A FRESH LOOK AT KIDS’ FASHION, FOOTWEAR AND LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS
BUBBLE LOOK-BOOK Industry experts’ style picks for the new season A SMALLABLE FORTUNE How online retailer Smallable is revolutionising the kids’ market MODA FOOTWEAR Preview of the children’s s/s 16 collections
www.cwb-online.co.uk August/September 2015 Issue 95 £9.95
Be discovered... LONDON
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CONTENTS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
22: Ways to pay What it takes to start selling online successfully
06: News 08: NCWA 12: Open for Business Legal and business advice plus industry opinion 18: Retail Therapy Store profiles and retail news 20: Brands to Watch Editor’s pick of brands 48: Style Guide Swim and beachwear 49: Laura Loves The coolest products for kids 66: Talking Point: James New, designer and co-founder, Jessie & James
44: Moda Footwear Previewing the kids’ footwear collections at this season’s show
24: Digital marketing Growing and optimising your digital marketing 25: Blogging for beginners Top tips on blogging for retailers 26: A Smallable fortune How online concept store Smallable is revolutionising the kids’ market 30: Stepping up the game What’s new in footwear, as seen at this season’s Bubble London
SCHOOLWEAR 53: News 60: The promwear debate Whether it is a viable business option for schoolwear retailers
32: Stars of the show The winner and highly commended finalists of Bubble London’s Rising Star competition 35: The s/s 16 Bubble Look-book Industry professionals style product from the exhibition
Front cover: Plae 07947 301292 www.goplae.com
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 03
COM MENT: This season, on behalf of CWB, I was given the opportunity to create, and bring to life, a boy’s and girl’s outfit from the new season’s collections featured at July’s Bubble London.
The project was a collaborative affair between Bubble London, CWB and uShoot Studios – a unique product photography studio in Islington’s Business Design Centre that can produce web-ready shots in minutes. As part of a group of industry professionals, I scoured the show for my picks of the s/s 16 collections, which were styled into outfits and photographed on uShoot’s machines. The result is the Bubble Look-book, which starts on page 35. Also this issue, beginning on page 22, is a four-page special of ecommerce business advice including “how to grow and optimise your digital marketing” and “blogging for beginners”. In keeping with the digital theme, we also speak to Cecile Roederer, founder of leading online fashion and design concept store Smallable, on page 26. Dedicated entirely to premium products for 0-16 years, Smallable sells over 10,000 products, spanning teenage, kids, interiors and lifestyle from 450 brands. And with recent investment totalling ¤5m, the business is set to continue revolutionising the kids’ market. Elsewhere, with August being one of our footwear-focused issues, you will find a preview of the children’s collections available at the forthcoming Moda Footwear show, which takes place on 9-11 August, as well as a round-up of what was new in footwear at Bubble London in Stepping up the Game on page 30. Findings from a recent One Poll survey commissioned by GoCompare.com
Editor Laura Turner firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Isabella Griffiths email@example.com Christina Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Victoria Jackson email@example.com Editorial assistant Rebecca Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org Sub editor Amanda Batley email@example.com Designers Michael Podger firstname.lastname@example.org Clive Holloway email@example.com James Lindley firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Boyle email@example.com Senior sales manager Sharon Le Goff firstname.lastname@example.org Sales executive Fiona Warburton email@example.com Subscriptions firstname.lastname@example.org Head of childrenswear Lindsay Hoyes email@example.com Editorial director Gill Brabham firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing director Stephanie Parker email@example.com Managing director Colette Tebbutt firstname.lastname@example.org Reprographics/printing Image Data Group Ltd 01482 652323
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COMMENT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
confirmed proms are a key date on the UK school calendar. The UK high-school prom industry is now worth nearly £90m a year, with the average cost of a child’s prom being £190 – up 23 per cent from 2013. In light of this, promwear is the hot topic for our schoolwear section of the magazine, namely whether or not it is a viable market for schoolwear retailers to tap into. Promwear suppliers and schoolwear retailers voice their opinions on the subject in The Promwear Debate on page 60. Before I sign off, I want to remind you about the CWB Independent Retail Awards. We’ve had a deluge of applications since its launch in June, but if you haven’t already, do consider applying – you have until 30 September 2015 to do so. Simply fill in an application form at www.cwb-online.co.uk and join the celebration and promotion of your industry. 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 RAS Publishing Ltd. Other titles include WWB and MWB. RAS Publishing is an ITE Group company.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 05
NEWS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
CWB NEWS: WEST END AND KNIGHTSBRIDGE RETAIL JOBS
D FOR DIAMOND LAUNCHES CAPSULE COLLECTION British children’s jewellery brand D for Diamond, whose signature is to set a diamond into every piece of its jewellery, has introduced an exclusive winter capsule collection. Inspired by festive icons and emotive sentiments, the range offers pieces that can be engraved with a message or personalised, while others feature red enamel detailing on styles such as a robin and a snowman. To complement the range, D for Diamond has introduced a new winter-inspired point-of-sale display, which is dusted with sparkles and can be used in windows or on counter tops. Wholesale prices range from £10 to £39.20 for silver pieces. —
Central London is set to benefit from 2,000 new jobs as a result of proposals to extend Sunday trading hours. The commitment, which will see Londoners employed throughout the West End and Knightsbridge, is supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson MP and some of the UK’s biggest retail players. The pledge from West End and Knightsbridge businesses comes after the Treasury revealed it is to consider giving local areas the power to extend trading hours for retailers. Chancellor George Osborne cited New West End Company research in the announcement, confirming an extra two hours of trading on Sunday would boost Central London businesses by £260m each year and provide over 2,000 additional full-time retail jobs. —
TOOTSA MACGINTY X SALT-WATER SANDALS Unisex British kidswear label Tootsa MacGinty has collaborated with American heritage footwear brand Salt-Water Sandals to create an exclusive colour-block style. Part of Tootsa MacGinty’s s/s 16 range, the unisex sandals are made from Salt-Water’s water-proofed leather and come in a bright primary colour palette, complementing the brand’s French-inspired s/s 16 collection. Also available to order in adult sizes. —
BUBBLE SEES INFLUX OF FIRST-RATE BUYERS
NEW CONTEMPORARY BABY BAGS Tiba + Marl is a new brand, launching with the aim of redefining the staid tradition of baby bags. Founded by Anna Tizard, former senior bag buyer at Topshop and Urban Outfitters, and Lydia Barron, previously a footwear and accessories designer for Kurt Geiger and Sigerson Morrison, Tiba + Marl combines modern graphic prints and premium and high-tech materials with stylish yet practical design. Features that come as standard include a padded changing mat, insulated bottle holder, smartphone and iPad pocket, key fob, and a co-ordinating, removable water-resistant clutch with a cross-body strap. Shapes are trend-driven, including sports-luxe backpacks, stylish totes, modern satchels and chic holdalls, thus providing a life for the items beyond a nappy changing bag. —
The s/s 16 edition of Bubble London opened its doors to scores of high-quality buyers last month, with the number of department stores, North and Midlands buyers and overseas retailers in attendance all increasing significantly. The kids’ trade show experienced a six per cent year-on-year rise in overseas visitors, while the percentage of department store buyers attending rose from 3.5 per cent to five per cent. Brands reported increased attention from international retailers following Bubble London’s efforts to increase its overseas visitorship, with the show establishing itself as a key destination for Asian and Far and Middle Eastern buyers and international buying groups, including Dubai’s Chalhoub Group and Boyner Group of Istanbul. “Many British brands are looking increasingly for growth outside their domestic market, and Bubble London is the only UK childrenswear trade show that can really attract the international buyers, who were very much in evidence this season,” says Bubble London’s event director, Lindsay Hoyes. Bubble London a/w 16 will take place on Sunday 31 January – Monday 1 February 2016. —
THE MINI EDIT LAUNCH The Mini Edit is a new online concept store, offering childrenswear, toys and gifting for fashion-conscious parents and gift buyers. Launched by former buyer and Selfridges kids and toys division head Jessica King and her business consultant mother, The Mini Edit aims to provide as “unparalleled level of service and content innovation”. “In the years leading up to the conception of The Mini Edit, we noticed a significant shift in consumer spending habits,” says King. “Customers are moving away from logo-driven designer clothing towards contemporary brands able to respond faster to trends and offer equivalent, if not superior, quality at more attainable price points.” Brands include Stella McCartney Kids and Ruff & Huddle, alongside design-led toy and gift brands such as Lomography cameras. Visit www.the-mini-edit.com. — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 06
NEWS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
RETAILERS TO CUT JOBS FOLLOWING WAGE RISE Small retailers will cut jobs or reduce employees’ working hours as a result of the new National Living Wage, according to a report by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). The organisation polled retailers about their plans for employment, following the announcement in last month’s Budget that the minimum wage will be replaced by the living wage, rising to £9 per hour by 2020. The majority of retailers – 63 per cent – admitted they would employ fewer people, with only three per cent predicting that they would offer more employment than is currently the case. “This will be a body blow to small shops if the government simply imposes this huge jump in cost on a sector already struggling to cope with falling prices, additional pension costs and ever increasing and punitive business rates,” says Bira’s CEO, Alan Hawkins. —
POPPY WILLOW CHANNELS ALL THINGS BRITISH Poppy Willow is a new British-made, British-sourced handmade childrenswear label for boys and girls aged six months to nine years. The brand offers vintage-inspired clothing produced from premium British heritage fabrics including dresses, waistcoats, trousers and tutus, as well as a range of matching accessories. Creative colour matching and bespoke touches of tailoring are key to the overall look. With no minimum order, wholesale prices range from £5 to £30. For more information visit the brand’s new website, www.poppywillowhandmade.com, which went live last month. —
CIRCUS LONDON REBRANDS
POSITIVE CLOSING FIGURES FOR PITTI BIMBO S/S 16
Childrenswear agency Circus London PR, the sister company of Vida Kids fashion sales agency, has rebranded to Vida Kids PR. The name change will see the business bring its PR and sales operations together under one umbrella. “We are excited to re-launch our PR business under the original Vida name,” says Gemma Davis, owner and director of sales and PR. “We now have both companies operating under one roof – which makes sense for business.” Vida Kids is UK agent to childrenswear brands including Bobo Choses, Scotch Shrunk, Scotch R’Belle, Mini Rodini, Hucklebones, Wildfox kids, Ruff & Huddle Soft Gallery, ST Girls, Akid, Jacques & Sienna, Little Remix and Young Soles. —
The s/s 16 edition of Pitti Bimbo, which took place in June at Fortezza da Basso in Florence, saw final attendance figures for buyers in excess of 5,600 over the three-day childrenswear event. Numbers of Italian buyers attending the show remained stable. With regard to international markets, there were positive performances for buyers from Spain (+15 per cent), France (+12 per cent), Belgium (+8 per cent) and also from Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Far Eastern countries. The US and South Korea confirmed previous attendance levels and, while the Russian childrenswear market saw a drop of over 30 per cent, there was a return to growth for Ukraine (+38 per cent). —
NEWS IN BRIEF
HANDS-FREE SHOPPING Trialled at last month’s Regent Street Summer Street Festival, Dropit is a new shopping service that offers same-day delivery from the store to the customer’s door. A dedicated Dropit station introduced the service to London, with the service’s aim being to make Regent Street the first hands-free street in the UK.
