Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

More or less

Unsuprisingly, the Sunday Times reports today that the fashion retail sector which is experiencing an upsurge is the middle market. Buyers are trading down from Harvey Nicks and trading up from M&S and Primart.

Many of the brands in this not-too-expensive, not-too-cheap niche are small compared with the retail giants. What sets them apart is a focus on quality, design and a commitment to producing fashion you might want to keep. In a tough economic climate, these values chime with the way we want to live now, and they are good for business. Jigsaw reported a substantial sales rise this year and is about to launch an e-commerce site. Banana Republic isn’t having a summer sale — because there is no left-over stock. Reiss and All Saints are expanding rapidly, and Jaeger posted a profit of £82m last year. One of the most exciting fashion relaunches will also be in the middle market. I’ve had a sneak peek at the first collection by the former Topshop guru Jane Shepherdson for Whistles, and it is full of grown-up, gorgeous, covetable clothes.

A black jacket I bought at Whistles two and a half years ago for £175 has several years more life in it, in terms of both quality and style. I was looking in L.K. Bennett the other day, and the small number of pieces they have started to get in for Autumn look very promising, as do the shoes.


phyllis said...

Sounds like retailers are going after the Mass Affluent in a big way.

Gi said...

For people like me, who appreciate quality and design over mass consumption, I really NEED this middle-market. Sadly most middle-market clothing are designed for the older crowd and I'm often disappointed.

For me, higher-end second hand clothing stores or massive sales from couture houses are my only options :s while I love a Uniqlo t-shirt as much as the next person, wearing H&M clothing for work is unthinkable.

Natalie said...

I work at LK Bennett as the Marketing Executive. Our aim is the bridge the gap between hight street and designer and therefore provide that middle-market. Our new AW08 collection is a great representation of high fashion quality products at a reasonable price point. Have a sneak peak at some of our new arrivals
Plus there will be many more to come in next month. Sign-up to our newsletter and be the first to know about the new collection and offers.

Happy shopping!x