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Premium Indicator, January 17 2015

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

Womenswear

Jane Stanley Owner of Private Collection in Barnstaple, Devon

“Sales have been going really well; we are up 20% on last January so far. Marella coats have been selling excellently in our Sale, reduced from £399 to £199, as have Max & Moi cashmere jumpers, down to £399 from £599.”

Cheryl Cohen Owner of The Clothes Shop in Wilmslow, Cheshire

“Our sales have been marvellous. Our Sale finished on January 1 and now we are focusing on spring 15 stock. Lanvin is doing well, especially tunic dresses (£1,695), as are Veneta trainers (£500) and Queene and Belle cashmere (£764). Independent stores are doing well because buyers are on the shop floor; in department stores customers can feel lost.”

Roz Clarke Owner of Roz Clarke in Windsor, Berkshire

“January is a tough month. We could be busier, but we’re staying positive. Knitwear from our own Roz Clarke label has sold well, particularly stoles (£195) and cashmere jumpers (£125 to £200). Chie Mihara shoes are also in demand (£220 to £275). Sales will hopefully pick up when new stock from the likes of Velvet by Graham & Spencer and Chie Mihara arrives later
this month.”

Sophie Daoud Assistant buyer at The Cross in Holland Park, west London

“We want to hone in on what sells well, such as Bolam cotton drawstring trousers (£100) and English Weather sweatshirts (£350). We stock fewer shoes because you have to order seven units of a style, so they are hard to shift. In our Sale, which started on January 2, Zero + MariaCornejo shearling coats have sold well, down from £3,500 to £2,500.”

Helene Rapaport Owner of Bernard Boutique in Esher, Surrey

“We felt huge pressure from department stores like Selfridges and other independents who stock our brands to start our Sale early on December 14. This is the first time we have done that in 36 years. Kenzo sweatshirts sold well, reduced from £150 to £75, as did Alexander Wang jogging bottoms at £125 down from £250. The year ahead will be difficult, but suppliers understand and won’t expect buyers to
put in large orders.”

Beckie Kingsley Owner of Ginger in Norwich

“January has been quiet but our Sale, launched on Boxing Day, helped. Diane von Furstenberg cashmere has sold well, especially jumpers reduced from £260 to £180. Marella dresses were in demand, discounted from £217 to £152, as were Armani Jeans fake shearling jackets, down from £371 to £297.”

Nigel Clare Owner of Maidens in Chorley, Lancashire

“We are the only premium store for about 15 miles, so we don’t have much competition. Marc Cain shawl jackets have been selling strongly in the Sale, at half price down from £275. Paul Smith knee-length boots were also in demand, reduced to £135, as were Vivienne Westwood coats, down from £600 to £300. We ran a 20% discount on selected products in early December because other retailers were doing the same. On December 27 we cut prices by 50%.”

Menswear

Paul Woods Owner of Encore in Liverpool

“Right now we’re in Sale. Although it’s early to sell our spring 15 collection, fashion-forward customers want new trends early in the season, so we are half in Sale, half new stock. The balance keeps people interested. Of the new stock, Farah Vintage polo shirts (£45 to £50), Paul Smith Jeans polo shirts (£70) and Edwin jeans (£80 to £140) are in demand.”

Lee Simpson Head buyer at Hugh Harris in Woking, Surrey

“Whereas overall we are up on last year, last week sales were down 10%. We put it down to people getting paid early in December and spending money over Christmas. That said, casual shirts by Hugo Boss (£89) sell well, alongside outerwear (£85) and knitwear (£56) by Lyle & Scott and Ralph Lauren knitwear (£76).”

Louis Copeland Owner of Louis Copeland in Dublin

“Trading is up 6% on last year. Our Sale started on December 20 with reductions on a few products. However, on Boxing Day we discounted everything by 30%. We will be on Sale for another week. As always, suits are our main source of income. Canali and Gant suits are bestsellers, all between €400 (£312) to €500 (£390), during the Sale, as well as Eton shirts €119 (£93) to €159.50 (£124).”

Kunal Shah Co-owner of Academy Menswear in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

“Armani tracksuits (£210), Diesel jeans (£130) and Superdry hoodies (£60) are selling well. We were a bit slow over Christmas, but January Sales have been good. We began discounting by 20% on Boxing Day and are on final reductions at up to 50%. High-end brands are doing better than mid-level ones because people are looking for something premium.”

Dominic Riley Owner of Riley’s in Beverley, East Yorkshire

“We are performing really well, up 20% compared with last year. We only started reducing prices last week, so we’ll be on Sale for another two weeks. Our top sellers are knitwear by Vivienne Westwood (£215), Scotch & Soda jeans (£110) and Versace shirts (£150).”

Paul Morarji Operational manager at Niro in Peterborough

“If everything goes well, we’ll be on Sale until the end of the month. During the reductions Fred Perry polo shirts (£40), Stone Island outerwear (£500) and denim by Armani Jeans (£90) have been selling strongly. Even so, people spent a lot of money before Christmas during the Black Friday promotions, which has affected our sales as you can only shop so much.”

Danny Glennie Manager of Cafferys in Inverness

“We’re still on Sale, but there’s not much left. Right now our bestsellers are among the new season spring 15 product. Denim by Armani Jeans (£125), Paul & Shark jackets (around £270) and Stone Island light soft-shell jackets (£330) are the most popular.”

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