Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Retail Report

Missmc has a retail report for you this morning. After spending a whole day in some of the bigger London shops I can report that the bountiful Christmas markdowns that occurred last year will not be as bountiful this year. Why? There is far less stock out there. Selfridges has re-vamped. The who-is-not-there-anymore-or-have-they-been-moved made Missmc a bit faint. Some brands have disappeared (Marchesa) , some not so terribly exciting brands (Cos) have popped up. The whole second and third floors have been turned topsy-turvy causing Missmc to have to break her rule about wandering up to the dowdy third floor as the dowdy is no more.

After that dizzying experience it was onto the Gap. They have a bountiful supply of puffy coats for a price that makes one gasp. As an animation? Picture the hard eyes of fairtrade glaring so intensely that little holes are burnt on your backside as you walk the 66pound thing up to the register. I ended up buying it and then returning it. Not for political reasons, but, more that I decided I did not need to look like everyone else this year.

Topshop? Yes. Full of shoppers. Full of stock. But the jumper I saw seven weeks ago is still being featured and there are millions of them. That seems very un-topshop. Fast fashion appears to be slowing down a bit.

Liberty. I was the only customer. I felt like a wounded fawn wandering through a dark forest. The salespeople all attempted to guide me, lure me, dress me and help me. It felt a bit desperate.

Banana Republic. Ok. I needed a few plain well made jumpers. Found them at a very good price. Serious deflation is underway.

Fenwick? Yes. The shop is still much the same but also appears to have far less stock.

All in all, the women's retail landscape is changing. Perhaps for the better. Pleasure is being redefined as we speak. But, honestly, the answer is not Cos.

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