HUNTER APPOINTS CFO Benedict Smith has been appointed chief financial officer (CFO) of Hunter, effective 27 July. Smith joins Hunter from Game Digital, where he has been CFO since 2013. Prior to this, his background includes Group CFO of Harrods and CFO of Spirit Group. “Benedict’s appointment comes at a key time for Hunter, as we move into our next phase of growth,” says James Seuss, CEO of Hunter. “His experience will serve us well, including his time at Harrods, as we continue to grow both our retail and wholesale businesses on a global level.” —
SHUSHILALA SHOWROOM OPENING Launched for s/s 16, Shushilala is a new London boutique-style showroom and retail support agency offering childrenswear, footwear and accessories. Located at 91 Brick Lane, The Old Truman Brewery, the showroom is founded by Christhl Scharing and Pan Philippou, who have previously worked with brands such as Maison Margiela, D2, Vivienne Westwood, Acne, Anna Sui, Sonia Rykiel, Bonpoint, Manolo Blahnik, Peter Pilotto, Supreme and Diesel. Brands signed up to Shushilala include childrenswear label Sierra Julian, footwear brand Del Rio London, jewellery by Marta Larsson, and shoes and bags by Bruno Parise Italia. —
SNAPPY SUNGLASSES Luxury UV swimwear label Sand Dollar Swim has introduced a new innovative range of one-size-fits-all sunglasses. Snap Glasses feature arms akin to snap wrist bands so, when not worn, they fold up via hinged lenses and the glasses’ arms – or “snaps” – attach around the wearer’s wrist. Recommended for children over six years, colour options are hot pink and electric blue.
FASHION SVP RETURNS TO OLYMPIA Fashion sourcing event Fashion SVP is returning to London’s Olympia on 29-30 September, showcasing over 150 garment and fabric producers from across Europe and the Mediterranean. Show highlights include a seminar programme with top industry speakers, and the Future Fabrics Expo has doubled in size, presenting the latest in sustainable fabrics. A series of practical workshops has also been launched. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 07
NCWA NEWS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
NCWA NEWS: The latest news from the National Childrenswear Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT: I was delighted to be able to meet some new British brands at Bubble London last month. Their enthusiasm was palpable, their designs were exciting, and the quality of the workmanship in their garments was stunning. They had questions for me, too: Would their clothes meet the Cords and Drawstrings Standard?; How could they find agents?; What should they be aware of (and beware of) in export markets? Some of them had joined NCWA before the show and I was able to help them immediately. With those who were non-members, I was able to give an idea of what NCWA could offer, not least by pointing out one or two items on their stands that would need to be modified in order not to fall foul of a trading standards officer. With its rules for drawstrings, functional cords and decorative cords, which vary according to where they are on the garment and on the size/age group of the wearer, meeting the requirements of the Standard may appear daunting. (Had you realised that a bow is a decorative cord?) NCWA will be holding another of its seminars, on Cords and Drawstrings and on Mechanical Safety, in the autumn, so look out for the details. NCWA can provide advice on a range of issues. It also offers the chance to make savings on a range of services, the most recent addition being energy prices (insurance and photography are two of the others). Members need simply to contact us to find out what to do next. If you are a retailer, we have a series of training videos you can watch, including one on how to visit a trade show. The latter and a “taster” video can be accessed via the homepage – the others are in the Members’ Section. Each video is presented by NCWA vice president, Jackie Cook. All members benefit from a free page on the NCWA website, where you can give details of the brands you supply, represent or sell, your contact details, a link to your own website if you have one, and up to 10 images of your latest designs or of your shop. With the autumn/winter season approaching, this is the time to boost your presence on the internet. You don’t even have to do it yourself – you simply send us the information and we do the rest. At the NCWA AGM in June, David Hull took over as chairman from Sharon Beardsworth, who had completed her three-year term in office. David is an agent in the North West of England, and his vice chairman will be Virginia Ross of retailer Pollyanna in London. Colin Wilson also retired as treasurer and was succeeded by David Burgess of David Luke. To complete the changes, David Parker of retailer Baby Melanie in Liverpool has joined the Council. The Association is indebted to all its officers and Council members, who give so freely their time for the good of the industry. If you would like to find out more about NCWA and what it can do for you, why not look at our website, www.ncwa.co.uk? Further information on NCWA can also be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 020 7843 9488 and speaking to Michelle Payne. We look forward to hearing from you. Elizabeth P Fox.
ICKLECLOUD www.icklecloud.com Based in Tavistock, Devon, Icklecloud’s bricks-and-mortar store opened in May earlier this year. However, the retailer had built a strong following through its website, which was launched in 2013. In-store, customers can expect to find childrenswear, gifts and accessories from Minoti, Funky Diva, Babaluno and Baby Acorn, among others. Originally, the retailer only stocked clothes for babies and children up to 10 years, though recently expanded its age range to 14 years. After strengthening and expanding Icklecloud’s available ranges and brand mix, the business’ owner, Katrina Dennis, will work on an own-brand range to be stocked in-store.
LAVENDER BLU www.lavenderblu.net Lavender Blu offers its customers a host of categories and different brands on its responsive and fully transactional website. The retailer specialises in Spanishwear for children aged 0-8 years, though also offers other shopping options. Visitors can shop the retailer’s babies’, girls’, boys’, shoes and accessories options on the website. Brands on offer include Pretty Originals, Sardon, Nini and Bebe Chic. Links to Lavender Blu’s social media channels are included with most garments so customers can share preferred styles.
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
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 Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX
• Membership is open to everyone involved in the British childrenswear industry. • Associate membership, open to non-British organisations, is now available. Read our blog and follow us on Twitter
• Membership costs from £85. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 08
NCWA NEWS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
FRUGI SELECTED AS AWARD FINALIST
PIGEON SUPPORTS BABY BANK
Having recently scooped Gold for Best Ethical Brand in the Loved by Parents Awards, Frugi has been shortlisted in the Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year category in the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. An all-encompassing range of industries are represented in the shortlists for this year’s awards. The scale of the finalists is just as varied, with companies turning over less than £1m to over £25m. “To have watched our business grow at such a tremendous rate over the past 11 years has been overwhelming,” says Lucy Jewson, co-founder of the organic childrenswear brand. “We’re all extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, and to be recognised for such respected awards is so encouraging.” Finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner held on 10 November at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel, London. —
Childrenswear brand Pigeon Organics is the first clothing company to support the new Baby Bank Network in Bristol. A charitable organisation launched in May 2015, Baby Bank redistributes baby items that are no longer needed to parents who cannot afford to buy them. Having been introduced to the project by one of its Bristol stockists, Born, Pigeon Organics has pledged to donate several boxes of “seconds”, such as garments with small printing faults. “The fantastic thing is that the Baby Bank encourages the re-use of all sorts of baby equipment,” says Pigeon Organics’ director, Jane Shepherd. “Companies like ours are able to donate items that cannot be sold, to families in need.” A Baby Bank Network representative adds, “By donating to the Baby Bank we will ensure that those with the most need get to experience the joy of parenthood with a little less stress.” —
NEW AUTUMN RANGES FROM TRAVIS New autumn launch styles from Travis Designs, which specialises in dress-up apparel for babies, includes vintage-inspired Winnie the Pooh character rompers. The range, which is produced in a soft textured plush with knit detailing and vintage fabric highlights, provides an ideal offer to lead into Winnie the Pooh’s 90th birthday celebrations for 2016. New in the Disney Baby character range for autumn includes Daisy and Donald Duck tabards. Available for delivery at the end of the month, both styles come with a hat and soft matching slip-on bootees with webbed feet. Disney Baby styling is offered from 0-2 years and includes many of the popular baby focused characters across dress, tutu, cuddly tabard and plush styles. —
NEW FOR GIRLSWEAR
MERRYGOROUND UK PRODUCT LAUNCH
ZUMA THE DOG’S RETAIL STRATEGY
New girls’ clothing label, Amabelle, launched its first wholesale s/s collection this season. Taking inspiration from ballet, fairy tales and the 50s and 60s fashion eras, the brand’s offer features high-quality fabrics and materials. Key styles include colourful frilly dresses, pettiskirts, tutus, capelets, tops and accessories that are ideal for parties, weddings and special occasions. For added appeal, all Amabelle dresses and skirts come packaged in a satin ruffle bag. —
MerryGoRound UK manufactures and imports designer, Fairtrade, organic and bamboo babywear and toddler clothing, accessories, washable nappies and gifts from around the world. Following the success of MuslinZ’s 100 per cent cotton muslins range, a new line has been added in the form of a 70 per cent bamboo and 30 per cent organic offer. The first items in the latest collection, which is available this month, are 120 cm wraps for swaddling available in plain white or a leaf pattern in pale pink, aqua blue or green. Sold in packs of two, the wraps wholesale for £10.50. —
This month sees Glastonbury childrenswear brand Zuma the Dog launch a new approach to raising brand awareness in the UK by joining PopUp Horsham, which offers shared retail space to entrepreneurs. The label is available in the pop-up, initially for the first week of August, before making a return later in the year with larger retail space. By joining the pop-up sharing team, brand owner Samantha Morgan-Bertish hopes to create demand for Zuma the Dog by making it more accessible to the high street. “The pop-up share idea is the perfect way to trial new brands, products and ideas without having the full commitment of a shop lease and cost of a standalone store,” says Morgan-Bertish. —
NEWS IN BRIEF
— Global Solutions for Clothing (GSC), which offers wholesale branded product, has developed a new website, www.gsc-ltd.com. The site update coincides with the launch of three new ranges of licensed products available this a/w and also GSC’s JellyBean Kids s/s launch, which it showcased to trade at this season’s editions of INDX Kidswear and Bubble London.
