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CWB INDEPENDENT RETAIL AWARDS 2016 The winners revealed NEUTRAL TERRITORY Gender-neutral childrenswear brands THE FASHION RETAIL ACADEMY The UK’s only industry-led facility specialising in retail training and development


See things differently...

29 & 30 January 2017

Business Design Centre #discoverbubble




16 18




05: Comment

18: The Fashion Retail Academy Insight into the UK’s only industryled facility specialising in retail training and development

53: News

06: News 08: NCWA 10: Open for Business Legal and business advice plus industry opinion 14: Retail Therapy Store profiles and retail news 16: Brands to Watch Editor’s pick of brands 30: Style Guide Jewellery 31: Laura Loves The coolest products for kids 58: Talking Point Caroline Flood, commercial Director of Frugi

20: On the shop floor Andrea Gray, Joules’ retail and shows director, on the key points to consider when creating the right in-store experience

54: Back to School buying CWB speaks to school uniform retailers about their buying for Back to School (BTS) 2017 and how they feel about business in the year ahead

22: Neutral Territory Gender-neutral childrenswear 26: Exhibition Calendar Round-up of the a/w 17 trade shows 28: Top Drawer S/S 17 Children’s Edit CWB’s pick of children’s giftware set to showcase at the forthcoming edition of Top Drawer 33: CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016 The winners and finalists

Front cover: Scamp & Dude NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 03

19-21 FEBRUARY 2017

NEC Birmingham


COM MENT: If, like me, you are impatient, then it is quite likely that you have already flicked straight to the results of the CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016 before reading this. —

On the other hand, if you have more restraint, then you can enjoy the anticipation a little longer, I won’t spoil the surprise here. What I will say, however, is a huge congratulations to all of the 2016 winners – #wearthecrown! I’d also like to extend our thanks to this year’s judging panel, for their time and their expertise. The entire line-up for this year’s awards, both winners and finalists, really did raise the bar. The levels of customer service, the USPs, the innovative methods used to develop and grow business – all truly inspiring. You can find the full CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016 rundown on page 33; we hope you enjoy it. On page 22 we bring you our own slice of inspiration in the feature Neutral Territory, a spotlight on new and exciting gender-neutral fashion and lifestyle brands for kids. All of the brands offer something different in terms of style, but what they do share is the desire to appeal to the child, not a gender stereotype. Meanwhile, on page 18, we have a profile on the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA), which is the UK’s only industryled facility specialising in retail training and development. I paid a visit to the London-based academy earlier this

Editor Laura Turner Contributors Isabella Griffiths Christina Williams Victoria Jackson Editorial assistant Rebecca Jackson Designers Michael Podger Clive Holloway James Lindley Richard Boyle Sales executive Michele Ali Subscriptions Head of childrenswear Lindsay Hoyes Editorial director Gill Brabham Marketing director Stephanie Parker Managing director Colette Tebbutt Reprographics/printing Image Data Group Ltd 01482 652323

CWB is published 6 times per year by ITE Moda Ltd, The Old Town Hall, Lewisham Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5AL. Call 01484 846069 Fax 01484 846232 Copyright© 2016 CWB Magazine Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither ITE Moda Ltd nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies and any other material submitted for publication.


year to learn more about what it offers, which as you may or may not know, includes courses throughout the year that are ideal for independent fashion retailers looking to upskill or build knowledge in new areas. Other highlights this issue include a round-up of the forthcoming a/w 17 trade shows in our exhibition calendar and an interview with organic childrenswear brand Frugi’s new commercial director, Caroline Flood. In schoolwear we speak to retailers about their buying for Back to School 2017 as well as gauging their feeling about business in the year ahead. As I sign off this last issue of CWB for 2016, I look forward to returning with the January/February issue in the New Year. Until then, you can follow us at and via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Have a lovely Christmas – see you in 2017. Laura Turner Editor

CWB is a joint venture between RAS Publishing and the National Childrenswear Association.

A Buyer Series Fashion Business Publication CWB is a fashion business publication produced by ITE Moda Ltd. Other titles include WWB and MWB. ITE Moda Ltd is an ITE Group company.




NEW BRANDS JOINING BUBBLE LONDON Amid the new signings at this season’s Bubble London is Skogstad (pictured), the innovative, family-run Norwegian outerwear label. Catering for 0-16 years, the collection offers both outdoor and casual lines, with key pieces including waterproof and ski jackets, insulated and down jackets, parkas, merino base layers, waterproof trousers, softshell jackets and trousers, snow and waterproof suits, hats, gloves and socks. Other key new brands at the show for a/w 17 include Danish label MarMar Copenhagen, which specialises in stylish, eco-friendly childrenswear for 0-14 years; Italian brand Mueslii, which creates durable and contemporary bags and accessories; childrenswear brand Hannah & Tiff, whose collections are inspired by South East Asia; Bulb London, a family-run, London label which offers gender-neutral, monochrome childrenswear and interiors; and Matana, a stylish children’s clothing brand, designed and manufactured in Portugal. Bubble London a/w 17 takes place on 29-30 January at the Business Design Centre, Islington. Visit to register as a visitor. —

NEW FROM MOLLY & MOO Following its launch in July, contemporary baby brand Molly & Moo has added new products to its collection in time for Christmas. Continuing with the fresh, minimalist theme, the label introduces a new quilted blanket and a hooded cashmere baby blanket. With clean lines and muted colours, the quilted blanket comes complete with its own bag and measures an ample 100cm x 100cm. For the hooded baby blanket, the brand has sourced the highest quality Nepalese cashmere. Available in classic grey, it measures 90cm x 90cm, with the hood adding extra warmth for baby when out and about. — 06 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

This Christmas sees Harrods launch a bespoke Toy Concierge Service, providing expert product knowledge and recommendations on the latest toy trends. The Toy Concierge team identifies product recommendations that are mapped against ‘age and stage’ development. “The service has no minimum spend and we believe it is the perfect solution for busy shoppers looking to wrap up children’s gifting dilemmas,” says Harrods’ head of furniture and toy buying, Stewart Mancey. Whilst shopping with the Toy Concierge, customers can experience a 360° service, having their chosen gifts wrapped and delivered straight to their door. —

BEAU LOVES GROWS UP Beau Loves, the UK label of quirky, fun and often gender-neutral kidswear, has launched a capsule collection of adult clothing. The concept behind the new Beau Loves Grown Up range is to offer adults a capsule collection of selected styles taken from the children’s collection each season. Highlights from the debut offering include knitted pants, a cape, cardigan, sweater and scarf featuring an all-over ‘ghosts’ jacquard design, a collared dress with an all-over digital ‘galaxy’ print, and a knitted hat with cat ears. —

ENCOURAGING FORECAST FOR XMAS TRADING Total UK retail sales will grow 2.5 per cent in December 2016 to reach £42.2bn, according to estimations by market research provider Mintel. However, UK consumers are keen to grab a bargain, with the research also revealing almost three in five UK gift buyers are seeking promotions so that they don’t need to pay full price for gifts. On a positive note, a quarter of Brits plan to choose Fairtrade gifts given the choice; 15 per cent opt for gifts that include a charity donation in the price and a third buy British-made gifts wherever possible. “The economic background for consumers continues to be favourable,” says Richard Perks, director of retail research at Mintel. “Real incomes are rising and unemployment is falling. There are some worrying signs though. Consumer credit has risen back to record levels and the housing market has weakened a little but overall, the prospects for Christmas remain good. “When it comes to Christmas shopping, it is increasingly artificial to make a distinction between online and in-store as the two increasingly are working together to suit shoppers’ needs,” he continues. “We are seeing pure players recognise the advantages to having a physical offering, signified by Amazon and Zalando’s interest in moving to the high street.” —

THE WILD COTTON COLLECTION Baby brand The Little Green Sheep recently unveiled Wild Cotton, a new collection of 100 per cent organic cotton illustrated bedding and sleepwear inspired by nature. Available in gender neutral shades of mint and grey, it includes sleepsuits, sleeping bags, knitted blankets, bedding sets and gift sets of a sleepsuit, hat and bib, all available for 0-6 months. Illustrator Kate Dolphin is behind the creation of the collection’s prints, which feature rabbits, bears and woodland. In celebration of the launch, The Little Green Sheep is working with the Woodland Trust and will donate 25p of every item sold from the Wild Cotton range to the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. Wholesale prices from £10. —



LITTLE STAR LAUNCH Victoria Leyshon, who has over 20 years’ experience designing children’s jewellery, is co-founder and creative director of the new children’s jewellery brand, Little Star. Fellow co-founder and commercial director, Rob Walker, has 15 years’ experience in the fashion industry. “There is a gap in the market for a new, modern sophisticated approach to children’s jewellery that reaches out to both traditional gift jewellery and modern fashion customers,” says Leyshon. “We have the experience, skill set, resources and drive to deliver a market leading brand.” Little Star offers over 50 styles including expandable silver baby bangles, bridesmaid and pageboy gifts, christening and charm bracelets, necklaces, jewellery for new babies, items to celebrate milestones and a boys’ range. Signature designs include crosses, hearts, pearls and stars. —

Konfidence, which designs and manufactures baby swimming and learn-to-swim products, has been named Best International Flexible Business at the 2016 National Mum and Working Awards as sponsored by Vorwerk UK. The Best International Flexible Business award, which was judged by a panel including Sarah Willingham from Dragon’s Den, recognises “any UK-based business exporting or operating overseas with a family-friendly, flexible working model”. Konfidence’s founder, Andrew Regan, who received the award at a recent ceremony hosted by NatWest in London, welcomes the accolade. “I am thrilled that our company has been recognised with this award,” he says. “As a family, it’s been a long and exciting journey to get where we are today – and it’s really pleasing for me to now have five generations of family involved in the business today.” —



Storefront, a global leader in short-term retail space rental, has launched in the UK and is looking to offer access to space across London. Storefront specialises in matching a network of over 80,000+ brands – from fashion brands to designers, retailers, e-commerce players, artists and start-ups – with commercial spaces across three continents. “London is a fresh trendsetting market with tremendous opportunities for brands to gain exposure,” says Mohamed Haouache, Storefront CEO and co-founder. “The ability to use a single service to find premium retail spaces for pop-up stores in cities around the world is something many brands have requested.” Space can be rented for as little as one day up to several months or a year. —

Footwear retailer Schuh has opened a dedicated Schuh Kids store within leading retail and leisure destination Bluewater. Situated immediately adjacent to the existing Schuh store on the upper Thames Walk, the 1,000 sq ft Schuh Kids store opened last month. Together with additional storage space that will be shared by both stores, Schuh’s total Bluewater footprint has increased to 7,300 sq ft. The addition of a standalone Schuh Kids also allows Schuh to increase its adults’ range in the existing store. “The performance of children’s shoes at Bluewater has been phenomenal and so we are very pleased to be able to act on this success by opening a standalone Schuh Kids,” says Phil Whittle, retail director at Schuh. “The dedicated store provides even more choice for customers, reinforcing Bluewater’s position as our regional flagship.” —


— H&M has signed a major five-store deal at Westfield Stratford City. Already boasting a successful store at the shopping mall, H&M will relocate and expand its offering to become a full concept flagship totalling 70,000 sq ft. On completion, Westfield Stratford City will be the company’s largest store in the UK offering all concepts, including the brand’s own Home and Beauty ranges. The opening is scheduled for spring 2017.

FIRST LOOK AT FRODDO A/W 17 Froddo has taken inspiration from nature for its a/w 17 collection of children’s shoes. Highlights include a rich colour palette of warm, autumnal shades, such as purple, green, brown, blue and yellow. Materials are natural and premium quality, with linings ranging from soft leather through to wool and sheepskin. Style-wise, dynamic animal prints, emojis, flower patterns and new textured and shiny leathers all feature, with contrast stitching key. A large selection of waterproof models are also available. —

MAKE IT BRITISH FORUM HAILED SUCCESS The first Make It British Forum held in Leicester has been hailed a success by organisers, delegates and guests, and will pave the way for more UK-wide regional forums in the next year. The occasion, which was also streamed live from De Montfort University, was launched by Make it British, the go-to resource for information on UK manufacturing and British-made brands founded by Kate Hills. “This one-day event was aimed at businesses wanting to find out more about manufacturing fashion and textile products in the UK,” says Hills. “We tackled fundamental issues, such as the likely impact of Brexit on the UK textile industry and how to attract more fashion graduates into manufacturing.” —

— Ridgebacks International, the UK distributor for brands Sleepyhead and 7AM Enfant, is now also representing Australian brand ErgoPouch. Specialising in natural and organic sleep products for babies and toddlers, the Australian company is renowned for the design and manufacture of high quality baby swaddles, sleeping bags and sleep suits. All of ErgoPouch’s products are made using natural and breathable fibres, such as organic cotton, bamboo and merino.

