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Sanj Chauhan

Sanj Chauhan owner of Hertfordshire-based five-store streetwear mini chain Banana Connection

Brands include G-Star, Lacoste, Lyle & Scott, Superdry

How is trade at the moment?

It’s been more positive since the warm snap at the beginning of July, but I’m finding quite a difference in trading depending on location.

How has your Sale been?

I put the stores on selected markdown a week before the department stores to try to capture those shoppers. The start of the Sale has been OK.

How do you think indies compare to the high street in terms of trends?

The indies are suffering from a trend point of view. The likes of Topshop and Zara can attack the trends so quickly, and indies just cannot compete. I am focusing more on heritage brands to give us a point of difference.

Have you been forced to put up prices for autumn? Yes, but for us it is because our suppliers have put their RRPs up.
I don’t think people will question it for autumn 09. It will be next spring that will be more telling, and if interest rates go up, there will potentially be a lot of retail casualties.

How is trade at the moment?

It’s been more positive since the warm snap at the beginning of July, but I’m finding quite a difference in trading depending on location.

How has your Sale been?

I put the stores on selected markdown a week before the department stores to try to capture those shoppers. The start of the Sale has been OK.

How do you think indies compare to the high street in terms of trends?

The indies are suffering from a trend point of view. The likes of Topshop and Zara can attack the trends so quickly, and indies just cannot compete. I am focusing more on heritage brands to give us a point of difference.

Have you been forced to put up prices for autumn? Yes, but for us it is because our suppliers have put their RRPs up. I don’t think people will question it for autumn 09. It will be next spring that will be more telling, and if interest rates go up, there will potentially be a lot of retail casualties.

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