A strong start to autumn / winter 2017 has inspired womenswear buyers to look ahead to this season’s Moda Woman. With buyers up and down the country reporting that careful planning has reaped rewards this winter season, attentions are now turning to a/w 18 as buyers start to plan their forward-order spend based on what is selling well this month.
“Our selling period for a/w 17 is going well, and we are on target to expect a growth in sales as expected on this time last year,” says Katie Christie, owner of Victoriana Clothing in Alness, Scotland. “Lily & Me has been amazing for us this season, as has bobble hats by Joules and anything tweed. Based on that, when we return to Moda for a/w 18, we will be looking at purchasing more knitwear, good quality cotton pieces, well-fitting jeans, natural fibres and any comfort labels that offer the perception of a quality lifestyle.”
For fellow womenswear buyer Sarah Simonds – owner of Artichoke with branches in Ely, Cambridgeshire and Hackford, Norfolk – a savvy approach to buying has reaped rewards this autumn season, and her forward-order spend will be adjusted accordingly when she returns to Moda Woman this February.
“We changed our buying pattern slightly and dropped higher ticket items – such as jackets retailing at £200 – for items such as coatigans which retail at £50-£90,” she says. “Selling items that have appeal as impulse purchases enables our customers to have some loveliness in their lives, without feeling too guilty. We have also moved some budget into accessories labels such as Pia Rossini, Gaby and Dante, and additional James Lakeland chiffon, Pomodoro dresses and tops and sparkly impulse items by Saloo which give us a good mark-up. So far, we have had a good sell-through on most labels for autumn / winter 17.”
Independent retailer Cindy Marritt agrees that the accessories sector has huge potential at this time of year, and has taken a pro-active approach to boosting sales for a/w 17. “We are being pro-active by attending Christmas fairs with our accessories,” says the owner of Cindy’s Fashions in Sutton Bridge, Spalding, Lincolnshire. “We have also increased our footfall for November by hosting charity events and, overall, our autumn season so far has been quite buoyant. We have had good sales from many of our collections including Robell, Lebek and Frank Lyman, which is really hotting up in the lead up to Christmas.”
For these retailers and thousands like them across the nation, the strong start to the season has led to a renewed sense of optimism for a/w 18 buying.
“Every season starts with a clean slate as we look to source that new collection,” continues Cindy Marritt. “2018 will see me into my 38th year of being in the fashion business and, as always, I look forward to the challenge.”
Join these retailers as they get ahead for a/w 18 at Moda Woman, returning to the NEC in Birmingham on 18-20 February.