— British lifestyle brand Joules has appointed Paul Burden as head of licensing, with the focus of his role being to build, develop and explore licensing opportunities that align to Joules’ distinctive brand offering. Burden previously held roles at Ted Baker, most recently as director of product licensing, where he was responsible for all licensed products including footwear, eyewear, watches and fragrance, bodywear and home accessories. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 07


NCWA NEWS: The latest news from the National Childrenswear Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT: I sometimes wonder whether I would really like to be able to look into the future, the advantages of being able to plan ahead being counteracted by the burden of knowing bad news for so many months in advance. Having said that, if I had bought a crystal ball earlier this year, I think I would have sent it back as being faulty. With all the uncertainty over Brexit and what policy decisions the President Elect of the USA will really take when he is in office, it is difficult for any business in any sector to plan ahead. I have warned before about putting all your eggs in one basket – you might make a fortune, but you could lose the lot. I have also stressed making sure that you take sensible steps to protect your business, particularly, as far as is possible, against currency fluctuations. However, assuming there are no more dramatic political upheavals in the months ahead, one can perhaps take hope from some small things. Firstly, the signs are that the Government is unlikely to reduce its support for export activities in the run-up to the UK leaving the EU and after it happens. I think it highly likely that the TAP Scheme, which helps companies exhibit at shows overseas, will be strengthened. Secondly, the Government has already shown its determination to keep car manufacturing in the UK. Whilst the amount of clothing and textiles made in the UK has fallen dramatically over the last 30 years, there is definitely a resurgence, albeit from this much smaller base. Calls to restrict migration according to the salary that non-UK citizens could earn would not help our industry where there is a shortage of highly skilled labour but where the salaries on offer would not match those in, for example, the financial sector. I had the opportunity recently to make this point to a Minister in the Department for Exiting the EU and was pleased to hear that it had not fallen on stony ground. Thirdly, much of what affects businesses will not change in the short term. As far as childrenswear is concerned, the legislation and standards to which we are subject and on which we depend to maintain our markets, particularly in the EU, will still be there. At a recent meeting of the European Standards Working Group on the Safety of Childrenswear, a work programme for the next few years was agreed. An updated Guidance Note to the Cords and Drawstrings Standard (following the publication of the third version at the end of 2014) and a Standard on the Attachment of Buttons are next on the timetable. A Standard on the Attachment of Press Fasteners is also planned, but will take longer because of, among other things, the difference between those made of metal and those made of plastic. But what do you want and what are your concerns as we wait to learn when Article 50 will be triggered? NCWA is the body that the Government will be consulting to find out what the childrenswear industry wants from the Brexit negotiations. Do please let me know, so that we can ensure your voice is heard, whether you are an importer, exporter (or both), an agent or a retailer, and whatever your size of turnover. You can write to me at NCWA, 3 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, telephone 020 7843 9488 or e-mail me at Do not forget our website,, which gives you details of our services. It is also possible to join online. Membership is open to manufacturers and suppliers, retailers (of all sizes) and agents. Associate membership is available to those providing services to the industry and to those based abroad. Elizabeth P Fox

NCWA Council: Chairman: DAVID HULL Agent Vice Chairman: VIRGINIA ROSS Pollyanna Retailer Imm Past Chairman: SHARON BEARDSWORTH Emile et Rose Manufacturer Treasurer: DAVID BURGESS David Luke Ltd Manufacturer

Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX


55-57 High Street, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire Panache Kids is based in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, and specialises in boys’ and girls’ clothing and footwear. Established in 1992, the store stocks designers ranging from Angel’s Face and Agatha Ruiz De La Prada to All Ruffled Up and Little Eleven Paris, as well as its own range of footwear made in Spain. Visitors can also shop via the store’s transactional website, which includes links to its social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There’s also a sale section online, featuring reduced footwear, clothing, accessories, blankets and more.

RAFA AND REENIE Online boutique Rafa and Reenie stocks British, Spanish and Portuguese kids’ products, including accessories, girls, boys, baby and beachwear. Its simple, easy to browse design features a white background and large product imagery. Customers can view a diverse brand selection from the likes of Mebi, Pretty Originals, Eve Children, Bowtique London and Phi. Visitors can also access the store’s social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, and can sign up to regular email updates. Free delivery is available on all orders over £50.

Make your voice heard

Council Members: MARK BARNETT Barnett Agencies Agent NUALA MCKENNA Nuala McKenna Agencies Agent DIANE SHAW Agent SARAH TAYLOR Agent MALCOLM TRAVIS Travis Designs Manufacturer RACHEL RILEY Rachel Riley Manufacturer JILLIAN PETRIE Young Trend Retailer DAVID PARKER Baby Melanie Retailer President: KEN SCATES Marketing consultant Vice Presidents: LESLEY FALLON Retail consultant JACKIE COOK Retail consultant


• Membership is open to everyone involved in the British childrenswear industry.

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• Associate membership, open to non-British organisations, is now available. • Membership costs from £95.




AliOli Kids, which represents Spanish children’s and baby clothing labels in the UK and northern Europe, has reported positive performances for 2016 across its brand portfolio. Noteworthy developments include sales growth of 200 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015 for the children’s and babies’ clothing and accessories brand Condor. Fina Ejerique, a traditional childrenswear label from Valencia, is now stocked by Harvey Nichols. Babywear brand Martin Aranda, meanwhile, has seen sales increase threefold in its first season with AliOli Kids as its UK agent. Additionally, in response to requests from stockists of its brands, AliOli Kids has launched a short order own-brand collection to cater for demand for late orders and re-stocking mid-season. —

Rosalita Señoritas, a Spanish girlswear label for 3-12 years, is launching sister brand Rosalita Baby for a/w 17. Rosalita Baby debuts with classic and casual looks for both baby girls and boys aged 0-24 months, delivering bright styles alongside classic pink and blue colourways. Inspiration for the debut collection comes from fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Alibaba, Pinocchio, Bambi and Pocahontas. The a/w 17 Rosalitas Señoritas and Rosalita Baby collections will be available to view at this season’s Bubble London, which takes place on 29-30 January 2017. —

SMALLS X THE BRIGHT COMPANY Two childrenswear brands have teamed up on a collaborative, limited-edition collection that launched in conjunction with Wool Week, an initiative by Campaign for Wool. Smalls, which offers everyday merino basics for 0-14 years and The Bright Company, a label of organic unisex sleepwear, bedding and loungewear, created two exclusive designs. These items are a tank vest and a long sleeve produced in Smalls’ 100 per cent superfine merino and featuring The Bright Company’s iconic moon faces. A choice of pink or blue is available, with sizes ranging from 2/3 to 7/8 years. The limited-edition Smalls + The Bright Company range is available exclusively online at and —




Colourful circuses are the inspiration behind the new a/w 17 collection from ethical and organic childrenswear brand Frugi. Highlights include the new Explorer Range of outerwear, which is now 100 per cent waterproof. Made from recycled bottles, it comes in two designs and includes an all-in-one suit, reversible gilet and a coat. Babywear developments include new products for newborn to four years. Key is the new Zippy Babygro, with a full zip fastening for ease of changing, a knitted romper, cord patch trousers and a dungaree dress. The Cosy Jacket also makes a return in three new prints. Meanwhile, the brand’s Frooglies range of toys features new characters and matching comforters and the introduction of new sensory rattles. —

Glastonbury children’s brand Zuma the Dog is collaborating as an adviser with the new YouTube Channel, My Perfect Pop Up Shop. After working for several years with pop-up shops to launch her own children’s label, Zuma the Dog founder Samantha Morgan-Bertish has been asked by fellow entrepreneur and author Daisy White to join her new initiative in helping other small business owners set up their own pop-up shops. “My Perfect Pop Up Shop has been designed to inform, inspire, and create the biggest global archive of pop-ups,” says White. The My Perfect Pop Up Shop channel – a subscription to which is free – launched in September, and has been gaining popularity in recent months. —

Fifteen new styles have been added to Travis Designs’ Dress up by Design range of over 120 dressing up costumes. Highlights include new Ride On styles in the form of a jet, giraffe and flamingo. Within the Fairy Sets, there is a new, green costume with a skirt and glitter wings; a sparkly purple glitter jewelled wing and wand set and a peach vintage fairy (pictured) with wings and summer fairy wand. New princess costumes include the Golden Princess with headband and floral bodice, the Amethyst Queen with purple and gold trim and Turquoise Sparkle, with matching gloves. There is also a new classic Royal Countess costume with ornate headband and golden/ivory dress to match, a Purple Rags to Riches reversible costume, Orchid Maiden featuring a blue dress with flowing sleeves and matching halo and the new boys’ cloak and accessory set. —


— Design highlights from the new a/w 17 Emile et Rose collection include lace overlays, diamanté scrolls and flowers, bunny appliqués and floral prints for girls, with coats, jackets and knitted hats available to match every outfit. For boys, pin tucks, teddy appliqués, Fair Isle knits and smart three-piece outfits are key. The collection comes with free gift boxes and matching toys.

— Recent developments for baby brand Mori include a new 100 per cent organic fabric, hospital bag essentials, and a collaboration with Neal’s Yard, which sees the brand offer a range of gift hampers for mum and baby.

— The winner of this year’s NCWA Golf Day was Mark Barnett of Barnett Agencies. This is the second consecutive year that Barnett has won the cup. NCWA member Barnett Agencies is a UK agent for children’s clothing, footwear and gift brands, including Lilly + Sid, Happi Joey, Hatley, Heritage Kids, Emile et Rose and Little Blue House.



Open for business Bringing you straight-talking legal and business advice. — SARAH REDMOND Senior trade mark attorney at Fox Williams LLP

MAKING SURE YOU DON’T PUT A FOOT WRONG IN TRADE MARK OPPOSITIONS Logos are important to brand owners but over the years these evolve and change. It is therefore important that brand owners review their trade mark portfolio regularly to ensure that their most current version is registered. If you need to rely on a specific trade mark logo in an Opposition or Infringement proceedings, you may be unsuccessful if you cannot show that the mark has been used as registered, as a recent dispute involving C & J Clark International Limited (Clarks) demonstrated. In 2013 C & J Clark International Limited (Clarks) applied to register as UK trade mark: The mark covered clothing, footwear, headgear, bags and the retailing of these items. The application was opposed by Mr Satish Kumar Murgai on the basis of his two earlier UK registrations for marks containing CLARK which cover various clothing items as well as his unregistered rights to CLARK in the UK.

Understandably he did not oppose the footwear or retailing of footwear items given Clarks’ longstanding use of the name CLARKS on footwear. Mr Murgai’s trade mark registrations date back to at least 1979 and therefore Clarks were able to question his use of the trade marks. Clarks also applied to have Mr Murgai’s trade marks revoked on the grounds of non-use. This would mean that, if Clarks were successful, as well as not being able to rely on these marks in the opposition, Mr Murgai’s marks would be removed from the Register and cease to exist. During the evidence stages Mr Murgai’s lawyers’ submitted use of the CLARK but Mr Murgai had a problem in showing that the marks were being used as registered. The Trade Mark Office considered the evidence filed and found that the marks being used were either the word mark CLARK JEANS or the following logo: The Trade Mark Office was of the opinion that the use of these marks was not sufficient to constitute genuine use of either of the registered trade marks. Therefore Mr Murgai’s trade marks were revoked and could not be relied upon in the Opposition proceedings. However, having considered the evidence filed which showed use of the mark CLARK in the UK, the Trade Mark Office decided that Mr Murgai had sufficient goodwill in the CLARK name for clothing. Having goodwill is not sufficient in order to establish a claim of passing off. It was therefore necessary for Mr Murgai to show that Clarks’ use of the mark applied for would constitute a misrepresentation and cause damage to Mr Murgai. The Trade Mark Office therefore agreed with Mr Murgai that there was passing off in relation to the clothing and headgear but not bags. As a result Mr Murgai was successful in his Opposition against that CLARKS ENGLAND mark but only in part (in relation to clothing, headgear and retailing of these goods). However, he has lost his trade mark registrations for the two CLARK logos which dated back to 1979. As this case shows, although relying on registered rights is usually the strongest right, it is always important to also ensure that all potential grounds are relied upon such as unregistered rights, as this was the basis of Mr Murgai’s success. 10 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

LUCIE GREENWOOD Sales manager at I am Ava

SIX OUT OF TEN SAY THE CUSTOMER ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT… “The customer is always right.” We all know the old adage that teaches us to always prioritise customer satisfaction above all else. But, by adhering to that logic, could you be doing more harm than good to your company, and even a serious disservice to your customers? New research conducted by I am Ava, a virtual assistant telephone answering service, has revealed that even the customers themselves don’t necessarily agree with the unwritten rule. In fact, a survey conducted by Ava showed that 61 per cent disagree with the old saying, and believe that the customer is not, in fact, always right. With this in mind, we spoke to three customer service experts to find out how to not let pleasing your customers at all costs become detrimental to your company. Your customer service could get worse “The customer is number two. The employee is number one,” says Michael D Brown, author of Fresh Customer Service. “The key to running a successful operation is believing in, and practising, the concept that customers should always come second. Employees matter more in the immediate sense and should, therefore, come first.” “Frontline employees need to feel appreciated, motivated and important. If you ever hope to provide a world-class customer service experience, then you need to take care of those frontline employees first. Happy employees naturally provide superior customer service. Long story short: look after your staff first and the wellbeing of your customers will naturally follow.” It could take you from service to servile “The customer is definitely not always right,” says Chris Simpson, a consultant with Business Doctors. “In fact, they may be the wrong customer for the entire business. Something I have discovered is that a lot of the time when we’re having conversations about whether the customer should be allowed to call the shots, it turns out the customer is entirely wrong for the business. “The mentality of ‘the customer is always right’ leads businesses over the edge from service into servile, and in the long run isn’t good for the supplying business or the customer. “Of course, the customer should always be listened to, but once you have heard and understood the key questions you need to ask yourself, ‘are these the right customers for me?’” It can drain your limited resources “Caring about your customers is important, especially so in today’s ever-connected society; good and bad news travels fast,” says Benjamin Dyers, CEO of Powered Now. “However, good customer service shouldn’t come at any cost and unreasonable customers can cause problems, sometimes big ones. “The truth is, difficult customers do exist, and you will come across them from time to time. However, it has to be said that most people are reasonable and if you’re living up to your customercentric values they can normally be dealt with easily. “When we screw up, and we all do, my mantra is apologise, fix things and if needed, offer some compensation. But not at any cost. It’s a tricky balance to get right, as there can never be an excuse for being rude to customers.”