— S/s 16 has seen new childrenswear brand Oh...My! Kidswear adopt a new strategy with the hiring of former Harrods’ buyer, Eleni Koureas-Cornell, as its brand consultant. Koureas-Cornell will grow the label’s wholesale arm within Europe, the USA and Middle East. Oh...My! Kidswear has also signed to an agent to manage its UK and Irish accounts.
— NCWA is regularly approached by companies looking for a UK/Irish agent to represent their range. If you are an agent, and wish to be included on the NCWA agent mailing distribution list, you must be an NCWA member. You can join online from £85 per year.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 09
www.salt-watersandals.com sunsansaltwatersandals sunsansandals See us at Moda, Stand T21
A Modern American Classic since 1944
BUSINESS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
Open for BUSINESS Bringing you straight-talking legal and business advice. STEPHEN SIDKIN PARTNER IN FOX WILLIAMS LLP
IAN TOMLINSON CEO of Cybertill, a cloud-based retail system which incorporates Epos, ecommerce and mail-order applications
APPOINTING AN AGENT BUT CONFUSED BY THE TERMS COMPENSATION AND INDEMNITY? DON’T WORRY Firstly, the confusion is understandable, not least because the laws of many other EU member states use the term “compensation” to mean what English law calls “indemnity”. Second, as with everything in business, you should do what is right for the business. Agents are a tried-and-tested way of entering a new market, launching a new product or focusing on new target customers. They are a relatively low-cost route to market. Furthermore, an agent will not expose you to national insurance contributions. It is also possible to have an agent perform vital services outside of the forward-selling season. What, then, is compensation or indemnity about? Essentially, they are the consequences of the legal principle that, on termination, an agent should share in the benefit of the goodwill that the agent has created for you. Although a “consequence”, the manner of calculating compensation and indemnity is very different. Compensation is concerned with the hypothetical value of the agency immediately before termination to a notional third-party purchaser. The value to a third-party purchaser is usually determined by considering the net income stream that the agency produces. The starting point is the gross annual commission generated by the agency. From this there is deducted the expenses of the agency. Where an agent represents a number of brands, it can be expected that the fixed overheads will be apportioned between the brands. A multiplier is then applied. The size of the multiplier will depend upon various factors including the strength of each of the brands and the agency business itself. Essentially, a form of a price/earnings ratio is applied to determine the value of the agency. Indemnity is different in a number of ways. Firstly, it is much more backwards looking as the starting point is the commission earned by the agent over the five years preceding termination. The average annual commission earned by the agent over
this period is the maximum indemnity that can be claimed. The irony in the confusion between compensation and indemnity is that the amount payable to the terminated agent will always be performance related and is only likely to be a substantial amount if the agent has generated substantial business for the principal. But what can be overlooked are the facts that businesses appointing agents: 1. Rarely take advantage of the various contractual ways that exist to reduce the amount which would otherwise be payable on termination of the agent; and 2. Rarely provide in their budgets for the payment of compensation or indemnity. Unfortunately, the situation can be exacerbated because such businesses are also inclined to overlook the facts that: • compensation or indemnity is payable if an agent dies in services or (in most situations) retires on the grounds of age or ill health; • a well-advised agent will also claim other statutory entitlements on termination. One of the most significant is for commission which has not been paid on unfulfilled orders. Compensation or indemnity? The choice is yours.
GET READY FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON WITH A FREE FESTIVE RETAIL GUIDE For retailers, Christmas generates a huge amount of revenue, and preparing for it can seem daunting, especially if you are an independent retailer stretched for time or feel you do not have the expertise needed to create a detailed plan for a successful Christmas season. For this reason, to help retailers, we at Cybertill have created a downloadable free guide to Christmas retailing. Preparing for Christmas is a year-long process, so it is important to take a step back and plan for the year ahead. Cybertill’s free guide offers retailers a structure to work from to plan their sales and marketing strategy, from setting goals month-by-month and executing strategy through to reporting on sales in January. Other topics covered include understanding what your competitors are up to by comparing like-for-like products; evaluating your suppliers; building a customer database; tactics for collecting data; planning Christmas campaigns; and Sales. For multi-channel retailers with a store and an ecommerce website, it is vital to ensure your strategy integrates both arms of the business. Additionally, retailers who often plan around other yearly events, such as Easter, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Mother’s Day, can easily apply the guide to these holidays, too. Key selling dates are also covered, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which were traditionally American discount days, yet in 2014, they became more prominent and many UK retailers took part. Cybertill’s free guide to Christmas retailing is available for retailers to download now at www.cybertill.co.uk/xmas-guide.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 12
BUSINESS | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
Three footwear retailers evaluate how s/s 15 has been for them, and share their thoughts about the season ahead. — KARINA TYRER Owner, Stomp, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Which brands have been your bestsellers? Converse is always good for us. I tend to find people like to buy things that will last all year – shoes that people know are worth the money because they can wear them to suit the typically cool weather. Geox boys’ trainers always sell well, though the girls’ styles are starting to sell well, too. Petasil is another good, year-round seller that works as a summer shoe. Camper, Ricosta and Pediped also do well. Is there a particular style or trend that has sold well recently? The trainer/casual shoe style has sold well over summer so far. People seem to be wary of sandals at the moment, especially when it comes to little ones. We don’t sell many if it rains, and we haven’t had much of a summer so far. Have customer buying habits altered in any way this year? Not particularly. They always want quality when they come to us, and they always want advice – otherwise they’d go to the local supermarket to buy their shoes. How do you set your business apart from competitors? In summer, we offer appointments after closing hours. This service is always popular with large families because they can get fitted without the usual stress. We also run a loyalty scheme, which offers customers 20 per cent off their seventh pair of shoes bought in-store. With any in-store event or Sale, we send an email notifying the customer. We don’t like to bombard, and find this approach works well. Are you feeling optimistic about autumn/winter? Yes, I always feel more optimistic about the winter selling period because it’s longer and people tend to invest in the covered up style of shoe. We’re selling far more sports shoes, especially hockey boots, to pupils from the local schools – so the school term this year should be a lucrative time for us.
FIONA ANDREW Owner, Hop, Skip & Jump, Blackburn, Lancashire
How has trade fared for you this spring/summer? April was one of our busiest months due to the weather being warm and dry and, with May and June being cold and wet, footfall was definitely down. With good offers, we managed to increase sales on last year. Which brands have been your bestsellers? Our bestselling labels are Lelli Kelly, Bobux and Start-rite. These brands sell well for us as they are an excellent fit, which is important with mums and dads. And with a good price point and durability, they are always a hit. Have customer buying habits altered in any way this year? We have noticed people have slightly more disposable income this year, although they are still cautious. Customers are always happy to spend on designer fashion brands when it comes to their children. What are you buying into this season? For the past 13 years, we have been buying from our many trusted brands from the UK and Europe – which we will continue to do. However, we would like to perhaps expand into more casual, quality footwear for children. It would need to be an affordable price and a good fit, which are important to us. How do you set your business apart from competitors? We are an established fitting footwear specialist and pride ourselves on how we fit children’s footwear. Our business stands out from the others because there are only ever family members serving customers, so our business is truly personal. Are you feeling optimistic about autumn/winter? We are feeling very optimistic, as the brands we stock are fashionable and functional. And, with the economy showing signs of recovery, we are looking to a much brighter future.
NICOLE ROBINSON Co-director, Papouelli own-brand store, London W1
How has trade fared for you this spring/summer? We have had a great spring/summer. The good weather meant people bought sandals and summer shoes early, and they have continued to do so. Have you noticed any popular fashion trends or styles selling well this season? We did a few shoes in snake print this season and they went down a treat. They were cool, but still very cute. Bright colours in general have been fun. The emerald Barnie and bright pink metallic Kitty sandals sold well, too. Have customer buying habits altered in any way this year? We are seeing people buy new-season stock earlier and earlier, so we have to be ready for it. Online is also growing, as people become more comfortable buying shoes this way. Often, they have visited the store and know how our shoes fit and then they are repeat buying. This is very noticeable in school shoes, as once they have found a style that works they take the next size up. How do you set your business apart from competitors? Our shoes are made to our own designs in small family owned European factories, using beautiful leathers and suede – some dyed especially for us. We are very particular about how the shoes fit and wear, and all our staff are fully trained in both shoe fitting and the way different designs work on different feet. Are you feeling optimistic about autumn/winter? We’re getting a positive response to the sneak peeks of a/w 15, and the new collection will hit the stores soon, so fingers crossed. Co-director Maggie Snouck and I have designed lovely boots. As with all Papouelli styles, they are wearable and simple but with a twist, such as winter brights on straps for girls, and a mixture of some classic and more trendy styles and colours for boys. We are also loving coloured soles and leopard prints.
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t n e d n e p e Ind l i a t E R s d r a w A
â€˘2015â€˘ Closing date: 30 September 2015
Celebrating independent childrenswear retail Enter at www.cwb-online.co.uk
Alternative edgy clothing for children and babies with style and personality. Fashion and comfort combined. Young British designer. 100% Cotton. 16 product lines and constantly expanding. Worldwide shipping. www.babybandits.co.uk
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RETAIL THERAPY We reveal our favourite independent boutiques as well as news and store events from the world of childrenswear retail.
