Blackburn

“We are seeing strong demand for Frank Lyman dresses (£145 to £220), tops (£18 to £30) and cropped trousers (£40 to £50) from Emreco and Lunar shoes (£20 to £55). The weather is getting warmer which means people are going on holiday and buying summerwear.”

Kate Crisp, owner of Follies of Tarporley in Cheshire

“The bestsellers are Sahara casual dresses (£150 to £170), The Masai Clothing Company crop trousers (£70) and fine summer knitwear from Sandwich (£90). The shop is always quite busy because we have a loyal local customer base. All the different garment types from dresses to tops and trousers sell equally well.”

Susan Ellis, owner of Seasons in Alnwick, Northumberland

“Our bestsellers right now are Bianca summer jackets (£100), White Stuff trousers (£80 to £90), Michèle trousers (£79 to £110) and Hawick Knitwear cashmere knits (£170). Sales of Pomodoro summer dresses (£70) have benefited from the warmer weather. I took on Irish brand Naya for summer 15. Its trendy dresses (£140 to £160) and soft jersey dresses (£189) are selling well.”

Kathy Wilson, owner of The Dressing Room in Torquay

“Dresses from Tina Taylor (£79 to £110), Pomodoro cotton tunics (£59) and Robell stretch crop trousers (£39) are our top sellers. While I’ve dropped occasionwear brands like Condici and Esparato, as they were too expensive, I haven’t dropped any casualwear brands because they always appeal to my customer. For spring 15 we reintroduced Brandtex, which we dropped two or three years ago, because we thought the new look colourful garments would appeal to our customers.”


David Bundy, manager of Chas H Baker in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Meyer trousers (£89.95 to £99) are selling well, along with Olymp shirts (£45 to £59.95) and Scott by the Label suits (£299). Our customer demographic (35 to 80-year-olds) looks for fashionable styles that are not too extreme and when suits get too skinny it’s not a good look. While people are spending more on average, footfall in our town has fallen dramatically. Parking is more expensive and I think people prefer going to shopping centres.”

Keith Warren, manager of R Scott & Co in Cirencester, Gloucestershire               

“Most of our current business comes from summer jackets like sports jackets from Magee (£295) and Bladen (£375), as well as Meyer trousers (£85). Because we’re a traditional menswear shop with a good mix of quality stock, we can retain a strong customer base. We’re probably one of the largest independent men’s outfitters in the Cotswolds.”

Dave Bulgin, owner of Astaires in Taunton, Somerset

“Maddox Street London semi-formal jackets (£189) and shirts (£55), Cavaliere classic suits (£299) and evening suits (£349) and Magee jackets (£189) are our bestsellers right now. We’re up in the air at the moment waiting for the general election to be over. People are unsure about change and how much money they’ll have once the new government comes in.”

Mark Clifton, owner of Clive Continental Menswear in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

I’m selling a lot of Scott by the Label suits (£180 to £220) and Casamoda shirts (£45). I’m also seeing demand for Douglasjackets (£139.95), trousers (£59.95) and short-sleeved shirts (£35), which are popular in the warmer weather. People know and trust these brands because they don’t often change their fit.”

Roger Curry, owner of Bodenhams in Ludlow, Shropshire

“Our biggest sellers right now are Barbour jackets (£200) and Brook Taverner plain cotton and striped blazers (£150). We’re also selling lots of Camel Active shirts (£60). Joules cotton sweatshirts (£59.95 to £69.95) have sold well, I think because the brand is aimed at younger customers. We also stock Weird Fish cotton T-shirts (£19.95 to £34.95), which suit the laid-back summer style.”

Mathew Warnock, owner of Peddars of Sudbury, Suffolk

“Brühl trousers (£60 to £80) and Fynch-Hatton shirts (£60) are popular. We are doing very well with Scott by the Label suits (£150 to £300), as well as Fred Perry T-shirts (£25) and jackets (£150). These brands offer a good product range and the quality customers are looking for. A bit of colour for spring is good, in particular pastel pink and blue.”

Brent Hiddleston, owner of Man’s World in Glasgow

“Gant is selling well across the board (£80 to £310), in particular jackets (£150). Shirts from Casamoda (£45 to £55) and Eterna (£55) are also in demand. Customers sometimes rely on us for these brands because they can’t get them in other Glasgow stores.”



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