Three retailers discuss their plans and promotions for the festive selling period. — ASHLEY & REECE SCUDDER Owners, Macie’s Kidz, Denton, Manchester

Have you got any in-store Christmas decoration plans this year? We love Christmas, and decorate the store every year. We decorate our windows with lights and a big garland. Do you plan on running a Christmas-themed window display? We always have a themed window display and try to incorporate the colours of the garments to the time of the year, of course red for the festive season. What are you doing to prepare for the Christmas selling period? We are making sure all of our stock is up to date. We have a lot more online activity at this time of year, so we dedicate a member of our team to keep on top of this. Are you running any Christmas promotions? With most of our brands the sale period starts just before Christmas. Dates will be confirmed closer to the time, but we always do a free postage offer near Christmas. Do you plan on using social media to support your Christmas promotions? Social media plays a massive part in the success of our business. We use this on a daily basis to keep all of our customers near and updated on our business activities. It’s an amazing thing. Are you getting involved in any local business activities over the festive period? Last year we were a collection point for the Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal. We had over 500 boxes donated for the less fortunate adults, children and dogs in our community. What are your predicted Christmas bestsellers? Kenzo is always our best seller. It’s a much desired brand and the bright designs make our little ones stand out for any festive parties. Are you feeling confident about the Christmas selling period? We are always optimistic and positive. We enjoy our job and love making our customers happy, so as long as we get that right we have nothing to worry about.

ELIZABETH MASON Owner, Cool in Cloth, Barnstaple, North Devon

Do you plan on running a Christmas-themed window display? We start early with Christmas decorations. It definitely jogs people’s memories when we make an effort. We have a lovely artist who paints a scene for us on the four large glass windows. This year we are using a cardboard company to cut out a huge polar bear. What are you doing to prepare for the Christmas selling period? Our website is being worked on to improve usability and we always Christmas up the home page. I am often late at ordering as the weather has a bearing down here. One Christmas we were wintered out and hardly anyone came into town from the small villages, it was a disaster. We are having a big push for the website this year. Are you running any Christmas promotions? Yes, we will run a promotion but it has not been decided yet. We have a new brand we think will be popular. Do you plan on using social media to support your Christmas promotions? Social media has become increasingly important to us, especially with our overseas customers who order from one particular country when I post on Instagram. Photography is becoming very important in this aspect. What are your predicted Christmas bestsellers? Bestsellers tend to be dresses each year and more of our expensive accessories that are not purchased throughout the year. We are changing what we do and going back to what we started with, so it’s a difficult transition this time of year. From s/s 17 our offerings will change. Have you taken on any new brands for Christmas? New brands for Christmas are A Lovely Little Company, Plan Toys (an eco brand) and a few small gift ranges for stocking fillers. Are you feeling confident about the Christmas selling period? We are a little apprehensive if I’m honest, but feeling more confident in our website this year. Organisation is key and it’s taken a while for us.

CHLOE CHATTERSINGH Owner, Dulcie Children’s Boutique, Montpellier, Cheltenham

Have you got any in-store Christmas decoration plans this year? Yes, we have. We will be doing a Christmas window display, Christmas tree in-store, lights and decorations. Do you plan on running a Christmas-themed window display? Yes. We are doing a traditional themed window, with a Christmas tree and a rocking horse using our Christmas and party collections. What are you doing to prepare for the Christmas selling period? We will be having longer opening hours and late night shopping on a Thursday. Are you running any Christmas promotions? Yes. We will we will running a Christmas raffle, with a chance to win £100 to spend with us. Do you plan on using social media to support your Christmas promotions? Yes. We will be using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with our website. Are you getting involved in any local business activities over the festive period? We will be doing any events that come up in Montpellier, our local area. I’m not aware of what’s coming up yet, though this will be announced shortly, I expect. What are your predicted Christmas bestsellers? Pretty Originals Spanish Collection; Mayoral Tartan Collection along with our smart collections from Paul Smith Jr, Gant and Jr Gaultier. We also predict Billieblush’s partywear to be good sellers this Christmas. Have you taken on any new brands for Christmas? Not just for Christmas, no. Are you feeling confident about the Christmas selling period? Yes. This will be our second Christmas season so we are still new to the industry, but yes, we are very much looking forward to the festive period.


15—17 January 2017 Olympia, London

CHILDREN’S ADVENTURES Discover the cutest children’s brands, expertly chosen to inspire your buying experience. Release your inner style scout and explore the exclusively curated world of Children’s at Top Drawer.




RETAIL THERAPY Pop-up shops, news and store events from the world of childrenswear retail. — THE SHOPUP Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, SW3 Taking place this month, ShopUp is a pop-up shopping event organised by Babyccino Kids, the international lifestyle website for modern mums. Babyccino Kids began as a blog back in 2007, the brainchild of three friends scattered across Europe in London, Paris and Amsterdam. In 2011, after noticing an increase in independent brands and boutiques within the children’s market, Babycchino Kids launched a curated online shopping portal. Taking the guesswork out of internet shopping by narrowing down the best children’s boutiques from around the world and sorting them into easily searchable categories, the website was able to provide the ultimate easy-to-use shopping tool. The role of ShopUp is to bring Babyccino Kids’ aforementioned online shopping portal to life. It does this through an annual live shopping event that gathers up to 40 independent children’s boutiques and brands offering unique toys, gifts, childrenswear, accessories and home décor. Taking place at Chelsea Old Town Hall on Sunday 4 December from 1pm-6.30pm and Monday 5 December from 10am-5pm, participants this year include Molly & Moo, Niddle Noddle, Annaliv, Mori, Little Cloud, Amy & Ivor, Smalls, Well Grounded Co., Elfie, Willa and the Bear, Atticus & Gilda, Omibia, Mabel Child and Scarlet Ribbon Merino. This year’s ShopUp marks the fourth annual pop-up in Chelsea, following other successful events in London, New York and LA. The event is free entry, and as well as shopping, it will offer fun activities for the whole family including face painting, live music, crafts, drinks and nibbles and of course, a visit from Father Christmas.



IKKS 11 St. John’s Wood High Street, London, NW8 Last month, premium French childrenswear brand IKKS Junior opened its first ever UK standalone store in the form of a pop-up in London’s St. John’s Wood. Open until February 2017, the pop-up carries pieces from the brand’s a/w 16 collection for babies, boys and girls. It also features a showroom space where press can exclusively preview the s/s 17 collection. IKKS Junior already has a presence throughout Europe, the Middle East, USA and Asia, and is continuing to develop its international presence. “The UK is a priority for the brand,” says IKKS Junior’s sales director, Martin Gapic. IKKS Junior plans to open a permanent store in London in spring 2017, which will coincide with its 30th anniversary year.


JOHN LEWIS LEEDS HARRODS 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X October saw the refit of Harrods’ Designer Prams department on its fourth floor childrenswear department. The redesign of the area further solidifies the diverse offering of Harrods’ childrenswear department, which ranges from maternitywear, baby layette and nursery furniture through to designer childrenswear and footwear. Championing the best edit of exclusive and new launches on a monthly basis, the pop-up plays host to a selection of prams and strollers from names such as Silver Cross, Cybex (pictured), Bugaboo and Babyzen. Bespoke areas allow each brand to inject its own personality, while also adding convenience to the customer shopping experience.

John Lewis recently opened its doors in Leeds as the anchor to Hammerson’s £150m Victoria Gate development. Representing a £37m investment, the 255,000 sq ft regional flagship has created 550 jobs locally and is one of the largest John Lewis shops outside of London. As well as being the retailer’s most service and experience led store to date, the Leeds store stocks over 120 products from 11 local Yorkshire suppliers as part of the John Lewis Made Locally initiative, in partnership with The Great British Exchange.

WOLF & BADGER Founded in Notting Hill in 2010, Wolf & Badger works with over 600 independent brands across women’s, men’s and kids’, homeware and gifts sections. The retailer introduced its kids’ offer in-store and online last year, providing a wide ranging product offer for boys and girls from newborn to 12 years, with clothing available from the likes of Little Wardrobe London, Toby Tiger, Mini Street Style, Love Made Love, Chateau De Sable and Zatchels. As of November, the retailer is selling its kids’ range solely online, via the Wolf & Badger website.

JOULES OPENS DERBY STORE British lifestyle clothing brand Joules recently opened a new store in Derby, creating eight new jobs in the process. To celebrate the opening, Joules offered ‘Early Bird’ queue prizes for the first shoppers to visit the store, including a £200 voucher for the first customer. “We’re thrilled to open a new Joules store in Derby,” says brand founder, Tom Joule. “We are really looking forward to bringing our unique personality and style to shoppers over the coming months.”

Retail news in brief: POLARN O. PYRET BUILDS UK GROWTH Swedish kidswear brand Polarn O. Pyret has partnered with customer acquisition platform Mention Me to launch a UK customer referral programme. Polarn O. Pyret aims to harness the regard consumers have for the brand by launching a refer-a-friend scheme. “We have a very loyal customer base who are great advocates for the brand and what it stands for,” says Polarn O. Pyret’s head of marketing, Luisa Cacioppo-Smallwood. “Our new referral scheme is a great way to reward them for sharing with likeminded parents.”



German outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin has opened a 3,000 sq ft store on Paradise Street in Liverpool ONE, stocking its full range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The store opening coincides with the launch of a new brand campaign by Jack Wolfskin using the hashtag #MakeYourLifeUnforgettable. As well as being implemented across a range of media including a new television commercial, the campaign is the inspiration for the design of its Liverpool ONE store.

Retailers reported the strongest pace of growth since September 2015 over the year to October, according to the latest CBI monthly Distributive Trades Survey. The survey of 126 firms, of which 60 were retailers, showed that sales for the time of year were considered to be above average. Retailers of clothing were amongst those driving the rise in overall sales volumes alongside retailers of furniture and carpets, and hardware & DIY. Department store overall sales volumes meanwhile, were flat. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 15




BRANDS To Watch CWB editor Laura Turner selects the must-have collections to get in-store. —




Launched this year and making its Bubble London debut for a/w 17, UK brand Hannah & Tiff is available for boys and girls aged 2-10 years. Embracing the heritage and techniques of Far East and Southern East Asian countries, the label’s first collection for s/s 17 is inspired by Asian herbs and spices. Featuring hand embroidery and contemporary silhouettes, the range includes casual tops, bottoms and dresses alongside the brand’s signature hand quilted jacket. Each collection will comprise around 20 pieces for girls and 15 pieces for boys. Wholesale prices £20-£60.

Canadian high-performance leisure footwear brand People Footwear expanded into the kids’ market in 2015 with the Little People Footwear collection, launching in the UK for s/s 16. The children’s line presents the same iconic silhouettes offered for adults, including the Phillips Puffy style, featuring an insulated and water-resistant upper, a shock absorbing outsole and fixed elastic laces with a secure toggle. In the UK, Little People Footwear offers five styles for kids, currently with the option of six to seven colourways per style. Targeting 1-8 years, sizes are from child size 4 through to adult size 3. Wholesale prices £17.50-£25.




05 03: L  ITTLE LUKE AND LUKE JUNIOR UK menswear label Luke has launched kids’ lines Little Luke and Luke Junior for a/w 16, with the two casualwear ranges designed to provide a transition for the Luke brand from sons to fathers. The label’s favourite men’s styles have been shrunk down and tweaked for ages 2-7 years for Little Luke, and for 8-15 years for Luke Junior, providing the opportunity for coordinating adult and child looks. Offering around 15 pieces per collection, items include polos, T-shirts and tracksuits. Wholesale prices £7.20-£20.



A timeless childrenswear brand with Nordic heritage, Minimalisma offers high-comfort garments in premium natural materials for children aged 0-6 years. Headquartered in Zürich with a Danish designer, Minimalisma offers purely knitted products; from jersey through to low-gauge knits. Akin to a ‘luxury basic’ or ‘capsule collection’, items are produced in pure and natural fibres such as silk, wool, alpaca, cashmere and organic cotton. Key pieces include trousers, bodies, pyjamas, dresses, tops and hats. Each collection comprises approximately 50 pieces. Wholesale prices ¤5- ¤60.

Launching in the UK for 2017 is Three Bags Full, a leading New Zealand brand of merino childrenswear for 0-10 years. Using 100 per cent pure New Zealand merino wool, the collection is designed with fun, function and sustainability in mind. With merino’s natural temperature regulating and durable properties, the clothing is particularly suitable for outdoor wear. Key pieces include printed tops, dresses, hoodies, leggings, hats and baby blankets. The brand’s UK launch, which coincides with its 10-year anniversary, also includes the introduction of a UK-facing website. Wholesale prices £18-£54. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 17


THE FASHION RETAIL ACADEMY London’s Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) is the UK’s only industry-led facility specialising in retail training and development. CWB’s Laura Turner takes a tour of the FRA, which was recently recognised as “outstanding” by Ofsted, to discover more about what it has to offer. — If you presume, as I did before I visited the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA), that it is a learning establishment exclusively for young fashion retail students, think again. The FRA runs a variety of courses throughout the year that are available for individuals of all ages and stages of retail, and for businesses of all sizes, including fashion independents looking to upskill, build knowledge in new areas and get ahead of the game. Established in 2005, the FRA is an employer-led college with charitable status that was initially formed in response to an overwhelming skills gap for new entrants to the fashion retail sector. With leading retailers funding its foundation, matched with funds from the Government, it began life with 50 students in temporary facilities at the London College of Fashion. Within a year, it had acquired permanent premises, which were opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Today, with over a decade under its belt and an “outstanding” grade following a full Ofsted inspection in September, the FRA enjoys a state of the art campus that received a £2 million upgrade last year. Situated in central London, conveniently located close to Tottenham Court road and the city’s fashion hub of Oxford Street, it provides all of the traditional classroom facilities you’d expect, alongside a comprehensive fashion filled library and lecture theatre complete with catwalk, and an array of creative spaces such as a 20-person sewing room and an exhibition space, complete with street-facing windows and internal shop fixtures.