JURNIE 150 High Street, Solihull, West Midlands Mother-and-daughter team Trish Willetts and Jessie Hancox opened Solihull childrenswear shop Jurnie in April 2013. Willetts entered into the business with a background in local government and a keen interest in supporting local businesses. Hancox, meanwhile, had recently completed a university degree studying business and specialising in clothing manufacture, including the positives and negatives of the childrenswear manufacturing industry. The result of their combined experience is a store that supports local companies and has a vested interest in British manufacturing. So keen is Jurnie to support British-made products that this winter will see the retailer launch its own brand of babywear (pictured bottom right), which is 100 per cent made in England. Alongside the store’s clothing offer for premature to 10 years, which comprises mainly British labels, including Frugi and Kite, Jurnie also stocks premature baby gifts, christeningwear, occasion outfits, wooden toys and personalised items. Services provided, meanwhile, include free gift wrapping, free local delivery – as well as free nationwide delivery for online orders over £70 – a loyalty card scheme and personalisation of gifts. www.jurnie.co.uk
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LITTLE POPPETS CHILDRENSWEAR The Old Orchard, Silkstone, Barnsley Previously a manager for M&S, Michelle Barnes used her extensive knowledge of retail as grounding to open her own business, Little Poppets Childrenswear, in April. Located in a small Yorkshire hamlet of shops and local businesses, the store caters for premature to 10 years. Core brands are British, including Kite, Frugi, Lilly + Sid and Teddy & Me, alongside European labels such as Boboli and Blue Seven. Barnes is active in the local community, working with Barnsley hospital’s charity, Tiny Hearts, donating 15 per cent from Teddy & Me sales to the appeal. She plans to have a stand at September’s Penistone Agricultural Show, and will host in-store launch evenings for a/w including fashion shows and a raffle, the proceeds from which will go to Tiny Hearts. www.littlepoppetschildrenswear.co.uk
NORDIC NIC NAC 14 Gabriel’s Wharf, South Bank, London SE1 Social worker, mother, market trader and now shop keeper Karine Gulliksen opened Nordic Nic Nac in January. The shop carries a mixture of handmade kidswear, crochet toys, Scandinavian gifts, yarn and knitting accessories. The store set-up offers a retail space at the front and a workshop in the back with a sewing and knitting machine to accommodate production of Gulliksen’s own label Nordic Nic Nac, which includes a “make to order” service. As well as the stock Gulliksen designs and makes, she also sources products from indie designers such as Wee Clothing, Toby Tiger, Moomin, Milla Mia and I am Acrylic. Next month, knitting classes will be introduced in-store. www.nordicnicnac.com
STRONG GROWTH AT SECRETSALES Online sales site Secretsales.com has reported strong financial results with a revenue increase of 39 per cent, to £25.2m, on last year. The company – which has extended its product categories to include childrenswear, accessories, footwear, apparel, lingerie, beauty and homeware & lifestyle – has had a strong start to the year, with growth of 37 per cent in the first four months.
FANCY KIDS Fancykids.com is a luxury children’s multi-designer platform, which launched to customers in May. Catering for newborn to 10 years, and placing emphasis on collections and knits in soft colour palettes, Fancy Kids champions fresh new designers and childrenswear labels from around the world. Key brands including Marie Chantal, Melissa Odabash and Nature’s Purest. The retailer endeavours to provide an “all over organic feel” as a business – from eco-friendly practices to using only recyclable packaging – which is an ethos that it is keen to pass onto its “community” of customers. www.fancykids.com
BOXPARK CROYDON 2016 Following on from the world’s first pop-up mall Boxpark Shoreditch is the impending launch of Boxpark Croydon for summer 2016. The concept for Boxpark sees the refitting of shipping containers, which are stacked up, to create flexible, low-cost retail spaces. Situated at Ruskin Square, next to East Croydon Station, the Boxpark Croydon space will open seven days a week, offering two rows of Box Shops. Elements such as a pop-up cinema, mini music festivals, art installations, theatrical productions and more will be incorporated in a 20,000 sq ft central space.
Retail news in brief: MINISTER CALLS FOR FREE PARKING
FATFACE STORE OPENING
FEEFO WELCOMES NEW REPORT FINDINGS
High streets minister Marcus Jones has called for town centres to become parking meter free zones to boost local trade. The motion comes after traders in the Welsh town of Cardigan recently reported a 50 per cent increase in sales during a period when, due to vandalism, no parking meters were useable within the town centre. Shoppers took advantage of the anomaly, parking for free and shopping locally as a consequence.
Woking Shopping has confirmed that, this autumn, FatFace is to open a 2,500 sq ft store in its Peacocks Centre. The multi-channel retail brand, which started in 1988 selling T-shirts and sweatshirts in the Alps, offers a range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children that typify an active, outdoor lifestyle.
A recent investigation into the UK reviews and ratings market by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Feefo – the UK’s first closed review platform – meets all the recommendations set by the report. Currently, Feefo is working with over 2,000 merchants such as retail merchants Notonthehighstreet.com, The White Company and The Wool Company.
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EDITOR’S PICK | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
BRANDS To Watch CWB editor Laura Turner selects the must-have collections to get in-store. —
01: GARDNER AND THE GANG
02: KID THEM ALL
Singapore kids’ clothing line Gardner and the Gang is new to UK agency Vida Kids PR for s/s 16. Catering for three months to eight years, it offers “soft, comfortable and play-friendly” pieces combined with a high dose of fashion. The label’s creator, Kristin Nystrom – a Swede now living in Singapore – produces hand-drawn art for the brand’s prints, designing characters such as “Johhny the punk loving bull dog and his friend Patrick the punk rocker”. The drawings are then screen-printed onto organic cotton. Wholesale prices ¤3-¤29. www.gardnerandthegang.com
Kid Them All is a new, creative French brand of children’s pyjamas for 2-11 years. Offering more than your average sleepwear, the pyjamas can also be used for dress-up and imaginary play. All styles are produced in limited series, designed in collaboration with renowned illustrators and street and graphic artists. The first collection for 2015 features fun, all-over printed patterns on pyjamas with accompanying accessories providing the finishing touches to the brand’s zany characters. Wholesale price ¤24. www.kidthemall.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 20
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Credit: MELISSA SPICCIA
04: UNE FILLE
London accessories brand Braveling has launched two new lines for s/s 16. The new long socks range offers playful knee-high designs for 0-6 years available in packs of two, wholesaling for £7.50. Also new this season is an imaginative new range of bobble beanie hats. Designed in collaboration with children’s illustrator Kate Hindley, the hats are made from merino with a seamless knitted cotton lining and wholesale from £14. A new collection of tights and leggings for 3-8 years is launching for a/w 15, available short order. www.braveling.co.uk
Kids’ fashion agency CWF is branching out into the junior girls’ market for s/s 16 with its latest offering, Une Fille. Comprising 100 different styles for 10-18 years and available in five sizes (XXS-L), the debut range sees current trends adapted for junior girls in themes such as Grunge Chic, Gypsy Warrior, Vintage Denim, R’n’B Street and Keep It Chic. The label will be sold in pop-up shops in department stores, via online retailers, and in independent multi-brand boutiques both in Europe and internationally. Wholesale prices on request. www.cwf.frw
Established in 2012, LA kidswear label Omamimini is represented by UK agency The Feather Kids, which specialises in brands from the USA and Europe. Catering for children aged 0-8 years, it provides casual luxury for boys and girls, with key pieces including printed sweatshirt dresses, faux leather leggings and faux fur coats. Aiming to achieve a clean, bright and simple look, the brand’s core inspiration comes from all things Japanese as well as the sunny LA weather. Wholesale prices $19-$98. www.omamimini.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 21
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WAYS TO PAY Card-not-present online and mobile payments are on the rise in the UK, making it increasingly difficult for merchants to stand out among competitors and attract digitally empowered consumers. Julian Wallis, head of sales UK & Ireland at Ingenico Payment Services, explains what it takes to start selling online successfully. —
The use of mobile devices for payment is at an unprecedented level. According to an Ingenico Payment Services study, almost half (47.6 per cent) of all Europeans have a smartphone, which means that consumers are constantly connected and can purchase online whenever they want. E-Commerce Europe, the institution that represents over 25,000 companies selling online products and/or services to consumers in Europe, expects the European B2C e-commerce market to double in size by the end of 2016, reaching 625bn Euros. As consumer confidence increases and new technological payment solutions continue to make it easier and safer for people to buy online, merchants must find new ways to engage with consumers if they want to increase sales and boost growth. To start selling online successfully, merchants will need to consider how best to set up online payment services, how to increase conversion at the checkout and improve business functionality while taking into account the latest developments in the payment world. SETTING UP SHOP ONLINE Merchants need to consider two key components when setting up e-payment services – setting up a merchant account and payment gateway, and putting in place an adequate card fraud prevention scheme.
Most importantly, merchants will need to identify a merchant account and payment gateway that best suits their business needs and offer a streamlined and efficient payment process for customers. A merchant account is similar to a personal bank account, provided by a chosen acquirer that receives and processes funds from certain payment methods. A payment gateway connects the online shop to the acquirer so retailers can receive funds in their account from those payment methods. To set up an online shop successfully, choose a payment service provider that offers collect services that are tailor-made to your business needs. FRAUD PREVENTION SOLUTIONS Businesses must put in place an adequate fraud prevention solution – one that targets hackers but doesn’t hassle genuine customers. While online payments offer businesses the opportunity to increase revenue and engagement with consumers, there are still some risks involved. A study on fraud conducted by Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, reported that 60 per cent of payment card fraud losses were caused by card-not-present online fraud, which equates to about 900m Euros. Furthermore, a 2014 European Central Bank (ECB) report concluded that CNP fraud has increased by 21.2 per cent in the past year. Not all businesses use specialist software to detect potential fraudulent transactions – the level of resource required will depend on the number of transactions and their retail sector. An Ingenico study about e-commerce business fraud concluded that e-commerce businesses with low online payment sales felt confident about their fraud management procedures and were manually checking transactions against black lists, customer history and other data. However, as businesses
expand they will need to adopt a “fit for purpose” fraud management tool such as fraud prevention software instead of relying on authenticating all transactions manually. The report also concluded that the single most important feature of a fraud management tool was 3-D Secure, which helps merchants to reduce fraud risk, yet adds an extra step in the payment purchase. The purpose is similar to using a PIN code or writing a signature for a transaction. In practice, enrolled issuers implement an additional step of consumer authentication. However, 3-D Secure has a polarising effect in that it has the potential to alienate genuine customers who find it inflexible and not user-friendly. It’s important for retailers to implement a system that works for them and offers an easy and user-friendly checkout process that identifies potential fraudulent transactions. INCREASE CONVERSION AT THE CHECKOUT Merchants need to increase conversions at the checkout and improve business functionality if they want to start selling online successfully. An estimated 25 per cent of revenue is lost by UK online retailers every year as a result of poor user experience, leading to cart abandonment – that’s equivalent to £14bn. To prevent cart abandonment and increase conversion at the checkout, merchants need to build consumers’ trust, act local and embrace tokenisation. Payments are left incomplete as a result of lack of payment options, security issues, technical problems or an inflexible and complicated checkout process. In regard to security, for example, 17 per cent of shoppers have abandoned their cart because of security concerns – hence another reason to implement a fraud management tool such as 3-D Secure. According to a 2014 study on AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 22
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digital shoppers in the US, 58 per cent of customers abandoned their carts as a result of shipping costs being higher than expected, while 25 per cent of customers cited the inability to use their preferred method of payment as a reason for online cart abandonment. Customers trust online shops that feature a secured “https” URL, recognised trusted marks and logos, clear information about the amount to be paid, as well as the retailer’s logo and branding. Retailers should also consider tokenisation, which saves time for frequent buyers. Merchants who offer to remember card details increase their conversion by an average of seven per cent. Tokenisation removes the customer’s credit card number and replaces it with a randomly generated number, which can be configured to expire after one purchase, making it a useless target for fraudsters. More importantly, tokenisation removes what would otherwise be a major storage burden from merchants, because they never see a person’s actual credit card information and it never enters their online payment service. THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL Merchants need to “think local” in order to increase conversion and boost business functionality. According to a 2015 Ingenico Payment Services study, 59 per cent of online shoppers abandoned their purchase when their preferred payment method was not offered. To prevent card abandonment, UK businesses must think outside the “credit card” box and go global. As the UK market is maturing, online sales are set to continue to grow in Western Continental Europe. It is estimated that 40 per cent of European Union customers shop online; and sales in the 13 largest online markets in the EU are estimated to be 200bn Euros, growing at just under 20 per cent per annum, according to research
commissioned by RetailMeNot. Considering these figures about cross-border e-commerce, UK retailers need to ensure their business is best placed to process overseas transactions. Cross-border e-commerce leads to increased revenues for UK online merchants and is arguably the best strategy for businesses who want to expand and boost growth. Merchants will need to map the payment methods used across different markets and establish which countries they wish to target to process cross-border payments. Once retailers identify their international expansion strategy, they can determine their target markets. Executing a multi-currency option and accepting local currencies for local markets are two smart strategies for expanding e-commerce businesses across borders. As there are a huge range of payment methods out there, it’s important for retailers to identify which ones are most relevant to their market. MOBILE AND DIGITAL WALLETS – THE FUTURE OF THE PAYMENT WORLD It is estimated that one in three people in Britain have used a mobile app to make payments. With the introduction of Apple Pay and Google Wallet – two leading payment services that allow payments to be made from debit and credit cards via a smartphone – it is no wonder that mobile payments are on the rise. An international study reported that thousands are using smartphones and tablets to pay. The IGN International Survey on Mobile Banking found that 51 per cent of Europeans with mobile devices will use mobile payment technologies over the next year. In the UK, payment apps such as Zapp are taking off and banks are signing up at increasing rates. While people still do use cash in transactions, mobile payment apps are giving customers more freedom and flexibility to manage their finances.
