Menswear brand Peter Werth is to hold retail prices steady for spring 11 and offer indie stockists an additional wholesale discount which will be unavailable to multiples.
The brand will drop its wholesale prices for indies so they can increase their mark-up from 2.5 times to 2.8 times and still hit the recommended retail price.
It is unclear whether Peter Werth will sacrifice its own margins to fund the additional discounting, or if it will cut costs elsewhere, despite the rising costs of freight and cotton.
Sales director Peter Lynes said the strategy aimed to grow turnover through new and existing accounts: “It’s been a tough couple of years for the industry and certainly for independents. By having extremely competitive offers we can try to get new [accounts] and get existing accounts to spend more.”
Independent stockists of Peter Werth have welcomed the move. Andy Southall, managing director of indie Bridge55, which has two stores in Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, said: “This is excellent news. It would encourage me to buy more.”
Reece Hutton, buyer for Northeast indie mini-chains Box Clothing and Tucci, said the adjustment would incentivise them to buy more if the product was right.
Other fashion brands are also maintaining prices for spring 11 despite tougher margins.
Jessica Pugh, marketing manager at Lyle & Scott, said: “We do not feel the time is right to move upwards. Yes margins will be tighter, but so will disposable income.”