INDUSTRY INSIDER Working with over 130 brands, the FRA provides access to industry through master classes, live industry projects, workshops and placements. Its tutors, meanwhile, are dual professionals, a combination of experienced teachers and industry experts. The FRA’s specialist programmes cover core areas of the retail mix from buying and merchandising through to customer service and marketing. Developed by said industry experts to ensure the content is relevant and applicable to today’s retail business environment, the courses are available for all ages, timeframes, budgets and levels. Full-time courses run from one to two years, while fast-track courses are two days per week over 22 weeks. Intensive courses are designed to get an individual into the workplace in the shortest time possible by learning full time five days per week for 10 weeks, while short courses run from one to five days and are ideal as an entry point or as a skills top-up for independent fashion retailers. The FRA are also adding fast-track two-year degrees to their roster, with the launch of a BA Hons in Marketing and Comms for Fashion and a BA Hons in Business Management for Fashion next September. WHY UPSKILL? The rise of digital shopping channels is forecast to result in 60,000 brand new technical and analytical roles needed in the UK fashion industry in the next five years. According to a recent report published by the

FRA and global strategy consulting firm OC&C Strategy, over half of UK retailers are already struggling to fill the roles required. “The fashion industry is becoming increasingly complex, requiring higher calibre skills than ever before,” says Lee Lucas, principal at the FRA. “However, the future prospects of the industry are not yet armed with those analytical, technical and digital skills required to propel the industry forward. “As an employer-led college, the FRA is in a unique position to help bridge the skills gap for new joiners and help the industry upskill their existing workforce through our existing and upcoming courses and make certain that talent development remains focused on the industry’s imminent needs.” BUSINESS START-UP SUPPORT SERVICE In addition to courses, the FRA has office space to hire, aimed at allowing early phase businesses to access its high quality facilities and deep links with the fashion retail industry whilst being part of a thriving specialist educational centre. Sitting within the FRA’s Business Hub, which was created as part of the recent renovation, the area includes dedicated desk space in a partitioned ‘pod’, which can include a networked PC terminal, landline and a host of other features on request. By creating a friendly, busy and vibrant working environment, the aim is to provide substantive opportunities for businesses to grow.


FRA COURSES RELEVANT TO INDEPENDENT RETAILERS START UP AND RUN YOUR OWN FASHION BUSINESS This intensive five-day course provides all of the tools necessary to plan a fashion retail business. Providing a step-by-step guide from initial business concept to business success, it offers insight into all aspects of running a bricks and mortar or online retail business. The course includes study of the elements involved in the start-up process, including brand positioning, shop and stock selection, finance and forecasting, market research, and display and customer service. It incorporates a combination of theory, discussion and practical workshops delivered by tutors with expertise in the area of fashion business start-ups. Dates: 23-27 January 2017 / 15-19 May 2017 Price: £495 INTERMEDIATE MERCHANDISING This three-day course provides a more in-depth study of the practical realities of merchandising in the fashion retail industry. To undertake this course, individuals should have either completed the FRA Introduction to Merchandising course or have relevant experience working in the fashion retail industry. A good understanding of this business function and the different elements involved is required. Experience of working with Excel is also essential as study will involve the use of mathematical formulae and

calculations. The course sees the principles and practices of merchandising explored and specifically, analysed in terms of how it is applied in different retail businesses, including e-tail. Dates: 16-18 January 2017 / 8-10 May 2017 Price: £375

of working with Excel is essential as the course includes working with mathematical formulae and calculations. Dates: 16-20 January 2017 / 8-12 May 2017 Price: £695

INTERMEDIATE BUYING This two-day course provides a more in-depth study of the practical realities of buying in the fashion retail business. The components of successful buying functions are explored and specific areas examined. This course is suited to those looking to develop or progress their career in buying. To undertake it, individuals should have successfully completed the FRA Introduction to Buying course or have relevant experience in head office environment in an administrative role (MAA or BAA). Dates: 19-20 January 2017 / 11-12 May 2017 Price: £275

FASHION RETAIL MATHS This one-day workshop covers the more complex calculations commonly used within retail fashion buying and merchandising departments, providing delegates with a practical insight into how analysis and statistics are used by fashion buyers and merchandisers to maximise commercial success. Through a combination of theory, discussion and practical examples, the workshop aims to demonstrate that business mathematics is vital to fashion retail. The course is structured around real-life business scenarios to put the theory into context. Start Date: 13 March 2017 Price: £199

INTERMEDIATE BUYING AND MERCHANDISING FIVE-DAY INTENSIVE This five-day course provides a more in-depth study of the practical realities of buying and merchandising in the fashion retail business. This course is suitable for those looking to develop or progress their career in buying or merchandising. To undertake this course, individuals should have successfully completed the FRA Introduction to Buying and Merchandising course or have relevant experience in head office environment in an administrative role (MAA or BAA). Experience

EXCEL FOR RETAIL This one-day workshop covers the more complex theory commonly used within retail fashion buying and merchandising departments. Through a combination of theory, discussion and practical examples, the workshop demonstrates that Excel is vital to fashion retail. The course is structured around real-life business scenarios to put the theory into context. Date: 14 March 2017 Price: £199



ON THE SHOP FLOOR Andrea Gray, retail and shows director at British lifestyle brand Joules, explains the key points to consider when creating the right in-store experience. —

Take them on a journey The very front of the store is where you first grab the customer’s attention, so it’s important to think about how you use this space. However, it’s arguably even more important to keep customers engaged as they explore the store. At Joules, research has told us that our customers love our core product as much as they do our latest ranges. We use this insight to create points of interest throughout the store – these might be different fixture types, mannequin groupings that give outfit inspiration or fixture placement to lead the customers to shop the full range. We also use directional signage to help our customers find what they need quickly; we want customers to enjoy shopping in-store with us, so it is just as important to make the shop easy to navigate as it is to keep it interesting.


us to move store layout to suit each market, so in some stores a certain range will play a bigger role than others. One example of this is our new Edinburgh store – our biggest yet at 3,000 sqft – where we have worked hard to make sure men have a great shopping experience. The shop fixtures and the colour scheme on the walls are more masculine, and we’ve incorporated seating, for men to relax and enjoy the store. As a result, we’ve got a great space to showcase our autumn/winter menswear product, and the response so far has been really positive.

It’s not a case of ‘one size fits all’ The most successful stores will be carefully designed to meet customer needs, but it’s really important to bear in mind that customers’ needs vary depending on where they are. People who live by the coast will have different requirements and expectations to those living in the city – selling buckets and spades in our London stores just wouldn’t make sense. At Joules we’ve approached this by segmenting our estate. Seaside-specific ‘pick me ups’ are sold in our 28 ‘coastal’ stores (at locations including St Ives and Padstow), whilst a travel-focused offer can be found in our ‘travel stores’ at Stansted Airport, St Pancras International and Waterloo stations. Through segmenting our stores, we can better cater to our markets. In our coastal stores, for example, we have a broad range of product in case the weather turns, one of the children has spilt an ice cream over their shirt or a member of the family has forgotten their wellies. Similarly, certain ranges are more popular at some stores than others. Our shopfit allows

Make it a connected experience Stores are about more than just selling; they are an opportunity to raise awareness for your brand in new markets, build brand loyalty and interact with customers. This engagement can and should be utilised across all channels. As a multichannel retailer, our other channels – online, catalogue and wholesale – are always considered within the development of our retail estate. I think it’s really interesting that whenever we open a new store, we often see a positive response from customers through increased online orders for delivery to nearby postcodes. Additionally, we offer Order in Store and Click and Collect in all our stores and also collect customer data in-store as well, to keep our customers up to date on our offers, events, openings and of course new ranges. I can’t talk about being connected without talking about tech. A lot of brands are thinking about how they can incorporate the latest technology into their stores, but it isn’t always that simple. At Joules we want our stores to be a reflection of the brand. We are a British brand that started in the countryside and celebrates a love of the outdoors, so a store full of high tech digital displays and gadgets wouldn’t really work. Always think about what’s right for your brand and your customers. When it comes to creating the right in-store experience, the main thing is to stay true to the customer. If you’re thinking about their needs and wants, you shouldn’t go wrong.

Stores are about more than just selling; they are an opportunity to raise awareness for your brand in new markets, build brand loyalty and interact with customers.

Though many retailers are reducing their retail estate, I believe stores still have an important role to play in today’s multichannel world. They provide a physical touchpoint with customers and through options like click and collect and in-store returns, can often make the buying process smoother – especially for those less familiar with online shopping. A strong store strategy will complement other channels, creating a cycle of brand awareness, customer acquisition and loyalty. Moreover, the most successful stores offer a quality customer experience: they have a carefully considered layout and atmosphere, staff with great product knowledge who are able to meet customer needs and, importantly, provide a link with other brand channels to offer a seamless, integrated multichannel customer experience. At Joules, stores feature heavily in our growth strategy – in fact, we’ve just opened our biggest ever store in Edinburgh, and we plan to open 10 to 12 stores a year for the next couple of years. Each store opening for us is really special. Teams across the business collaborate to ensure that we choose the very best sites, then work to exceed our customers’ expectations by offering the right product and the right journey, every time. To make sure we get all this right, we spend a lot of our time in stores, listening to customer and team feedback and using that information to constantly evolve and improve. Below are a few bits and pieces that we’ve learned along the way.


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NEUTRAL TERRITORY CWB’s pick of gender-neutral kidswear collections. —

WYNKEN > Wynken is a new UK label of unisex kidswear for 2-11 years. The 70-piece collection includes printed jersey T-shirts, sweatshirts, printed and plain woven trousers, shorts, culottes and shirts. In outwear, there are showerproof ponchos and for the winter season, wadded jackets and knits. A small range of accessories, including caps and socks, also feature, as do some pieces just for girls in dresses and skirts. The brand describes its look as “laid-back cool”. Use of colour, in single hues or combinations, is key. Prints are often graphic but to avoid hard lines, they are softened through over-dyeing or by being printed on to soft chambray bases with tonal colours. Wholesale prices £8-£50.

< THE BUNTING TREE UK label The Bunting Tree offers gender neutral, 100 per cent GOTS certified organic cotton clothing for children aged 0-5 years. Bright and bold prints with a distinct retro feel are used across a small collection of T-shirts and long sleeved tops. The Bunting Tree launched with two weather themed prints, ‘Brollies & Blizzards’ and ‘British Summer’. More print designs and garments are due to be added to the collection soon. Wholesale prices £9-£10.



SHAPES OF THINGS > Hailing from Scotland, unisex label Shapes of Things launched in 2012. The brand offers a 182-piece collection comprising a design-led yet functional kids’ range for 0-8 years alongside a small selection of adults’ and lifestyle products. The basic product line consists of T-shirts, sweatshirts, baby products, backpacks, cushions and blankets, all featuring a playful and interactive twist. In terms of design, Shapes of Things is all about geometry, and this is reflected throughout the range. Interesting shapes, textures and colours are all essential to its designs, with key pieces including the Polka Shapes Backpack and the Tri Tri T-shirts. Wholesale prices £10-£18.



KIDULT & CO > Established in 2015 by three friends, Kidult & Co is a British-designed unisex clothing and lifestyle brand for 0-6 years. A simple monochrome colour palette is combined with gender-neutral designs across short and long sleeved T-shirts, bodysuits, hats, jumpers and bibs. Statement T-shirts are key to the offer, with the a/w 16 collection including a ‘When I Grow Up’ design to encourage kids to follow their dreams and be who they want to be when they grow up, regardless of gender. Kidult & Co supports Action for Children, a UK children’s charity that mirrors the brand’s ethos that every child should be given the same opportunity in life. A donation to the charity is made from the sale of every Kidult & Co ‘Equality’ T-shirt. Wholesale prices on request.

Designed and made in the UK, new label Born Free & Me is all about keeping children young, fun and individual. Designed to achieve the right mix of cool and practical, it offers gender neutral clothing for 0-4 years. The mix and match collection is mainly monochrome for ease of styling and prints are bespoke to the brand. Pieces include leggings, sweatshirts, bibs, blankets and bedding, with rompers soon to be added. In collaboration with independent designers, Born Free & Me releases designs one at a time, with each design used across a variety of products. For instance, the brand’s sloth design is available as leggings, bibs, blankets and cot bed sheets. Wholesale prices £3.49£19.99.




LIL’ CUBS Lil’ Cubs launched in 2015 bringing bold unisex patterns with a retro, Scandi twist to newborn babies and toddlers. The collection, which comprises around 27 pieces, uses 100 per cent premium jersey cotton and eco-friendly dyes. Prints include ‘Cloud & Bolts’, ‘Penguin’, ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Apple’. In terms of garments, Lil’ Cubs offers zip-up babygros – the zip fastening designed to provide a clean look as well as making it easier to use – and leggings with practical, cuffed ankles. Dribble bibs, swaddle muslins and muslin squares are also available. Wholesale prices £5-£8.