Since mobile payment programmes are relatively inexpensive and simple to implement, businesses need to capitalise on this opportunity to increase online sales. Businesses can incorporate incentive programmes into mobile payment applications. All of the customer’s details are stored in one place on their mobile phones each time they make a purchase. When merchants link payments to loyalty programmes, it adds value to the customer. Switching to mobile payments gives businesses, especially small businesses, the ability to track customer trends and inventory. Learning about customer demands allows for businesses to improve their services. While the payment landscape and consumer demands seem daunting, there are various solutions for e-retailers to stand out among their competitors. Establishing streamlined and efficient payment services online, increasing conversion by adopting tokenisation and targeting international audiences to reduce cart abandonment as well as embracing the latest technological developments in the payment world are just a few ways that merchants can increase sales and boost future growth projections. There has been a paradigm shift with the rise of online and mobile shopping: instead of offering a personalised in-store shopping experience, retailers must cater to customers by offering customised payment options or premium security preferences – which makes choosing the proper payment technology all the more critical. — Ingenico Payment Services is part of the Ingenico Group, a global leader in seamless payment. For more information visit www.ingenico.com, call 020 3147 4966 or email Julian.firstname.lastname@example.org. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 23
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GROWING AND OPTIMISING YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING A common challenge for SMEs looking to grow their online audience is knowing where to focus limited resource and how to structure their investment to get the best possible ROI. There is no right answer, but there is a sensible structure and process to use to help make commercially sensible decisions. James Gurd, owner of e-commerce and digital marketing consultancy Digital Juggler, shares some of his knowledge from more than 14 years of working with a wide range of B2B and B2C ecommerce companies. — Step 1 – Set clear goals, targets and objectives It all starts with a clear vision of what you need to achieve. Be clear on what success looks like, so define overall goals and targets for your digital marketing and split this down into individual channels and plan out the KPI (key performance indicators) metrics for each channel. It’s impossible to know if your marketing is successful if you have nothing to measure performance against. If you are already investing in digital, benchmark current performance to help inform your KPI model. Step 2 – Make sure analytics and reporting tools are set up correctly It’s amazing how many web analytics tools aren’t customised to suit the business’ specific analysis and reporting needs. It’s too late after you’ve done the marketing to fix the data as web analytics tools don’t store historical data for tracking that hasn’t yet been configured. For example, I’ve worked with clients using Google Analytics (GA) who want to capture demographic data to help inform marketing targeting. However, many have been using the old GA version and not updated to Universal Analytics, so this data isn’t captured. Step 3 – Create a simple marketing calendar and prioritise Trying to do everything at once has two risks: 1. Insufficient time to deliver quality across all activities 2. Stretching the budget across too many activities, diluting impact I find that it’s better for ROI, and learning, to do a small number of marketing channels well then lots averagely. Create a month-by-month marketing calendar to show the flow of activities per channel to help prioritise resource and give your team a clear focus. Each month flag who is responsible for each activity (including internal and external teams), key milestone dates and the allocated budget.
Step 4 – Ensure your inbound channels are ready to handle customers Make sure each person and team that has a role in handling inbound enquiries is briefed. This includes: • Agreeing internal SLAs (Service Level Agreements) for turnaround of customer enquiries • Ownership of social media queries and complaints • Clearly defined communication flow, eg if a customer sends a product enquiry, who picks it up, how is the answer captured and validated, who owns communication with the customer? Social media makes it easy for customers to spread news, so it’s essential to have a clear policy for engaging with people across all social networks. If you don’t have the resource to run your own proactive social media plan, ensure you are monitoring the social channel to respond to comments about your company. For example, for Twitter you can use a tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and track tweets including your company/brand name. This is often a practical first step if you can’t justify the investment in a social media suite such as Radian 6. Step 5 – Push your email marketing Email still remains one of the best-converting digital marketing channels for my clients. It provides a direct channel to people who have shown an interest in your business and is a great retention channel. If you haven’t got an email plan, I recommend the following: • Create an account with an ESP (email service provider) – there are some fantastic low-cost options such as MailChimp and Dotmailer • Add email sign-up to the website – a simple form to capture the email address (make sure this form is integrated with your ESP) • Create a simple welcome programme for all new subscribers, eg send them a confirmation email one hour after they have signed up and send a follow-up “X” many
OWNER, DIGITAL JUGGLER
days later with more information about your company and products. If you are already doing email marketing, here’s a checklist for growth: • Segmenting your audience by capturing additional data eg age, gender and interests • Add a test to each campaign eg test subject lines to drive open rates • Tailor the content of each email based on the customer segment • Use an activation programme for people who haven’t opened any emails within “X” months • Use a purge program to clean “dead” emails • Reward people for recommending your email sign-up to friends • Make it easy to share your email via social networks • Use interactive content eg polls and competitions • Provide unique content eg exclusive videos, interviews and events I appreciate that this doesn’t cover all bases, but hopefully it gives some useful pointers on how to approach digital marketing growth. — www.digitaljuggler.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 24
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BLOGGING FOR BEGINNERS Blogging is one word that either has people shouting from the rooftops or running for the hills. If you belong to the latter, this article by SEO consultant Jonny Ross is for you. Here, he shares his top tips on blogging for retailers, answering all those common questions and providing good reasons why you should be blogging. —
In this day and age, blogging is vitally important for any business, in any market sector. It should form the basis of everything you do online as it can provide you with great original content and can give real power to your SEO campaigns. So why are so many businesses in retail still shying away from it? Well, blogging is a relatively new phenomenon, and trying to tackle such a daunting project is something that can seem impossible to achieve. WHERE SHOULD RETAILERS START? Like anyone who is looking to start a blog, the first thing you need to do is to start reading blogs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start reading blogs that are specific to retail. Simply familiarising yourself with the blogging etiquette, what you should and should not be doing, what you think works well and ways to engage with your audience are all things that can be picked up when reading blogs. Not enough time? One of the benefits of blogs is that they can be accessed anywhere, anytime, on any platform. Whether you take five minutes on the bus to work to read your favourite blog or 10 minutes before you go to bed, taking the time to read blogs can really enhance the quality of your own blog. WHO SHOULD WRITE THE BLOG? This is a very personal question and the answer will be entirely different for each business. Your blog should be written by someone who understands your business and your products, but most importantly your audience. Your blog should engage and form a connection with the reader. Therefore, whomever you decide should write the blog, whether it be you or another employer, should have the same burning passion and heightened understanding of who the blog is aimed at and the type of content they want to read. HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON THE CONTENT? This is often a tricky thing to decide. However, do not panic. One great technique that can be easily implemented is a content calendar. This can be created weeks, if not months in advance. Simply draw out – either on a
spreadsheet or large notice board, however you work best – the days your blog will be published. Mark on any key events, such as Valentine’s Day or school holidays. Finally, go through and add on any industry events or events that are specific to your business. This way you will ensure that you can plan blogs that are relevant, engaging and informative for your readership while also being able to see what content needs writing for when and the date it needs posting. Also take inspiration from current affairs – what is happening in your industry that you think would interest your readers? Is there a specific development or news story that will have an impact on your audience? Make sure that your content will engage with your audience and is most of all relevant without coming across as sales-orientated. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BLOG? This question is extremely common, and it is a very difficult one to answer, almost the same as, “How long is a piece of string?”. In an ideal world, blogs should be posted once a week, preferably on the same day at roughly the same time so your readers know when to expect the blog and they can check in at the same time each week to read it. However, the world of retail never runs smooth and sometimes you need to simply post as often as you can. Creating a content calendar as mentioned before is a perfect way of ensuring you stick to a regular posting time as you will know exactly what needs to be written and when, allowing you to write blog posts in advance. However, you also need to remain flexible. A news story may break or there may be an announcement in the retail industry that would provide an interesting and engaging blog post. In this case, you may be required to post two blogs in one week. In answer to this question, there is no right or wrong. You simply must post as often as you can in order to achieve the maximum effect for your blog. HOW CAN A BLOG DRIVE SALES? IS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL? Did you know that companies that blog receive 97 per cent more links to their website than those that don’t? This statistic is just one of
many that highlight the true benefits that blogging can bring to your retail business. It is an effective tool of increasing audience engagement, improving online reputation, boosting your SEO and ultimately your Google Page Ranking, cementing your business as a “go-to” within your industry and increasing your online footprint. The list of benefits is truly magnificent. However, blogging can also drive sales. By driving traffic from one online platform to the other, it can increase traffic visiting your website which subsequently has an impact on the sales made. —
ABOUT JONNY ROSS Jonny Ross is the founder of Jonny Ross Consultancy and has a proven track record in everything digital, from social-media campaigns to website design and development. With over 15 years’ experience working with B2B and B2C businesses, Ross is an expert on SEO and related topics. For more information contact jonny.ross@ jonnyross.com or visit www.jonnyross.com. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 25
SMALLABLE | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
A SMALLABLE FORTUNE French online fashion and design concept store Smallable is dedicated entirely to premium products for 0-16 years. It sells over 10,000 products, spanning teenage, kids, interiors and lifestyle from 450 brands including Stella McCartney, Little Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Fendi, and recently received its second investment of ¤5m. CWB spoke to Smallable’s founder, Cecile Roederer, to find out how she is revolutionising the children’s market. —
