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Seasalt listens to indies by offering more exclusivity

Ethical lifestyle brand Seasalt is tailoring its wholesale womenswear collection around indies, after research with stockists revealed they wanted more product exclusivity and newness.

At present a third of what is offered to wholesale customers is not sold at retail by either Seasalt or multiples; the brand plans to double this to two thirds by the end of 2014. It will also ensure that 70% of the total 190-piece womenswear collection will feature completely new styles.

Indies told Seasalt that product from its rivals was too similar season on season, and voiced concern about competition from brands they stock selling via the brands’ websites.

Creative director Neil Chadwick told Drapers it was important for Seasalt to cater to indies’ needs because its growth would come from expanding its existing 400 accounts.

“We resonate with UK customers because of our integrity and regionality,” Chadwick said. “We’ve got a loyal following down in the Southwest. The indies have had a tough time over the past few years with brands selling alongside them. We really wanted to provide a service to help them be prosperous.”

Seasalt is also working to avoid conflict between retail, wholesale and online channels. Last month, it launched a collection in five John Lewis stores, although on an exclusive basis, with different product from that supplied to indies or sold via its own stores and website, where it also sells menswear and kidswear.

“Indies need the freedom to operate without limitations of brands selling online. [Wholesale-only product] won’t be on our website or anywhere else,” said Chadwick.

Seasalt, which has 12 stores across the Southwest, plans to add four more by 2015.

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