SCAMP & DUDE > Launched last month, UK brand Scamp & Dude offers clothing for 1-6 years. The 28-piece collection comprises T-shirts, two styles of sweatshirt, two styles of leggings and a hoodie. The brand look centres on leopard prints, super heroes, lightning bolts, oversized sweatshirts and leggings while colours are grey marl and coral and green and navy melange. For an imaginative touch, a neon pink lightning bolt features on all garments, designed to act as a ‘superpower button’ that gives kids a burst of strength when they need it most. Elsewhere, the slogan “a superhero has my back” is featured on the back of plain T-shirts and sweatshirts to remind kids that a superhero is watching over them at all times. Women’s leopard print sweatshirts are also available to match the kidswear. Wholesale prices on request.


< PEACELOVE-KIDS Launched this year, Israeli childrenswear brand PeaceLove-Kids for 1-8 years offers a “unisex, urban mixture of comfort and coolness”. Key pieces include a bomber jacket with slanted front pockets, a peace-sign pullover, 100 per cent cotton baggy trousers with a monochrome print and elastic waistband, a hooded playsuit with all-over monochrome print and front zipper and the brand’s wardrobe essential, the high collar biker jacket. Hoodies, onesies, leggings, printed T-shirts and some dresses and skirts are also available. Wholesale prices $17-$40.



GOGANGA STAND B6 Goganga is a new Swiss brand distinctive and unique, the clothes’ comfort and wearability express character and strong personality. The Goganga child is practical and fun. The style is meant for everyday wear. Tel: 0041 919126000 Email:

LAZY BABY STAND E30 Lazy Baby provide organic baby clothing to make you smile. Offering a range of beautiful soft, organic brushed cotton, long and short sleeved t-shirts, hooded tops and baby grows that reflect a fun positive lifestyle. Tel: 07967 471406 Email:

MARMAR COPENHAGEN STAND B22 Established in 2008. A danish children’s fashion brand, with sophisticated, cool luxury clothes for boys and girls. From newborn to 14 years old and a special collection for women. Tel: 07855 509069 Email:

ADELITA’S STAND C16 Adelita’s was born from the passion for little girls’ dresses and especially for the details and the quality of the materials in each piece. Hand-crafted for little girls aged 3 to 7 and a world apart from the mass-produced numbers that flood the shops. Tel: 0040752199299 Email: NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 25


EXHIBITION CALENDAR CWB’s guide to the autumn/winter 2017 trade shows. —

PITTI BIMBO 19-21 January 2017 Fortezza da Basso, Florence For a/w 17, Pitti Bimbo will return for its 84th edition, presenting a full overview of children’s fashion from baby through to teen. New to the event this season is Fancy Room, a space dedicated to children’s accessories, games, gadgets and technology. Another new feature making its debut is The Nest, a project dedicated to creative research in kidswear. Located on the lower level of the show’s main pavilion, it will offer an exclusive selection of small, creative independent brands selected in collaboration with Littlepopup, the Berlin-based store/concept lab. Other a/w 17 highlights include fashion shows; Pitti Bimbo Editorials, an exhibition of objects under the theme of Pet Family and Mini Traveller; Fun Glasses, a pop-up dedicated to kids’ eyewear; and The Magical Page, a collaboration with Bologna Children’s Book Fair showcasing a series of small publishing houses from around the world and their books for kids.

BUBBLE LONDON 29-30 January 2017 Business Design Centre, Islington, London For a/w 17, premium children’s trade show Bubble London will present a diverse line-up of kids’ fashion, footwear, gift and interiors brands. This season’s highlights include the return of Bubble Bump, the event’s showcase for maternity and nursery labels, which for a/w 17 will include new signings Squidge and Pip, Motherly Love, Hello Mum and Mama and Belle alongside returning brands KeriKit and Avery Row. Bubble’s innovative pop-up area, POP, is also back, playing host to new exhibitors such as Bulb London, iPiccolino, Matana Kids, Mueslii, Mooi by Lienkie, RedButterfly and Sleepy Doe, with JAM London, Patito Bebé and Georgia in Dublin among those making their return for a/w 17. Elsewhere in the exhibition there will be a Green Ambassador initiative headed by Leonora Bamford of parenting blog My Baba, who will be championing the show’s organic and eco-friendly brands. Other features include new panel discussions, seminars, and a collaboration with design-led bakery BKD, who will be hosting fun cake decorating and biscuit icing sessions for kids.

KLEINE FABRIEK 8-9 January 2017 Amsterdam RAI 26 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

CHILDREN’S CLUB 8-10 January 2017 Javits Center, New York

TOP DRAWER 15-17 January 2017 Olympia, London


CIFF KIDS 1-3 February 2017 Forum Copenhagen Fashion and lifestyle fair CIFF KIDS is set to present 300 brands from the children’s universe for a/w 17. Constantly working on increasing exposure to media and customers, as well as establishing new collaborations and special projects, CIFF Kids aims to create a platform for brands to present their products, build their image and gain new customers. Housing both fashion and interior labels in its own inspirational space in the centre of Copenhagen, each edition of CIFF Kids aims to bring new and exciting collaborations with artists, magazines, bloggers and creative minds from the children’s industry. This season’s brand signings include Angulus, BoBo Choses, Mini Rodini, Tinycottons, Gro Company and Mads Nørgaard.

INDX KIDSWEAR 12-13 February 2017 Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre, Solihull The a/w 17 edition of INDX Kidswear is set to be its largest to date with over 180 brands. Exclusive UK signings this season include Losan, Lelli Kelly Clothing, Blue Seven, Bea Cadillac and Fluffy Flamingo. Key returners, meanwhile, include Isoki, A.Dee, Dandelion Clothing and Kris x Kids. Mayoral, iDO by Miniconf, Sarabanda and Tartaleta are among the show’s returning European exhibitors. A comprehensive christening and occasionwear offer will also feature, with collections from Peppermint Phoenix, Pretty Originals, Next Generation, Premier Designs and Sevva. Admission to the show is free, but reserved for independent retailers only. Parking, exhibition guides, lunch and refreshments are complimentary to all visiting buyers and exhibitors.

MODA FOOTWEAR 19-21 February 2017 NEC, Birmingham Presenting dedicated children’s area Mini Moda within the context of the UK’s most comprehensive trade footwear event, Moda Footwear makes a welcome return for a/w 17. Brands confirmed within Mini Moda include Lelli Kelly, Froddo, Catimini, Bobux, Richter, Pom d’Api, RAP, Ricosta, Bo-bell, Petasil and Daisy Roots, all exhibiting within the vibrant and colourful setting of the UK’s national destination for kids’ footwear. The wider footwear show meanwhile will play host to an extensive range of family lifestyle brands including Ecco, Superga, Skechers and Xti, offering footwear retailers and dedicated childrenswear buyers alike the chance to buy across the sectors within one convenient location.

PLAYTIME PARIS 28-30 January 2017 Parc Floral de Paris

PLAYTIME NEW YORK 12-14 February 2017 Metropolitan Pavilion, The Altman Building, New York.

PLAYTIME TOKYO 21-23 February 2017 Belle Salle Shibuya Garden, Tokyo NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 27



S/S 17 CHILDREN’S EDIT CWB’s pick of children’s giftware set to showcase at the s/s 17 edition of Top Drawer on 15-17 January 2017 at Olympia, London. —



01: JELLYCAT Established in London in 1999 and designed in the UK, Jellycat soft toys are suitable from birth. Every year Jellycat launches dozens of original designs made from the most luxurious of fabrics and inspired by international trends. 02: DIDDYWEAR Diddywear started life as an online store for personalised baby clothes, but on its search to include some accessories, it discovered brands that were unavailable in the UK. Diddywear now represents those brands in the UK, one of which is Wild & Soft, which offers soft animal heads for wall décor.





03: PLAYFOREVER Playforever offers a collection of timeless heirloom toys. The brand, which is sold in over 20 countries worldwide, draws inspiration from iconic racing cars and fighter planes from the 1920s, as well as classic 1960s New York, technical car design and automotive styling. 04: THANDA Inspired by South African heritage and the desire to promote sustainable living, ecological awareness and a more mindful existence, lifestyle brand Thanda embraces the imperfections that arise when goods are handmade, reused and recycled. The children’s range includes gift bags, homeware and accessories.


05: STITCH & STORY Stitch & Story is a new knitting brand aimed at revamping the craft with all-in-one DIY knitting kits. Founded by two young entrepreneurs, the duo’s passion for knitting has helped push the kits into mainstream media and onto the high street. Stitch & Story are also advocates of the Campaign for Wool. 06: ORANGE TREE TOYS Orange Tree Toys was established in 2000 and is run by sisters Anuja Wilson and Lamani Simons. The company, which has been growing steadily over the years, designs and manufactures both bespoke and own brand products and also has the licence for brands such as Peter Rabbit and Paddington Bear.


Style GUIDE:

WILD & GORGEOUS Necklace £9, 020 3176 6088 —

MIDGET GEMS: CWB’s pick of kids’ jewellery designed to capture the imagination.

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale

ROCKAHULA KIDS Bracelet £2.50, 01462 429744 —


LITTLE STAR Necklace £18, earrings £8.50 020 8878 9385 — 30 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

A MINI PENNY Necklace £10, 07985 324142 —

MOLLY BROWN LONDON Bracelet £16.70, 020 3142 6630 —










01: TUTU DU MONDE Stardust crown headband Price on request 01935 826071

02: MOLLY & MOO Beau Bunny hooded towel £12 07876 647262

03: PINK LINING Captain Amazing overnight bag Price on request 01293 592 170

04: HAM Sliding Rabbit screen print Price on request 07583 910222

05: LITTLE MASHERS Sweatshirt with a chalkboard dinosaur that can be repeatedly drawn on and wiped clean with a damp cloth. £12.50 01424 422786

06: FROM BABIES WITH LOVE Organic and ethical toys (matching cards available) £7.95 each 0800 689 1912

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 31

Kidiliz Group UK Ltd. 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, London SE1 7NN Tel: +44 (0)207 025 7850 / Fax: +44 (0)207 734 4399



Independen REtail Awards






CAROLYN JOYCE Carolyn Joyce has worked in e-commerce for over seven years. She previously worked as category manager for childrenswear at House of Fraser before joining the curated online marketplace as category manager for baby and child.

Sponsored by:

IAN WATSON Ian Watson was appointed CEO of James Southall, the parent company of Start-rite Shoes, in February 2016. He brings with him wide knowledge of global markets and a passion to improve profit and grow the 224-year old company in today’s changing retail environment.




LEONORA BAMFORD, ELLIE THOMPSON AND KRISTY ROBERTSON The team behind the popular online parenting and lifestyle magazine My Baba offer expert advice and information on all aspects of fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and parenting.





ANDY SMITH Andy Smith is sales director of schoolwear accessories supplier William Turner and has worked for the company for 38 years. He is also a co-founder and director of the trade exhibition The Schoolwear Show, which is dedicated solely to the independent schoolwear retailer.


LIZ PILGRIM Liz Pilgrim has worked in the maternity, baby and kids’ industries for over 20 years; first as a marketer, then as a buyer for 10 years for her own babywear retail business, babye, before becoming an agent. Liz is now editor of her own trade blogzine,

LINDSAY HOYES Lindsay Hoyes is event director of the UK’s leading kids’ trade show, Bubble London. An expert in children’s fashion and the wider industry, Lindsay has been overseeing Bubble, and curating its unique brand edit, for over nine years. LAURA TURNER Laura Turner is editor of CWB magazine and, the UK’s only trade platform dedicated exclusively to the childrenswear sector. Working in the industry for over 12 years, Laura is a trusted authority on both retailers and brands.

#wearthecrown NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 33



Independen REtail Awards


BEST KIDS’ STORE WINNER: COOL IN CLOTH Elizabeth Mason opened Cool in Cloth in Barnstaple, Devon in 2009 to cater for quality-conscious parents and grandparents and those with an interest in design and ethical sustainability. Mason initially planned to open two further stores in Bath and Birmingham, having successfully hosted pop-ups in both areas. While demand remains – Mason has another two pop-ups this winter – family commitments and the challenging retail environment have seen her bide her time, focusing instead on the Devon store, its online business and building her retail experience. Mason attends both national and international trade shows to source product. Equal effort is put into the visual merchandising, with customers’ children invited to generate display themes, which are recreated with supersize props. Cool in Cloth works hard to stand out from the crowd, with a particular focus on boyswear, a keen eye on sell-throughs and a constant stream of new and small companies added to the portfolio. Tactics for a positive customer experience include a loyalty card offering a free pair of shoes for every sixth pair bought or a £15 voucher for clothes; gift wrapping for all purchases; a review email for customers to rate their experience; and everyday delivery for online orders, including Sundays. BRANDS INCLUDE: FUB, Coq en Pâte, Bobux, Livie & Luca, Frugi, Waddler, Pigeon, Scandi Chic, Boba, Danefæ, Mini Rodini, Little Green Radicals and The Lovely Light Company.

Judge’s comment: “A commercially-focused, progressive independent who incorporates pop-ups, e-commerce, social media and keen customer service into its strategy. The strong boyswear offer and focus on small labels adds a great USP”. Laura Turner, editor, CWB

Sponsored by:





CISSY WEARS London children’s boutique Cissy Wears has been trading since 2012, providing customers with a carefully curated offering. The approach to visual merchandising is equally meticulous, showing confidence in the design and aesthetic of every item. Clutter is avoided in favour of a minimal, clean look for the store. Building a brand, not just a shop, the retailer’s aim is to empower mothers through a community built around its retail space. Cissy Wears’ marketing is primarily focused on social media, specifically Instagram, while a PR company handles its press. Plans for the retailer include the introduction of a lifestyle blog to accompany the store offering. BRANDS INCLUDE: Bang Bang Copenhagen, Beau Loves, Luckyboy Sunday, MarMar Copenhagen, Mini Rodini, Tocoto Vintage, Bobo Choses and Soft Gallery.