Laura Turner: What course of events led to Smallable’s launch in 2008? Cecile Roederer: At the time, I didn’t have a child, but my sisters and friends who were mothers had trouble finding beautiful things for their children and complained about shopping at the weekend, when they had to run between four or five boutiques to find what they needed. I started getting interested in the subject, and when I looked on the internet, I found some very beautiful brands; an interesting offering, but very fragmented and not very well circulated. That’s how the idea came about to group all of these great products and designers together and make them accessible to everyone. I found a niche in the market, and internet shopping was just emerging as a trend, so online was the perfect platform. LT: What were you doing prior to Smallable? CR: I worked at Lancel, where I managed the brand’s women’s collections. It was a very diverse post involving marketing, commercials and communication. This feel for products has helped me a lot. I am passionate about the creative aspects of my work, as well as liking numbers and the analytical part of running a business. Being able to analyse results and select the best products people will love is key when you launch your own business and you don’t necessarily have an artistic director, a marketing manager, buyers and so on. LT: What does Smallable’s offer encompass? CR: At Smallable you can not only dress your children, but also kit out their bedroom and keep them amused with an offering among the largest in the world covering toys, furniture and interiors alongside fashion. Despite our 450 designer brands, we try to keep a coherent
line and style. Our aim is not to have all of the children’s brands, only the brands that we love and, among those, only the products that we like the most. “Refusing to do everything in order to do it better,” is our motto. Our clients love discovering new pieces and exclusives and also have very high expectations, which is why we have always tried to be much more than simply a product catalogue; even if it is very practical, it’s not enough today. Beyond our physical product offer, we also provide a Style & Trends section on the website, where customers can look for inspiration; the strongest looks of the season, essential trends and selections from bloggers. This editorial content helps our clients make their choices. Then, if they wish, our customer services can reply to any questions they may have in their native language. We also have a bi-monthly online magazine that includes interviews and photo shoots and gives a real-life view of our brands and our products. LT: What content does the magazine cover? CR: From the beginning, we wanted to build “the Smallable brand”. This meant having a strong and very personal world. The magazine, like all of the content we create, helps us to construct a strong identity and make sure that Smallable is different to all of the other e-commerce websites – for the clients and for the brands. Furthermore, we want our customers to come to us regularly, not only when their child has grown and they need a new pair of trousers, but because they know that we also have interesting content; that they will discover a new designer and will see new photo shoots. All of this has an impact on the conversion on the website, recurrent visits and purchases, and loyalty.
LT: What are your bestselling categories? CR: In proportion, we sell more fashion than interiors, furniture and toys at the moment, but each category has its “star products”. What does a hand-sculpted Danish Crafts rocking sheep, a Globe skateboard, a Stella McCartney outfit or a pair of Vans have in common? They are all products with a very strong identity, where the creation is at the heart of the brand, no matter its size. These are our bestselling products. All of the brands have created a distinct world and haven’t forgotten that, even if the style has to appeal to the parents, in the end, it’s the children who wear them. >>> AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 26
SMALLABLE | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
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SMALLABLE | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
questions about your products, react directly to information via their mobile phones and share photos with their entourage. We use social media to communicate with our community, to give them information on our brands and products, give them the latest news on Smallable and also to ask their opinions. It’s a good way to test the water.
LT: How much exclusivity do you have? CR: A lot – we always try to have as many as possible. Online exclusives for France, for instance, include Zadig & Voltaire, Bonton and Golden Goose. We also develop a lot of exclusive items in collaboration with brands – for example Veja, Bobo Choses, Emile & Ida and Finger in the Nose.
The first investment allowed us to develop internationally; we went from 30 per cent turnover abroad to over 60 per cent today. We have also focused on restructuring our company, industrialising certain processes, and recruiting more senior team members and experienced managers. Today, the team behind Smallable equates to around 30.
LT: Where do you source product? CR: We discover new brands at trade shows; we never miss Playtime, Pitti Bimbo, Who’s Next or Maison & Objets. We also go to Nuremberg for the world toy trade show and visit other shows abroad. We also find many of our brands on Pinterest and Instagram, or come across them by coincidence, fall in love with them and contact them. Additionally, many of our brands and designers contact us directly to have their products sold on Smallable. We have a never-ending source.
LT: What are the main benefits and challenges of selling online today? CR: The potential for international development is vast, and the challenge is to manage to build a healthy, profitable business model while driving two-to-three figure growth. We managed it, and we are going to make sure we continue in this trend.
LT: How far is your customer reach? CR: We sell globally, deliver to more than 200 countries, and do more than 60 per cent of our turnover abroad. Europe remains our first market, but we are currently seeing rapid growth in the USA and Asia. LT: What has the year-on-year growth been since your launch? CR: We have seen strong growth every year – between 80 per cent and 120 per cent. We aim to have ¤20m of turnover in 2015. LT: What does the recent second round of investment of ¤5m from Sigma Gestion and Aurinvest mean for Smallable? And how did you use the first round? CR: It will allow us to further develop Smallable internationally. Our ambition is to become the international reference in the selective world of babies through to teenagers. This investment will also allow us to further develop our own fashion and interiors brands. Our brand Hundred Pieces launched three years ago and is already in the top ten fashion bestsellers. We are also going to invest in a makeover of our website, which we are currently working on.
LT: How has Smallable maintained its market share? CR: Again, there’s no secret. If you sell at a high discount all year your turnover will increase but, in the end, your business model will not be viable and there is a high chance your company will disappear after a few years. The key is to develop while keeping your margins and compensating for the weaknesses that you may have with your strengths. We became profitable over the last year, which is quite rare for an e-commerce website of our size in the world of fashion or interiors. LT: How do you keep abreast of technological developments? CR: We have a team of developers who of course keep an eye on technological developments. But we really consider Smallable as a technical company. When your business is 100 per cent online, you have to be a bit of a geek and understand what a developer tells you and keep up with technological developments in order to make the right decisions. LT: Do you utilise social media for business? CR: Today, social media is essential. A little while ago, you could communicate with your customers via a newsletter and that was pretty much it. Today, they follow your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, they ask you
LT: How has the children’s fashion industry changed since you launched? CR: The children’s fashion industry suffered with the economic crisis. Just like women’s and men’s fashion, some brands disappeared; a lot of e-commerce websites, too. It’s more difficult to find funding and to launch a business, whether it’s a shop or a brand. The market evolved naturally and we realised that launching an e-commerce website wasn’t any simpler or cheaper than opening a shop. On the contrary, you need a lot of investment in order to obtain a critical size and become profitable. On the client side of things, there are huge differences between different countries; Southern European countries were very affected by the economic crisis and obviously radically changed the way that they consume, moving towards more accessible brands and buying more during the sales. But, globally, we have been lucky because of our selective and relatively unique positioning, with clients that were less affected by the crisis and continued to want designer brands and new trends. If the price is right, and if the brand has created its own little creative, authentic world, the success follows. So, people shouldn’t be discouraged from launching their brand. As for launching a website like Smallable, you need a large investment, much larger than we had to start with, because of the barriers to entry that have formed. You need to really differentiate yourself from the existing competitors and shouldn’t forget that creating your own company is a real vocation. LT: Would you ever consider opening a bricks-and-mortar shop? CR: We are seriously thinking about it. I am convinced that the “clicks-and-mortar” model could work well for Smallable, incarnating our world in a flagship store in Paris and elsewhere. However, we want to do things well and at the right time, since we would need a beautiful, large space in order to represent our world and express our identity. LT: What are the long-term plans for Smallable? CR: Our current projects for international development and creation of our own brands are projects that take time to put in place, and these are our projects for the next few years, but which are already taking up a lot of our time daily. LT: Tell us something we don’t know about Smallable… CR: Follow our news on Instagram and Facebook and you will have our exclusive news, with the announcement of some great new projects this autumn. www.smallable.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 28
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STEPPING UP THE GAME A round-up of what’s new in footwear, as seen at this season’s Bubble London. —
HOP SHOES Making its UK debut this season, new unisex children’s footwear brand Hop Shoes is designed in Manchester before being handmade in Europe by skilled shoe makers. Combining comfort, quality and support while staying true to its identifiable style, features include rubber soles for greater flexibility and grip, ankle support, wide toe boxes and simple fastenings. Colours are mixed to create classic as well as unique combinations. www.myhopshoes.com
TOMS One-for-one brand Toms made its Bubble London debut, presenting its s/s 16 children’s footwear via a special Toms lounge in the show’s Nest area. Visitors to the lounge could sample Toms’ new range of ethical coffee while viewing the footwear collection featuring 15 different silhouettes. New-season styles included the Crib Alpargata Layette (pictured) created for the tiniest of feet and with a soft foam padding. Toms’ “one-for-one” model means the brand matches every purchase of its shoes with a donation of new shoes for a child in need. www.toms.com
FRODDO This season saw leading children’s footwear label Froddo launch a pre-walkers line (pictured) at Bubble London, comprising delicate shoes for natural foot development. Design highlights include flexible soles, soft, chrome-free leather and water-soluble glues. Another key product was its new personalised trainers. With every purchase of the trainers, the child receives the gift of a special marker pen, which can be used to personalise the back of the shoe. The marker pens are easy to wipe off, therefore allowing unlimited decoration of the shoe. www.froddo.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 30
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RAP ArautoRap, or RAP as it’s more commonly known, returned to Bubble London this season. Established in 1959, the company represents five generations in the shoe industry. Its origin and creation are 100 per cent Portuguese, with all the brand’s shoes produced in RAP’s factory in São João de Madeira, Portugal. Inspiration, meanwhile, is taken from Scandinavia. RAP’s children’s shoes are based on quality, design and innovation. They are also environmentally friendly and free from harmful chemicals. For sustainability reasons, the brand uses leather exclusively provided by animals raised for human consumption. www.arautorap.com
