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Mainstream Indicator, November 15 2014

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

Women’s

Denise Coyle Owner of Barbara’s of Standish, Wigan

“Sales have been steady and the warm weather isn’t working against us. Our customers are buying lightweight knits rather than chunky styles, and bright tops to pair with winter jackets. Long-sleeved print tops by Lebek (£35) and Olsen (£40) have been strong sellers. We’ve also seen lots of demand for Paz Torras tailored trousers (£60).”

Melita Genziani Owner of Melita of Chobham in Surrey

“Customers are looking for standout pieces that aren’t available on the high street. Pomodoro jeggings (£67) and ponchos (£73) are hugely popular, as well as crisp white cotton shirts from Just White Design by SE (£95).”

Jillian Hart Owner of Jillian Hart Fashions in Derby

“Trousers by Joseph Ribkoff (£95) and Gerry Weber (from £65) are popular, as well as knitwear by Rabe (£90). It has beenrelatively challenging to sell our autumn 14 fashion due to the mild weather, but luckily our profits are the same as last year.”

Tanya Hardy Owner of Orchid Boutique in Skegness, Lincolnshire

“Sales have been slow over half term, but customers are buying Just White Design by SE lace shirts (£89 to £109), Monari knitwear (£79) and printed tops by Viccio Barcelona (£60 to £90), launched in store for autumn 14.”

Gwen Brennand Owner of Checkmate in Whalley, Lancashire

“Robell stretch trousers (£59 to £85) are selling well, while tops from French label Pause Café (£100) are in high demand. I introduced the Michaela Louisa dress collection for autumn 14. Our customers have taken to it brilliantly as it has a great price point (£95 to £185).”

Richard Broadbent Owner of Broadbents in Knutsford, Cheshire

“September was a very difficult month for us because of the warm weather, whereas in October people wanted to update their autumn wardrobes. Our bestsellers are Robell stretch trousers (from £49.95), tunics from The Masai Clothing Company (£79) and sleeveless cardigans by Two Danes (£99).”

Noreen Crompton Owner of Norma James in Corbridge, Northumberland

“We really need the weather to cool down. Coats and knitwear from Basler (£400), Gerry Weber (£150) and Barbour (£200) are not selling. However, we are having a good run with printed tops by Pomodoro (£35) and Gerry Weber (£45).”

Carolyn Crittenden Owner of Barbarosa in Battle, East Sussex

“Trading has been slow thanks to warm weather, a lack of people in town due to high parking costs and people relying on online shopping. However, bestsellers are Michèle trousers (£89 to £105), Monari tops (£65 to £69) and Lebek gilets (£89).”

Men’s

Raj Jain Owner of Preview Menswear in Worcester Park, Surrey

“In general there is greater consumer confidence and people are becoming less price-sensitive. Jackets haven’t sold that well due to warm weather, but overall our sales are up 10% on last year. Weird Fish long-sleeved tops (£50 to £60) and Casamoda shirts (£40 to £50) are our current big sellers.”

Philip Darlaston Co-owner of Philip James Menswear in Hinckley, Leicestershire

“The weather hasn’t had an impact on trade and we’re about 10% up compared with last year. We are seeing sales of early winter products, like Camel Active shirts (£45 to £65), Fynch-Hatton shirts (£55) and knitwear (£75), and trousers from Brook Taverner
(£75 to £95).”

Darren Hoggett Co-owner of J&B Menswear in Norwich

“Fred Perry is our bestselling brand, especially the polka dot polo shirts (£60 to £65). Levi’s 511 slim-fit jeans in dark washes (£75 to £80) and cotton crewnecks from French Connection (£40 to £45) are also doing well. We stick to brands where we can get a good margin and have a strong distribution system, like Remus Uomo, on which we easily get a 3.5% margin.”

Simon Riley Manager of House of Hawkins in Dartmouth, Devon

“A recent food festival in Devon brought lots of tourists who had time on their hands and a few quid to spare. We also get a lot of returning customers, because they know we stock brands such as Meyer (trousers from £75 to £90) and Giordano (shirts from £60
to £80).”

Martin Jones Owner of Vaughan Davies in Mold, Flintshire
“Fynch-Hatton shirts (£65) and sweaters (£79 to £100) and Barbour knitwear (£69.55) have proven popular. However, parking has been affected by the Welsh water board taking out the main road into the town centre car park to re-lay the water mains. Footfall is already down in November as a result.”

Andrew Knox Manager at Graham McGrath in Peebles, Scottish Borders

“We benefit from our location, which is popular with tourists as well as visitors from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Shirts by Olymp (£49) and Seidensticker (£59) are bestsellers, as well as Meyer trousers (£95).”

Nicholas Elson Director of Colin Bell Menswear in Stamford, Lincolnshire

“Sales are up 2% to 3% on last year. We attract customers from Bedford, Doncaster and Leicester. It’s slower on the knitwear side, although Gant styles are selling well (£95). Meyer jeans (£90) are also a favourite.”

Charles Hobson Owner of Charles Hobson Menswear in Easingwold, North Yorkshire

“We are selling four times as much casualwear as formalwear. Meyer trousers (£75 to £85), as well as shirts from Gant (£75 to £85) and Olymp (£55), are top-selling casual items. People don’t need smart clothes for work these days, so we sell a fifth of the suits we did 10 years ago.”

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