NIDDLE NODDLE London children’s store Niddle Noddle is designed to look like a child’s bedroom, rather than your standard high street shop. Its aim is to bring new and small labels to style conscious parents, with a brand mix all about exclusive finds, which aren’t already widespread in the UK market. The retailer rarely buys full collections, choosing instead to pick and mix from multiple brands to create a varied and interesting choice. To market the store, Niddle Noddle makes use of blogs and magazine advertisements; long term goals include growing the website, which has already been relaunched. BRANDS INCLUDE: Petit Lucas du Tertre, Djeco, Nadadelazos, Arsène et les pipelettes, KidO and multiple smaller labels and makers.


PIXIE CHILDRENSWEAR Launched in 2010, Pixie Childrenswear is located in the heart of Hale village in Cheshire. The New York-inspired boutique’s extensive offering includes clothing and accessories for 0-14-years alongside educational toys, gifts, and nursery furniture. As an independent, Pixie Childrenswear believes in supporting the local community, particularly small business, and showed this by initiating Hale Business Association, a traders group that has been running for two years. Pixie Childrenswear launched a new, fully responsive website in 2014, supported by social media tools and digital platforms including e-newsletters, advertorials and blogs. Free competitions and online order discounts are used to drive traffic. BRANDS INCLUDE: Scotch Shrunk, Angel’s Face, Levi’s, Petit Bateau, Lego, Amplified, Djeco, Wild & Gorgeous, John Crane, Mini Melissa, Mini A Ture and No added Sugar. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 35



Independen REtail Awards


BEST NEW STORE WINNER: OUR KID Manchester children’s fashion and lifestyle store Our Kid began life in 2013, initially operating online and via pop-ups. In June, its founders, local mums Kate Heaton, Laura Day and Tess Grindle, opened the first Our Kid bricks and mortar store, complete with a family café serving locally produced drinks and snacks. Our Kid’s progressive mix of retail and café/communal space has lent a distinct social aspect to the business, which in turn has helped it quickly integrate into the local community. That, and the retailer’s strategic partnerships with other local business and its MVPs – Most Valuable Parents – which include local bloggers and parent influencers. Our Kid works closely with its MVPs to help spread positive word-of-mouth about the business and in turn, they receive enhanced loyalty benefits and are rewarded for introducing new customers to the store. The plan for Our Kid is to be a nationally recognisable, community-focused retail brand offering a multi-concept, modern approach to shopping and socialising across the north west – and ultimately the UK – recruiting local parent influencers in each area along the way. BRANDS INCLUDE: Tobias & the Bear, Boys & Girls, Little Green Radicals, Candy Bows Tutus, Blade & Rose, Slugs & Snails, The Bright Company, Organic Zoo, Maxomorra, Tiba & Marl, Lara & Ollie, Nor-Folk and A Lovely Little Company.

Judge’s comment: “A clear understanding of the importance of parent influencers and social media has helped to create a unique and forward-thinking concept store.” Carolyn Joyce, category manager for Baby & Child at

#wearthecrown 36 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016



FUNKY MONKEY Funky Monkey opened last year in Penarth, Wales, with a focus on bright and colourful ethically sourced and organic childrenswear. Visual merchandising is key for the business, with the premises’ large window space utilised to its full potential. Changed at least twice a week, the retailer has established a local reputation for its fun window displays. Funky Monkey is well marketed, using devices ranging from billboards, Facebook campaigns and website promotions through to leafleting within the locality. It also partners up with neighbouring organisations, including a local shoe shop, on incentivised promotions, runs events and even hosts a Christmas grotto. Funky Monkey’s website is used primarily for online sales, but also to keep customers informed about the business’s latest news. BRANDS INCLUDE: Frugi, Piccalilly, Toby Tiger, Gro and Bonnie Jean.


LITTLE POPPETS CHILDRENSWEAR Little Poppets Childrenswear opened last year in Pot House Hamlet, Barnsley, but recently relocated to a busier spot within the brand new Sheffield retail park Fox Valley. As well as increasing footfall, the business’s new premises has a second floor that has been transformed into a baby and toddler play destination. At a cost of £2.50 per child, it offers an array of toys and facilities. The area is also used by the retailer to host a toddler session once a week and is hired out for various baby classes, including massage, yoga and ballet, all of which create a frequent stream of relevant visitors to the store. BRANDS INCLUDE: Frugi, Kite, Piccalilly, Boboli, Mayoral, Hatley, Lilly + Sid, Blade & Rose and Zippy Bibs.


MILKSHAKE BOUTIQUE For Wilmslow-based Milkshake Boutique, social media is a key part of its marketing strategy, as is working closely with schools. The retailer also draws attention via its sleek and professional store design, which includes clean and clear window displays that utilise hanging rope features as opposed to traditional mannequins. In-store merchandising is organised by brand; future plans are to create a premium brand area within the store. Means by which Milkshake Boutique offers a personal service include keeping customers informed in advance of what is coming in-store and providing advice on pulling together outfits for occasions. BRANDS INCLUDE: Moncler, Mayoral, BOSS, Chloe, Billieblush, Billybandit, Molo, Mini Rodini, Ralph Lauren, Little Marc Jacobs, Bob & Blossom, aden + anais, DKNY, Canada Goose, Fendi, Simonetta and Jessie & James. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 37



Independen REtail Awards


BEST ONLINE STORE WINNER: BIBALOO launched in 2009, born of the desire to introduce under-represented French childrenswear labels to the UK. Today, still exclusively online, the retailer has a portfolio of over 40 brands, shown via a contemporary website with a magazine-style homepage. Owner Anne Wright, together with her daughter and the business’s head of buying, Charly Wright, meticulously examine Bibaloo’s offer, carrying out weekly reports on sell-throughs for all brands, closely monitoring bestsellers, and gaining valuable insight into the next season. Constantly on the lookout for new labels, the duo help secure the right collections for the business by visiting trade shows, reading trade media and analysing customer feedback. Bibaloo utilises most forms of digital marketing channels including affiliate, paid search, social media and email as well as investing heavily in original content created by its style team. Customer service includes free delivery options in the UK, free UK returns and exchanges, and contact via phone, email, social media or the site’s recently introduced ‘live chat box’ option. Post-purchase reviews enable customers to share their experience on social media. Other highlights include personalised styling, a wardrobe building feature and regular competitions and giveaways. BRANDS INCLUDE: Petit Bateau, Mayoral, Paul Smith Junior, Absorba, 3 Pommes, Karl Lagerfeld, Catimini, Levi’s, Billieblush, Billiebandit, Bobo Choses, Aston Martin, La Queue du Chat, Molo and Weekend a la Mer.

Judge’s comment: “A wonderful site – we love the look of it, the layout is brilliant, and free delivery is what it’s all about! Great store.” My Baba Team

#wearthecrown 38 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016



CRAB AND THE FOX Established this year, the current focus of is brand awareness and driving people to the site. To do this, it utilises Google AdWords, SEO, Facebook advertising and Instagram as well as working with bloggers and product testers. Free shipping is offered for orders over £40 and paid-for faster postage methods are also available. Full tracking is provided by default, and customers are sent email updates throughout their order. Reviews (via Feefo) are encouraged, and made public for the benefit of future customers, while a new loyalty scheme – Foxy Rewards – sees points gained for orders, referrals and visits, which can be exchanged for money off in-store. BRANDS INCLUDE: Albetta, BabyLit, Blade & Rose, Dotty Dungarees, Fresk, Kippins, Kokoso Baby, Lara & Ollie, Lifefactory, Love Mae, Modern Burlap, Nature Zoo, Noodoll and Panda & Ping.


HIP LITTLE PEOPLE began trading in 2014, offering children’s clothing, gifts and décor. New brands are sourced from kids’ trade shows in Paris and London and via Instagram and Pinterest. Marketing of the business is conducted through a PR, strong social media presence across all platforms and through work with relevant bloggers. User-friendly across all devices, the website offers a clean, stylish and contemporary look, with its distinct branding created by a Bristol artist with a popular following. Hip Little People helps add personality to the business via a blog and the recent introduction of video content, which it posts via YouTube and social media. BRANDS INCLUDE: Mini Rodini, Bang Bang Copenhagen, Beau Loves, Little Eleven Paris, Tiny Cottons, Tobias & the Bear, Organic Zoo, Tootsa, Amy & Ivor, Jax & Hedley and A Lovely Little Company.


ROSES AND THE STARS New this year, aims to become a brand in its own right and to be the go-to place for premium quality nostalgic gifts for babies and their mothers. Being personable and approachable within the online domain is key for this business. As a result, it encourages and welcomes any sort of customer communication with a friendly and open manner, whether that be email, phone or social media. The website itself has been designed to be easy to navigate, with a simple layout to appeal to consumers of all ages and genders. Free shipping options are offered, along with a flawless gift wrapping service. BRANDS INCLUDE: Olivier Baby and Kids, Waddler, Poco Nido, Donsje, My Little Cozmo, Blossom Paris, Camomile London, Petit Pehr, Olli Ella, Polka Dot Club, Wooden Story and Rachel Jackson.




Independen REtail Awards


BEST BABY STORE WINNER: THE COTTON NAPPY COMPANY Midwife Anna Leeksma knew she wanted natural products for her own baby, including cotton nappies. A lack of helpful, clear advice resulted in her testing numerous brands and styles, inadvertently becoming a ‘nappy guru’, and opening her own retail shop, The Cotton Nappy Company, in Leamington Spa. Since the store’s opening in 2009, the product range has grown from cloth nappies to include a wide range of natural parenting products such as baby slings and carriers, organic baby clothing, baby swimwear, barefoot shoes, maternitywear, changing bags, gifts and toys. Everything is vigilantly hand-picked by Leeksma, who is still a midwife and now also a mum of four. The store provides tailored, independent advice on a wide range of products including baby sling, baby carrier and nappy demos, with customers able to test run and hire baby slings before they buy. Continually increasing its offer to parents, the business recently launched a new in-store sensory room available for drop-in sessions. This is in addition to a feeding room, changing facilities and a studio space for baby massage classes. The business prioritises integration with parenting groups and antenatal classes, leading to strong relationships with local nurseries, baby and toddler groups and other parent-focused local facilities. BRANDS INCLUDE: Frugi, Tots Bots, bumGenius, Kite, Piccalilly, Bobux, Pediped, Livie & Luca, Toby Tiger, Bambini & Me, Minene, Ergobaby, Tula, Beco, Splash About, Lassig, Popolini and Bright Bots.

Judge’s comment: “Love the niche speciality – great to see a USP thoroughly thought out and executed. Great selection of brands that meet the shop proposition. In a saturated market, independents have to stand out, and this is a great example of an independent doing just that.” Liz Pilgrim, editor,

#wearthecrown 40 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016



EXPECTING Expecting has been trading from Gillygate in York since 2000. Launched as a specialist maternity shop with a focus on maternity and nursing bra fitting, it has since expanded into baby clothes, gifts and toys. Every customer to the store receives a personal shopping experience, with in-depth information available on all products and special orders available on request. To market the business, Expecting uses a Facebook group and website called the York Mumbler, which has thousands of local mums and dads as members. Going forward, the aim is to grow the website’s revenue to match the shop’s success, making all products available online, as well as increasing social media presence. BRANDS INCLUDE: Boob Design, Anita Maternity, Emma-Jane, Melobaby, Blade & Rose, Cheeky Chompers, Piccalilly, Powell Craft and No Added Sugar.


LITTLE STAR CO. Established in 2014, Little Star Co. is a specialist baby boutique situated in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The aim of the business is to provide high quality baby goods coupled with exceptional customer service, in order to make a special purchase memorable. The retailer does this by ensuring customers have all the knowledge they require to make informed decisions regarding what they need for their baby. Flexibility then comes to the fore, with payment plans, 24-hour communication and out of hours appointments to fit around busy mums’ and dads’ schedules. Marketing includes adverts in local magazines, social media interaction and an online digital advertising campaign with Google Adwords. BRANDS INCLUDE: Bugaboo, iCandy, Joolz, Cybex, Mima, aden + anais, Jellycat, Cloud B, Piccalilly, Dot & Co, Natures Purest, Elodie Details, Bambini & Me, Storksak and Pacapod.


THE LITTLE NATURAL CO. The Little Natural Co. opened in Lewes, East Sussex last year offering design-led organic and natural products for babies and toddlers. Offering a retail space which is simple and minimalist in style, features include birch wood hanging rails to display clothing, with only four colours used per rail to ensure hero pieces stand out. Window displays are refreshed weekly, with one dedicated to baby and the other to toddlers and kids. Now, with over a year’s sales history, The Little Natural Co. is focused on establishing bestsellers and calculating budgets and orders accordingly to support organic growth for both the bricks and mortar and online business. BRANDS INCLUDE: Mini Rodini, Organic Zoo, Petit Stellou, Gray Label, Noe & Zoe, aden + anais, Wolfie + Willow, Cowshed, Jack N’ Jill, Bebe Organic, Love Soap, Hevea and L H Designs. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 41

Junior Design Awards GOLD 2016 Prima Baby & Pregnancy Awards GOLD 2016 Red Dot Design Awards WINNER 2015 The Dad Network Awards GOLD 2016


For more information, contact Mark Collins | WWW.BOBUX.CO.UK

Please come and see us at:

BUBBLE LONDON Business Design Centre, London Stand D21 29 - 30 January 2017

MODA NEC, Birmingham Stand 41, Hall 17 19 - 21 February 2017 E: M: +44 (0)7796 766669 T: +44 (0)1707 888388

FRODDO is celebrating 70 years this year.