New to the UK this season is Native Shoes, which was established in Vancouver, Canada, in 2009. Created with the vision to provide “future classics”, it combines iconic, casual silhouettes with the best of evolving technology. The result is lightweight, future-forward shoes for children, men and women – which are today distributed in more than 45 countries. www.nativeshoes.com
THE LITTLE SHOEMAKER Trained in the footwear industry and as an artist, Kevin Rowley is the creator of The Little Shoe Maker, which specialises in bespoke, handmade shoes for baby and toddler. Combining his art, craftsmanship and footwear knowledge, the shoes can be framed or displayed as pieces of art once outgrown. Made in the UK from start to finish, suppliers are locally sourced. The collection – which was showcased at Bubble London for the first time this season – is designed using premium leathers and suede. Designs, meanwhile, are contemporary with a vintage twist. www.thelittleshoemaker.com
ELI 1957 Making its Bubble London debut for s/s 16, Eli 1957 is a third-generation family company. Launched the same year as its brand name, it offers high-quality shoes made in Spain for children and teenagers. Eli 1957 comprises four different brands, which collectively cover all occasions from school shoes through to special occasion and beach styles. Eli is the classic brand, with a more traditional flair. Papanatas is the company’s freshest, most colourful offer. Cucada caters for first steps, while Eli Driver comprises tubular and boat shoes. www.eli1957.com
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RISING STAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
STARS OF THE SHOW Each season, Bubble London hosts the Rising Star award, which is open to all brands that are making their debut at the show with their first wholesale collection. Offering a platform from which new brands can make a successful launch into the industry, the Rising Star award – judged by a panel of industry experts – recognises innovation and individuality among entrants. As well as the prestige of the award and the increased exposure it brings, the winning brand also receives a free stand at the next edition of Bubble London. CWB takes a look at this season’s winner, Little Lulu’s, together with the competition’s two highly commended finalists Mr. Wolf and Dotty Dungarees. —
Little Lulu’s is a brand of high-quality baby shoes created by Catriona Alfaham. Alfaham began designing the range after the birth of her daughter, Layla, utilising 11 years of industry footwear and accessory design experience she had accumulated. Initially, she intended to start local and on a small scale, but the more immersed she became in her work, the more Alfaham realised the brand she was creating had a big statement to make. So, while the plan was to achieve a range of baby shoes in stylish, modern designs and fresh colours produced in Alfaham’s attic studio, as the collection developed, she decided to seek a manufacturer who could produce the quality she wanted and match her scale of ambition. She set to work finding a factory in the UK or Europe and managed to forge a partnership with a well-established Italian atelier. “I wanted the shoes to be luxurious and covetable, just as designer brands are to fashion- conscious parents,” says Alfaham. “They are a luxury gift item for all of the trendiest babies. These stylish shoes are chic, mini versions of the shoes Mummy and Daddy wear. Big people trends for little people’s feet.” The shoes are handmade in the finest eco-friendly nappa leather. In between the lining and the upper there is a soft padded layer, which adds to the buttery texture and gives babies’ feet a little extra warmth. The stitching is as refined as embroidery, with no imperfections, maintaining a soft feel. All of the footwear in the range has the Little Lulu’s brand embossed on the sole, and in gold print on the insole, and every pair comes packaged in a clear box together with a canvas branded dust bag, all wrapped up with a bow and gift tag (pictured right). “We were thrilled when they called our name out at the show,” continues Alfaham.
Karina Lax for Richmond Pictures
“It’s amazing to have won. There’s the actual, tangible prize of a free stand at next season’s show, and the recognition and prestige as well. Winning the award sent people our way, and it’s amazing to hear industry experts say you’re doing something right.” For more information, visit Little Lulu’s new website, which went live last month. www.little-lulus.com
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:
“We loved the design of Little Lulu’s shoes, and felt the brand had everything right – from the price, to the age grouping and target market. The gift appeal is huge, and the product itself is beautiful – something people would want to keep for years. We were also really impressed with founder Catriona Alfaham, whose enthusiasm and passion shone through.” AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 32
RISING STAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
HIGHLY COMMENDED DOTTY DUNGAREES As the name suggests, Dotty Dungarees is a specialist in the children’s wardrobe staple that is dungarees. The brand was set up in October 2013 by two friends, Alice Rothschild and Georgina Parr. From the outset, they were inspired by their own children – Dolly and Otto – from the brand name down to the characters that personify the Dotty Dungarees brand. Both new mothers, Rothschild and Parr reached the concept for their business after quickly realising that their children needed clothes that were practical and comfortable but still fun – not to mention garments they wouldn’t grow out of within a month. Their solution? Adjustable dungarees that last a full year. The adjustable element of the garment is found in the shoulder straps, which can be lengthened and tweaked for the perfect fit, while the garment’s dotty turn-ups ensure the leg length can also be altered. The brand caters for boys and girls, from three months to five years, with the cut of the garments designed with practicality and freedom of movement in mind. Plans for the label are to continue making “perfect children’s dungarees”, but in more shapes, sizes and colours – a pair for every occasion if you like. Following the success of the first range, the label has already created dungaree dresses for girls and going forward, it is looking at introducing dungaree shorts. www.dottydungarees.com
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:
“We loved the simplicity of the brand, and the fact that it had taken a staple item to the next level. We also liked the idea of making dungarees more interesting, and doing them really well. The product itself was very unisex, and made great use of materials.”
HIGHLY COMMENDED MR. WOLF Mr. Wolf is a British-made childrenswear brand created by fashion designer Alexandra Cobb and former TV editor and now photographer, Ben Hanley. Cobb’s experience in fashion spans two decades, working for companies such as Sonnetti, French Connection and Brand Alliance to name but a few. Hanley, meanwhile, has 20 years’ experience in television, which has seen him work on many a popular television programme, including X Factor, Got to Dance and a vast array of kids’ programmes for CBBC. More recently, Hanley has been following his passion as a children’s portrait photographer. The duo combined their creative talents to create a whole new venture, Mr. Wolf, which from concept to fruition has taken less than a year. The idea behind Mr. Wolf was to create a unique, fresh and exciting range of kidswear that both parents and children would fall in love with. Vibrant and bold colour palettes, quirky, eye-catching and playful prints together with a British-made status has resulted in an impressive debut for the brand and a collection that stands out from the crowd. Mr. Wolf’s first offering for s/s 16 is a 27-piece collection designed to appeal to both boys and girls, with clean shapes, clever cutting and contrasting trims incorporating pops of colour in every garment. The simple, gender-neutral colour palette includes grey marl and navy with flashes of zest yellow and fluoro orange. Graphics, meanwhile, incorporate the Mr. Wolf logo and play with geometric shapes. www.mrwolfkids.com
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:
“We all agreed we really liked Mr Wolf. We were impressed by the strength of branding, and the little details. The whole collection worked really well together, and was very consistent. We also liked the unisex element, and the mix-and-match story.”
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Moda Birmingham Stand U22 9 - 11 August 2015 GDS Dusseldorf 29 - 31 July 2015 Micam Milan 1 - 4 September 2015 Fashion City Dublin 1 - 4 September 2015 Gatwick Show London 6 - 7 September 2015
www.Kidsnewshoes.com E: pauly.tong@Kidsnewshoes.com T: +44 7796 766669 T: 01707 888388 M: 07796 766669 www.Froddo.com
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THE S/S 16 BUBBLE LOOK-BOOK
This season Bubble London collaborated with CWB magazine and uShoot Studios to create an exclusive s/s 16 Bubble Look-book. The project saw industry professionals hand-pick product from the s/s 16 collections at the show, before styling and photographing their outfit creations on uShoot Studios’ unique machines. Read on for the style picks of Fran Lee of Production Element and KidsArcade; Smudgetikka’s Linda McLean; Style Me Sunday’s Natalie Lee; Nicky Hornsby-Clifton and Sarah Clark of Little Spree; CWB’s Laura Turner; as well as Bubble London’s event director, Lindsay Hoyes, and discover what inspired their outfit choices. The Bubble Look-book was shot at: uShoot Studios, Studio 132, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH T: 020 7354 4271 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ushootstudios.co.uk
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PHOTO SHOOT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK 01
NICKY HORNSBYCLIFTON & SARAH CLARK LITTLE SPREE
We like to see children beautifully and stylishly dressed, but we still want them to look like children. For us, these looks combine our love of the traditional while avoiding the ‘old fashioned’. Baby rompers inspired our outfit choices. There are few things cuter than a baby dressed in a romper, and these two are just about as cute as they come. They include our obsession with stripes and pretty prints, and we also like the fact that they can be used while the weather is warm, but also later as days cool by adding a long sleeved top. Some of the brands we used such as The Little Shoemaker, for the tan lace-ups, and Nature Zoo, for the yellow squirrel toy, are ones that we know and love. Meanwhile, other labels including Petit Oh!, which we used for the cardigan, is one we discovered at Bubble London for the first time. There’s a common theme of quality and elegance with all the brands we chose, and we especially liked the fact that, with the exception of the print romper, the items could be worn by either a baby boy or girl – yes, even the pink sandals by Six Pieds Trois Pouces.
01 Cotton, linen and lace bonnet, Tocoto, ¤12.50, 0161 900 2409 • 02 Dark grey button cardigan, Petit Oh! £9.90, 0034 932379244 • 03 Pink leather sandal, Six Pieds Trois Pouces, ¤28, 0033 660477007 • 04 Multi-coloured romper, Sticky Fudge, £6.40, 0027 871514883 • 05 Blue Konrad hat, Mini A Ture, £9, 07711 746276 • 06 Stuffed squirrel teddy, Nature Zoo, £9.20, 0045 29720692 • 07 Grey striped dungarees, The Little Tailor, £13, 07795 022952 • 08 Tan open-toe sandal, The Little Shoemaker, £20, 07981 702308 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 36
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FRAN LEE PRODUCTION ELEMENT & KIDSARCADE
When I was putting together my look, I wasn’t thinking about a specific trend; I was thinking about my two-year-old daughter and the context in which she’d wear it. We live in London; it’s fast and often manic as we rush from nursery to the park, from the school pick-up for her big brother to the supermarket (and then the park again), all via public transport and lots of running. This look reflects our hectic lifestyle and us as a family; the clashing prints and patterns – which tick a few trends along the way – while also being practical. The shower-proof jacket from Bakker Made With Love would keep the rain off. The cotton/linen T-shirt from new brand Little Kokoro, with its juxtaposed modern graphic, would allow her to keep cool while tapping into the sci-fi trend. She could climb, roll and leap in the shorts by Mr Wolf which, in their graphic, almost abstract presentation, focus on a ‘new’ nature. Finally, the comfy, classic sandals from Castell could be worn for a special occasion as well as every day. Overall, it’s a look that I’d hope would stand out from the other girls in the playground. Reinforcing the idea that my daughter could be anyone she wants to be and that she should strive to make her own path, not follow everyone else.