FRODDO are delighted to congratulate their UK stockists Just Little Feet and Cooshoo for being chosen as finalists in the Best Footwear Store in the CWB INDEPENDENT RETAIL AWARDS.



Independen REtail Awards


BEST FOOTWEAR STORE WINNER: COOSHOO Cooshoo opened in Birmingham in 2014 with the aim of offering children a wide choice of footwear styles from brands that are good for developing feet, coupled with an outstanding fitting service. To market the business, director Anna Swift uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote new and seasonal products and engages with relevant bloggers on topical content. Targeted Facebook advertising is employed at specific points in the year as well as adverts in local magazines. Cooshoo also carries out direct showcasing of products to six fee-paying schools, for which it is the recommended supplier of school shoes. A Cooshoo app is available with product, service information, and a loyalty scheme, and the website is set to be further enhanced by transferring the business’s in-store fitting expertise to the web and producing videos to answer common questions. Cooshoo follows Society of Shoe Fitters training, offering a fitting service tailored to each individual pair of feet that assesses foot shape as well as length and width. Appointments for children with special fitting needs are available, as is a discount for twins. Cooshoo also provides e-photo frames for ‘first shoes’ purchases and piloted a lace-tying workshop. Business goals are to increase the customer base by 50 per cent by 2017 and to have three stores in the West Midlands by 2021. BRANDS INCLUDE: Camper, Dr Martens, Geox, Bobux, Ricosta, Petasil, Primigi, Pippo, Livie & Luca and Salt-Water.

Judge’s comment: “Good business goals and very strong on social media platforms and online marketing activity.” Ian Watson, CEO of James Southall, parent company of Start-rite Shoes

Sponsored by:




BILLY GOAT Established last year in Hampshire, Billy Goat strives to make the job of purchasing children’s shoes an enjoyable, stress-free experience. Means by which it does this include an appointment system during busy periods to ensure customers are not waiting long, and the regular hosting of podiatry days to allow parents to discuss children’s foot health with an expert. Other efforts to keep stress levels at bay include a large toy box to ensure children are entertained and plenty of space to manoeuvre pushchairs. Billy Goat uses social media and email to help maintain communication with existing customers as well as sharing footwear advice and tips. BRANDS INCLUDE: Start-rite, Geox, Petasil, Ricosta, Bobux, Skechers, Hunter, Plae, Salt-Water and Crocs.


JUST LITTLE FEET Just Little Feet opened in Scissett, Huddersfield, in 2012 offering a wide choice of brands and an in-depth fitting service that ensures children are wearing the right shoes for the right occasion and are free of foot health problems. The retailer offers a popular loyalty scheme, which 97 per cent of its customer base participates in. There is a recommend-a-friend scheme offering in-store vouchers, secret sales, flash sales, and additional discounts for loyalty card holders. Facebook competitions, targeted promotional campaigns and an Angulus VIP scheme, whereby members get a three-day preview on new stock, also feature. Just Little Feet has a website and utilises all social media channels. Brands include: Angulus, Bo-Bell, Bobux, Camper, Chipmunk, Crocs, Froddo, Hummel, Noel, Pediped, Salt-Water, Shoe-Pom, Start-rite and Superga.


TIGER FEET Located in Dunfermline, Scotland, the Tiger Feet store offers artistically displayed children’s shoes, with windows themed and changed frequently to engage passers-by. Every customer is treated as a VIP; names are remembered, background is provided on brands and products and explanations given why a particular style is best for a customer’s feet. Tiger Feet utilises Facebook and its website for marketing, as well as sponsoring local school and nursery events. It also runs competitions, offers a discount to twins and a 25 per cent discount on every fifth pair of shoes. The Tiger Feet experience completes with a sweet for the child and a loyalty card for the parent. Brands include: Start-rite, Ricosta, Primigi, Petasil, Super Fit, Dr Marten, Geox, Vans, Converse, Lelli Kelly, Birkenstock, Lurchi, Bobux and Starchild. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 - 45

Wish to congratulate the winner of ‘ BE S T FO OT WE AR S TORE 2016 ’


Mix & match our great suiting options. Our stocked senior suiting range continues to expand. There are plenty of ‘mix & match’ options when it comes to our grey senior suiting range. All styles are available from stock and are ideal for secondary schools, 6th forms and Academies.

Introduced at this year’s Schoolwear Show our modern grey jackets for boys and girls are designed using the popular specification of our Eco-jackets. Made from the same durable fabric as all our stocked trouser and skirts, simply mix and match styles to create a suit.

Durability in mind. Ethics at heart.

The above ‘mix & match’ option strengthens our full suiting range, including the ‘Academia’ range from stock. The Academia range of poly/wool blend jackets has expanded to now include a Boys slim fit trouser (based on our DL959) and Girls straight skirt. Creating a smart and stylish look the whole year through.

Explore the range. Call 0161 272 7474 or visit for further product information.



Independen REtail Awards


BEST SCHOOLWEAR STORE WINNER: BRENDA’S Brenda’s in Camberley, Surrey, was established in 1949 by Brenda Francis. Today, the business is run by Francis’s grandson, Steve Optix, alongside his mother and business partner, Jan Green. This retailer’s focus is on providing customers with a contemporary, colourful and well-laid out store together with the best in customer service and a year-round stock holding of durable, cost-effective school uniform and associated product. In line with its dedication to meeting customer demand, this summer saw the business expand with the opening of another shop. Conveniently located opposite Brenda’s premises, Shoes 4 School is devoted purely to school footwear and accessories. Transparency is core to everything Brenda’s does and this also applies to its staff. The business provides an open door policy for employees and equally, requests they reflect this same candidness towards customers. Something of a pioneer in schoolwear retail, Brenda’s has been utilising store epos systems for over 20 years, has hosted a website for 16 years, and has been selling school uniform online for 12 years, offering a one-off, next day delivery charge of £3.95 or a click and collect option. Brenda’s is a retailer keen on communication, keeping its customers and schools informed via email, social media and a blog. SUPPLIERS INCLUDE: Trutex, David Luke, Rowlinson Knitwear, William Turner, Opro, Maru, Helix, Rosti Mepal, Pod, BMB, Innovations, Zeco and Winterbottoms Schoolwear.

Judge’s comment: “The best merchandised store and a good, forward-thinking retailer with a modern approach.” Andy Smith, sales director, William Turner

Sponsored by:




FOSTERS SCHOOLWEAR Located in Bishop’s Stortford, Fosters Schoolwear offers a retail outlet, online store and hosts pop-up shops at schools. To ensure a positive customer experience, it promotes honesty and prioritises doing “the basics brilliantly”. Communication is key for this retailer, who as well as visiting schools, sends monthly emails to parents highlighting seasonal offers. Fosters Schoolwear is currently going through a rebrand, which it is working on with a local marketing company. The results will see an overhaul of the business’s appearance, processes and marketing strategies. SUPPLIERS INCLUDE: David Luke, BMB, Gregory Pollard, Reydon, Opro, Pen Carrie, Gilbert, William Turner and Helix.


KOOL KIDZ The business goal of Wetherby-based Kool Kidz is to provide a “high level service-driven retail business, offering first class products to all of the primary and secondary schools locally”. Showing creativity in terms of its marketing, Kool Kidz works with a local estate agent to promote a discount scheme to new residents in the area. A friendly service is cited as key to the retailer’s success, as is ensuring that all children who visit the store are provided with comfortable, well-fitted garments. Plans for the business include redesigning the current website – which already offers a popular ordering and delivery service – to include further technology and allow for an even more customer-friendly experience. SUPPLIERS INCLUDE: BMB, Rowlinson Knitwear, David Luke, Sportex, Manchester Clothing, Brennand Schoolwear and Tieweave.


TOTAL CLOTHING Run by a former teacher, Total Clothing in Peterborough operates under a set of clear business goals. To ensure its staff are happy and in a good working environment – staff are provided with a training plan, with goals for each role; to deliver a unique customer experience, making the buying process as easy and as enjoyable as possible; to ensure uniform is delivered to parents on time, every time; to work closely with schools and parents to educate them on the benefits of a smart, good quality uniform and to ensure it never runs out of a stock holding line – a guarantee it gives to its schools. To make its marketing as efficient as possible, Total Clothing utilises a communications calendar, whereby it diarises all of the key events in the school calendar and runs its marketing around them. SUPPLIERS INCLUDE: BMB, Trutex, David Luke and Russell Schoolwear.


FULL RANGE OF SCHOOLWEAR AND SPORTSWEAR AT UNBEATABLE PRICES WITHOUT COMPROMISE ON QUALITY Westwood House, 28 Knowsley Street, Manchester, M8 8HQ Telephone: 0161 8391862 Email: Order by Calling in Store, by Email or by Telephone

320GMS, Teflon Coated, Scuff Proof Washable Blazers • Embroidery screen printing • Heat press available for all your personal needs

“Simply The Best Blazers In The United Kingdom” PART OF


Over 35 years’s excellence in manufacturing And supplying SchoolWear



53: News

54: Back to School buying CWB speaks to school uniform retailers about their buying for Back to School (BTS) 2017 and how they feel about business in the year ahead.


We’ll always be around to support our retailers.) Why working with us works for you… We think it’s important to work with those who respect the market, and the place we each have within it. That is why we will… • Put your business and its future as our number one priority • Always be passionate supporters of the retail trade • Be dedicated to ethics and fairness in everything we do Visit to discover more about us or call 0161 272 7474. #workingtogether

Durability in mind. Ethics at heart.

204972_Magazine-Advert-half-page_update.indd 1

15/11/2016 16:38


Schoolwear NEWS:


The latest news from the schoolwear industry. SCHOOLWEAR ASSOCIATION ANNIVERSARY

DAVID LUKE ENHANCES TRADE WEBSITE Following customer feedback, David Luke has made further improvements to its trade website, Launching before the new year with an updated look and smooth navigation, the refreshed trade site has been designed to be even easier to use than previously. While former key benefits remain, namely priority despatch and live stock levels, upgraded functionality features include mobile/tablet responsiveness, which as well as providing a more modern look, will enable trade customers to order from any device at any time. Changes to the website will be made live towards the end of this year. In the meantime, retailers can continue to use the current website. —

Everactiv is a new independent UK sportswear brand designed with junior and youth athletes in mind. The debut range for girls offers bright, patterned and fun technical garments for the 8-14 year age bracket. Suitable to be part of a school PE kit, or for training and competition, highlights include technical sports leggings, three-quarter length leggings, shorts, T-shirts, long-sleeve T-shirts and crop tops. The brand, which is currently trading at pop-ups, junior sports events and online, is seeking sportswear independents and school uniform retailers amongst its stockists. Wholesale prices range from approximately £7.80 to £15. —


MAPED HELIX TEAMS WITH MATTEL BRANDS The trade body for the school-specific uniform sector, The Schoolwear Association (SA), chose the recent edition of The Schoolwear Show to help mark its 10th anniversary. Pictured above are the four chairmen who have presided over the SA in its 10 years, including its current chair, CURIOUS ORANJ David Burgess of David Luke. The SA represents the interests of more than 200 specialists, including retailers, suppliers, wholesalers, fabric manufacturers and garment decorators. An established industry voice and a force for fair and ethical trading, the SA encourages best practice via a series of initiatives, including the development of a robust Code of Practice for members to adhere to. Visit for further information. —


Maped Helix has confirmed an agreement with Mattel to launch its new Fun to Learn brand. Targeting children aged 2-6 years, the new Helix Fun to Learn range offers innovative new products with leading children’s brands including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder. The School Essentials Packs will be the first products to launch, with each pack containing uniquely branded stencils, colouring pencils, scissors, a jumbo pencil, ruler, eraser and sharpener. The partnership cements Maped Helix’s place as number one in the educational stationery sector, following its range of maths sets gaining 91 per cent market share over the last 12 months. “We’ve secured four fantastic licences, opening up our products to a new consumer demographic,” says Gray Richmond, Maped Helix MD. Helix’s Fun to Learn product range will be available from March 2017. —

– New Silksworth Academy in Sunderland has donated more than 500 items of unworn school uniform to pupils in Gambia. Sunderland-based charity the Box Youth Project collected jumpers, T-shirts, PE kits, cardigans, coats, book bags and shoes, which were surplus stock from the academy’s school shop. The items will now be sent to school children in the poverty stricken Gunjar region of Gambia.

Counting on Gloves, or COGS for short, is a new product designed to help children memorise times tables as well as supporting cognitive development and helping build confidence. Reflecting the Government’s agenda that all children should learn their times tables by the age of 11, the one-size-fits-all gloves cover the times tables from 1 to 10. The numbers themselves are embedded within the gloves, which are machine washable. Available in blue, grey, pink and red, the gloves wholesale for £4 per pair. —

– Baldwins Department Store in Halstead, Essex, is the newly opened replacement for the former menswear and school uniform outfitter Frank Smith and Sons. With Frank Smith and Sons having been a popular destination for schoolwear, Baldwins Department Store will continue selling school uniform under the banner of Frank Smith and Sons schoolwear.

– Shropshire embroidery company Sewprint has invested more than £40,000 in a six-head Tajima embroidery machine to boost capacity. The firm, which relocated to new, larger premises earlier this year, supplies and produces embroidered schoolwear, sportswear and workwear. Plans for 2017 include taking on more staff and an apprentice.



BACK TO SCHOOL BUYING CWB speaks to school uniform retailers about their buying for Back to School (BTS) 2017. —


What stood out for BTS 2017? BMB’s acquisition of Orion and its new sportswear range. Were post-Brexit price increases evident? Yes, very much so. My suppliers have announced price increases ranging from 5 per cent to 11 per cent as a result of Brexit. Some suppliers have already increased their cost prices, whilst others are not doing so until December or after Christmas. This has made me look at switching suppliers in the short term, although in the long term, there is probably little point as ultimately they will all have increased their prices by around the same amount. I am considering placing bulk orders before Christmas in order to beat the January price increases. 54 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

Do you feel confident about business going into 2017? No, I do not feel confident at all, for two reasons. Firstly, the huge cost price increases we are now experiencing will squeeze margins significantly. Inevitably, we will have to put our prices up, which will have a negative impact on sales as I will not be able to maintain key price points and therefore customers will not buy as much. I expect inflation will start to rise in all consumer markets in the new year, which will mean customers will have less money to spend and they will be much more careful about what and how much they buy. I have already noticed a much more cautious approach to buying school uniform since the referendum: customers bought less than they usually do this summer, taking a “we’ll just buy one for now and see how we get on” approach. Secondly, I am also facing an astronomical increase in business rates from April, following the UK Government’s recent revaluation of business premises. Unlike many of my counterparts in England, who will be exempt from business rates from April, my

rates will be doubling every year for the next four years because I am based in Wales. This is because the Welsh Government has chosen not to implement the same Small Business Rates Relief scheme that will be introduced in England from April. Over the next four years, my rates will increase by 400 per cent from £985 pa currently, to £5k pa. Frustratingly, if I were in England, I would not have to pay any rates at all. This is such a huge increase that it is seriously threatening the ongoing viability of my business. As you would expect, I am challenging this situation with both the Welsh Government and the UK Valuations Office. I had several capital investment plans in the pipeline for next year – a new van, website development and promotion, the possibility of opening a second shop, as well as wanting to recruit additional staff – but I have put everything on hold until I have more clarity on both the impact of Brexit and the situation with business rates. The only plans I am exploring now are range extension opportunities with the schools I already supply.

Have you taken on any new suppliers or products for BTS 2017? No, I am happy with the suppliers I already have – BMB, Balmoral, David Luke, William Turner and Tie & Scarf Co.


Have you taken on any new suppliers or products for BTS 2017? I’ve not taken on a new supplier for 2017, but I did buy from two new suppliers in 2016 (1880 Club by Douglas & Grahame and Prestige Schoolwear). I tend to use The Schoolwear Show to see those suppliers we use whilst keeping an eye out for anything new in the market. What stood out for BTS 2017? There seems to be an increasing supply of sublimated sports kit from various suppliers and to be honest, it was difficult to identify any significant difference in many of them. Were post-Brexit price increases evident? Most of the suppliers had announced various price increases before The Schoolwear Show, so yes, it was pretty evident this was very widespread. It did not mean I would adjust my buying, I try and get my orders all in place well before Christmas anyway, so that is no different. I feel the danger of buying smaller quantities would be to be vulnerable at the busiest times, when suppliers may not be able to get the stock required through quickly enough. Do you feel confident about business going into 2017? I feel extremely confident going in to 2017; almost all of our suppliers performed well in 2016 and BTS went smoothly. I feel communication with your suppliers is the key: place the orders in full, early, and get the stock in place, hopefully avoiding the last-minute panic. By working with our suppliers and where possible, remaining loyal to them for many years, I feel this helps when problems arise. We aim to take on some new schools this year if possible and feel that there is potential for further growth in the future.

PAUL WILDING PARTNER, GRAYS, STORES IN BLACKBURN AND CLITHEROE Have you taken on any new suppliers or products for BTS 2017? Yes, we have been testing the David Luke day skort at one of our large primary schools and the feedback has been incredibly positive from parents and children alike. We are also currently showing the Bergoni part sublimated PE kit to several senior schools and expect many to move for BTS 2017. What stood out for BTS 2017? David Luke is yet again ahead of the game with innovation – its new Academia range is fantastic. I also thought the new Trutex coloured shirts and blouses are great for schools who want the bespoke look without the price that often comes with it. Were post-Brexit price increases evident? Price increases are inevitable, not only due to Brexit, but also workplace pensions and the rise of the living wage. I feel as schoolwear retailers that we have been lucky to not incur large increases for many years. I’m happy with the suppliers that we use, and the level of service they provide. As a company, we will continue to work closely with our suppliers and as such, our buying levels will remain the same. Do you feel confident about business going into 2017? Yes, we are confident. We are finding more and more that parents are looking for quality garments and as such, don’t mind paying that little bit more to ensure the garment lasts. Our plans over the coming months are to overhaul our website and refit our Blackburn store in the style of our much more modern Clitheroe store, as well as planning for a smooth BTS 2017.

PANY KOKKINI OWNER, THOMAS SCHOOLWEAR, DULWICH Have you taken on any new suppliers or products for BTS 2017? Not really. The schools we service are consistent in what they want, so we usually go back to our regular suppliers as we trust them and it works well. If you have a great relationship with a supplier then we believe it’s better to stick with what works. What stood out for BTS 2017? The 50/50 cardigan by Gregory Pollard seems to be gaining popularity. It’s a cardigan manufactured in Turkey made from 50 per cent cotton, and 50 per cent acrylic, yet it feels just like cotton. It’s been around five or six years so it’s not really new, but I’ve noticed that it’s become more prominent this year. Turkey is quite a relevant manufacturing destination; it’s a good alternative to far away destinations like China, though manufacturing is fickle and this is changing again due to geo-political factors. Thermal gloves seem to be more technical for BTS 2017 and generally more popular, too. Were post-Brexit price increases evident? Yes, and they are affecting myself and other retailers in quite a big way. There was an initial five per cent cost increase, but this is set to increase again in January, so ultimately, we’re looking at a 10 per cent increase. It’s something we all have to swallow, but if the increase is passed down to the consumer, they may choose to go to Primark, Matalan or the supermarkets instead of their independent schoolwear retailer. I tend to order from my suppliers online in small regular quantities, so the price increase has not changed the way or quantities I buy, but everyone is undoubtedly being more cautious. Do you feel confident about business going into 2017? We experienced a small upturn last year and a couple of small schools joined us so I am feeling confident about 2017. That said, you can’t just sit back and expect business to come to you; you have to stay on top of everything to keep a business going. Our plan is to keep growing and maintaining the quality customer base and relationships that we have. As retailers, we’re all feeling the squeeze, from above through rents and from below through the consumer. Customers, like everyone else, are feeling the pinch and are having to make buying decisions based on their budgets, too.

MATTHEW HARRISON MANAGING DIRECTOR, SIMPLY UNIFORM, DERBY Have you taken on any new suppliers or products for BTS 2017? Yes, Marathon Bags and also new sublimation kit and sportswear from BMB following the takeover of SWI. We have also taken on additional items from William Turner, with water bottles and pencil cases. What stood out for BTS 2017? The Actus range, especially for school staff, looks a good offering and is one we are already getting positive responses and enquiries from schools for. Were post-Brexit price increases evident? We have not really noticed a large impact so far through our purchasing. Do you feel confident about business going into 2017? Yes, extremely confident. We have extended our showroom and taken on two extra staff and an apprentice. We are also now offering in-house printing along with our in-house embroidery. Ranges are also increasing within our online store.







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ORCHARD AGENCY Chris, Carol, Lisa & Ray are the team behind Orchard, a leading second generation childrens clothing agency in the UK, with expertise in London and the South East. Orchard Agency, 28 Fourth Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DX Tel: 01255 674301 Email: carol&




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Established for over 25 years, two generations, covering all areas of the UK. Representing leading brands from Europe and Canada, catering for boys and girls 0 to 16 years. Styling from contemporary to traditional. FUN & FUN, LE CHIC, DEUX PAR DEUX, NO NO, BOBOLI, FOQUE, SARDON, LARANJINHA, JEYCAT Weldon Agencies, Southport, Merseyside Tel: 01704 576033 Email:,

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NAMES & NUMBERS: A AliOli Kids 020 3286 1451 A Mini Penny 07985 324142 B Beau Loves 020 7729 2470 Born Free & Me 07973 324199 Bubble London 020 7596 5061 C Counting on Gloves (COGS) 0845 604 5996 D David Luke 0161 272 7474 E Everactiv 07766 737616 F Froddo 01707 888388 From Babies with Love 0800 689 1912 Frugi 01326 558462 H HAM 07583 910222 Hannah & Tiff 020 3176 4476 J Joules K Kidult & Co 07875 404146 Kite 01202 733222 Konfidence 01566 777887 L


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M Maped Helix 01384 286860 Minimalisma 0041 7639 02174 Molly Brown London 020 3142 6630 Molly & Moo 07876 647262 P PeaceLove-Kids Pink Lining 01293 592170 R Rockahula Kids 01462 429744 Rosalitas Senoritas/Rosalita Baby 07710 594445 S

Scamp & Dude 07903 033252 Schoolwear Association 0116 204 4862 Shapes of Things 0141 328 1094 Smalls 020 7002 7799


The Bunting Tree 07780 112351 The Fashion Retail Academy 0300 247 4000 The Little Green Sheep 0800 028 1433 Three Bags Full 0808 1893110 Top Drawer Travis Designs 01442 289898 Tutu Du Monde 01935 826071

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CAROLINE FLOOD Commercial director, Frugi In August, Caroline Flood was appointed commercial director of UK organic childrenswear brand Frugi. Tasked with supporting Frugi’s continued growth, her role will see her drive forward the brand’s overall sales strategy and support its domestic and international expansion. — LT: What are your views on the current childrenswear market? CF: In 2015, the UK childrenswear market continued to grow in both value and volume terms and in the last five years, growth in global childrenswear sales has outpaced that of both menswear and womenswear. Like adult clothing, the childrenswear market is experiencing a level of polarisation that favours both a value offer and designer brands. At high street level, children’s clothing has begun to imitate adults’, as parents’ desire for their children to be a ‘mini-me’ has increased and their consumption habits have shifted towards more frequent purchases.

Laura Turner: What is your professional background? Caroline Flood: I have over 15 years of sales experience in both retail and wholesale environments, predominantly within the beauty industry, having worked in sales roles for L’Oréal and CARGO Cosmetics and as a buyer at Sainsbury’s. Prior to joining Frugi, I was head of wholesale at Cath Kidston. LT: What attracted you to Frugi as an employer? CF: I really believe in the founders’ vision, that you can create a great brand whilst upholding strong environmental and socially beneficial beliefs. Frugi may have green genes, but it’s also a brand that embraces innovation and has a history of growing at a consistently fast rate; it’s certainly going to be an exciting place to work. Not only are there great products at Frugi, there are great people, too. It’s a really fun, fast-paced working environment and I’m particularly excited about the new product development we have planned for future seasons, as well as working to bring on board new retailers, both in the UK and abroad. LT: What are your key strengths and how do they align with Frugi? CF: During my career I’ve worked with many different department stores, both in the UK and Europe, and this experience, combined with my success at bringing on board new business, is perfectly aligned with Frugi’s international growth strategy. I also speak French, Spanish and Portuguese, which will 58 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

help us target new markets where these languages are spoken. Additionally, I can help provide direction to our field-based sales team and support in achieving our strategic goals, while at the same time providing them with a way to share their ideas and feedback with our colleagues based in our Cornwall head office. LT: What’s your leadership style? CF: Motivational, with open, direct and honest feedback, which is also how I like to be managed. In a recent 360-degree feedback I was described by my team and peers as “a supportive and committed leader”, “informal but focused manager” and “proactive and organised”. LT: What’s first on your agenda? CF: The focus of my role is sales growth. I’ll be leading our sales team to help them deliver both their sales targets and excellent customer service, while also working with internal departments such as marketing and design to ensure we have a consistent and clearly defined sales and marketing strategy with exciting and innovative products launching each season. LT: And your long-term plans? CF: Frugi has already grown at an incredibly fast rate since it started in 2004 and I intend to continue this trend. It’s my role to identify the best route to market to deliver maximum sales revenue and optimum customer experience, and that might be direct to consumer, wholesale, agents or distributors.

LT: What are your views on organic clothing? CF: I believe organic clothing is the best thing you can dress your children in. It’s super soft, kind to delicate skin, durable and better for the environment. Historically, organic clothing has been restricted to plain designs and muted colours. At Frugi, we have revolutionised the organic childrenswear market by creating fun, bright organic clothing with animal characters loved by parents and children alike. Organic clothing is a niche but growing sector. LT: What are the key areas of growth for Frugi? CF: Frugi already has a strong following in the UK and Germany and we can leverage this brand awareness to drive both domestic and international expansion. We have a multiaward winning, ethical range of gorgeous, 100 per cent organic cotton clothes for 0-10 years, but there’s scope to widen the range further to include exciting new product categories. LT: What’s in-store for the a/w 17 collection? CF: Our a/w 17 theme is The Circus of Colour. We’ve taken a bold approach with bright autumn-inspired tones and prints with beautiful and fun appliqués, innovative designs and products that we hope will make playtime even more magical. Through our designs, colours and fun characters, we want to engage little ones and make Frugi clothing the brand that both parents and children reach for first when getting dressed in the morning. LT: What’s the next phase for Frugi? CF: It’s an exciting time to be part of the Frugi family. In addition to my appointment as commercial director, there have been other key recruits to strengthen the team and prepare us for the next phase of growth. Global expansion and product innovation are our top priorities.