01 Colourful print jacket, Bakker Made with Love, ¤25, 0033 981860660 • 02 Mint linen T-shirt, Little Kokoro, £12.10, 07503 091373 • 03 Red leather sandal, Castell, £20, 07887 750276 • 04 Grey Monty shorts, Mr Wolf, £12, 07976 734648
>>> AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 37
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LINDSAY HOYES BUBBLE LONDON 06
Selecting product from the huge choice at Bubble London was a real treat – I think every taste and style is catered for, and this season there were welcome bursts of colour from top to toe. For girls, I love the corals and fuchsias that are available this season as an alternative to pink and pastels. I chose a summer look that mirrored lots of the trends for the grown-ups – off-the-shoulder one-piece, Grecian neckline, and pom-pom and braid trims. The sunglasses are a definite must – they ingeniously snap onto the arm and no child could possibly resist them. I’ll definitely be rocking the look this summer in a (slightly) larger size. I have a son, Billy, so I always keep an eye on the boys’ trends. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to persuade him to wear my preferences these days as he’s 11. The look I put together is for my “fantasy” son, who is still young enough to embrace yellow shorts and knee-high socks. I love the shirt from Omibia; the lemon is fresh and the grandad collar makes it relaxed but smart. I had to choose something from East End Highlanders – it’s such a lovely, stylish collection for boys. And Billy lives in hi-tops – a cool winner whatever a child’s age.
01 Orange Lauri sun hat, Mini A Ture, £9, 07711 746276 • 02 Black and pink sunglasses, Sand Dollar Swim, £10, 020 3318 5090 • 03 Orange swimming costume with circle pattern, Snapperrock, £19, 07986 341828 • 04 Orange sundress, Heidi Klein, £22, 0845 206 2000 • 05 Green shoe with pink pineapple, Mini Melissa (exclusive to Harrods), £15.20, 020 7377 2570 • 06 Yellow grandad shirt Omibia, from £22, 01342 825724 • 07 Blue button-up jacket, East End Highlanders, price on request, 0081 662811117 • 08 Yellow shorts, Carrément Beau, £11, 020 8964 8605 • 09 Black and yellow hi-top, Six Pieds Trois Pouces, ¤42, 0033 660477007 • 10 Green and yellow socks, Poppy, £6.45, 01642 790000 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 38
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NATALIE LEE STYLE ME SUNDAY 03
My choice of girl’s outfit reveals the frustrated dancer in me. I just cannot pass by a tutu without picking it up, especially when it comes with big bouncy ruffles and in cool colours like this grey one by Bob & Blossom. The “leotard” is actually a swimsuit by Doodle Do, so I thought it was a great multi-purpose piece. Comfortable and easy to put on, yet super stylish are the pumps by Toms – which complete the outfit perfectly. For my other choice, I wanted to create an outfit that a boy or girl could wear. So many unisex brands are popping up, and the British market is really getting into it at the moment. I also think there should be no rules with kids – I love mixing it up and, ultimately, this outfit is fun and funky. I tried to pick labels that weren’t too well known to highlight some of the amazing, upcoming talent out there. A jumper by Where’s That Bear?, dungarees by Sissonne, a backpack by Urban Junk and footwear by The Little Shoemaker.
01 Blue Multi Toucan shoe, Toms, price available on request, 020 7837 2427 • 02 Green swimsuit with leaf print, Doodle Do, £10.20, 01923 820411 • 03 Grey tutu skirt, Bob & Blossom, £16, 01273 6794976 • 04 Grey jumper with yellow dots, Where’s That Bear, £12, 07968 597831 • 05 Angel wings backpack, Urban Junk, £8.95, 020 8558 4400 • 06 Bordeaux Clogg shoes, The Little Shoemaker, £20, 07981 702308 • 07 Red striped jumpsuit, Sissonne, ¤21.70, 0035 1933191715
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PHOTO SHOOT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
LAURA TURNER CWB
For girls, I wanted to create a Coachella, festival-inspired look – a style I personally love. The first item that caught my eye was the denim jacket by Holly Hastie. I like the shape but, most of all, I love the neon Aztec-style trim. The white dress with pom-pom detailing from Australian label Tinker & Boo adds a modern, bohemian twist. For footwear, I picked an eye-catching style with a neon paint splattered effect by The Little Shoemaker, whose shoes are all handmade in the UK. Accessory-wise, I added a tan leather bag by Sissonne, a cupcake charm necklace by Little Miss Twinstars and a flower hair clip by Lucile et Petit Pois. For boys, I wanted a smart-casual look in keeping with our cooler British summers. I started with a pair of dark-wash jeans by Replay, which I teamed with a unisex bird-print jumper in 90 per cent pima cotton 10 per cent cashmere by Jam. The jumper is made and printed in the UK using a digital printing technology especially for knitwear. The lightweight, hooded jacket by Original Penguin adds practicality and a splash of colour, while the socks by Petites Pattes deliver a cheeky twist. Petasil’s turquoise shoes with subtle animal-print effect and contrasting orange detailing add the finish touch.
01 Denim jacket, Holly Hastie, £34, 020 7127 9107 • 02 Cupcake necklace, Little Miss Twinstars, £7.95, 020 8800 1188 • 03 White dress, Tinker & Boo, £28, 0061 499391592 • 04 Leather bag, Sissonne, ¤45, 0035 1933191715 • 05 Multi-coloured spot shoe, The Little Shoemaker, £26, 07981 702308 • 06 Hair clip, Luciole et Petit Pois, £2.50, 0033 624350987 • 07 Jacket with blue lining, Original Penguin, price on request, 0800 031 9160 • 08 Jumper with blue birds, Jam, £18, 020 3794 9061 • 09 Blue shoe with orange lace, Petasil, from £24, 01604 876800 • 10 Socks with faces, Petites Pattes, from £6, 07725 130293 • 11 Jeans, Replay, £32, 020 7713 9404
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PHOTO SHOOT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
LINDA McCLEAN SMUDGETIKKA
I was keen to put a boy’s look together as I feel boys often get a raw deal in the kids’ fashion arena, and there aren’t that many brands that do boyswear really well. I found the tailored blazer at Replay first, and discovered the cool Replay white jeans with the scribbled look – which naturally led to a rather punk feel printed white Replay shirt to finish the outfit. It’s a little bit retro and ‘old skool’ but with a lot of style. I displayed the outfit in a dynamic manner, rather than flat and perfect, as I thought it suited it – I can see it being worn in action. When I found the Camper shoe in monochrome, with just a touch of neon yellow, I knew it was perfect to finish off the look. I am a big fan of Replay and Camper – I have a son who has worn both brands in the past, and they’ve always looked great on him.
01 Camo-print jacket, Replay, £43, 020 7713 9404 • 02 White shirt with punk boy print, Replay, £24, 020 7713 9404 • 03 White and camo-print mix trousers, Replay, £32, 020 7713 9404 • 04 Shoe, Camper, price on request, 020 7440 5527 UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE ALL PRICES ARE WHOLESALE
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 41
UV sun -protection swimwear Amazing designs and comfort to wear Breathable fabric We believe children are just â€œtoo cool to burnâ€?
www.sanddollarswim.com Tel: 020 3318 5090 | email@example.com
MODA | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
MODA FOOTWEAR Previewing the children’s footwear collections available at this season’s Moda Footwear on 9-11 August at NEC, Birmingham. — g
01 FRODDO Froddo’s s/s 16 collection caters for every occasion, offering over 500 models across shoes, trainers, ballet shoes, moccasins and sandals. Styles are durable, lightweight and anatomically shaped for an anti-shock effect, with insoles made from recycled antistatic material containing an antibacterial substance. MINI MODA Stand U22 02 BOBUX Bobux has delivered a full brand redesign, with 2016 seeing a new creative direction. This includes a new logo, brand icon, design aesthetic and new innovative ranges, which will be showcased at Moda and go live to the public in February 2016. Key is the Play range, which includes the Blaze collection available in a tiger (pictured), unicorn, cheetah and snow wolf design. MINI MODA Stand U30 03 PRIMIGI Amid Primigi’s offer is a first walker baby/toddler collection. Shoes in this category include padded heel collars, arch supports, soft soles and flexible uppers. Ornamental decorations in this range remain fun and are street-style inspired for boys, with flower themes featuring for girls. MINI MODA Stand T20 04 SUN-SAN Sun-San is the kids’ range from American heritage brand Salt-Water, which offers colourful hand-stitched, water-resistant leather sandals with breathable linings. New for Sun-San this season is the Seawee starter shoe in metallic gold and the Sun-San Shark in tan. A new cherry print is also available. MINI MODA Stand T21
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 44
MODA | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
05 RICOSTA S/s 16 themes for girls are Sports Deluxe, including trainers with small contrasting wedges. Happy holidays offers sandals in bright colours inspired by trekking and surfing, while Candy Girls includes flexible sole styles and contrasting seams. For boys, the Light and Airy theme includes skaters and trainers. MINI MODA Stand T28 06 REEF KIDS Surf lifestyle brand Reef’s range of shoes and sandals with Reef Swellular Technology sees an expansion of the Rover collection. S/s 16 brings the Grom Rover style for boys, the Little Reef Rover Catch, and Little Reef Rover Hi for Girls, all supported with a soft contoured Swellular Foam foot bed for comfort. Stand U5 07 ZAXY Zaxy, which is produced in the largest plastic footwear factory in the world, has been growing in South America for eight years. Following investment in the ladies’, kids’ and babies’ offer, the brand is launching internationally, offering vibrant plastic footwear. Stand V6 08 RIDER KIDS Key within Rider Kids’ s/s 16 collection is the Cape VII Kids style (pictured), which is a splash-proof flip-flop that includes a Flexpand out-sole complemented by a comfortable, textured Dry Eco Foam insole. Stand P30 09 CHATHAM Following the success of its men’s and women’s contrasting deck shoes, Chatham has introduced a kids’ selection for s/s 16 in sizes EU25-EU39. Highlights include the Henry (pictured), a traditional deck shoe in nubuck leather with contrasting non-slip rubber sole and matching eyelets and laces. Stand S9
ggg AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 45
MODA | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
01 PLAE New to the UK, Plae is a kids’ brand of performance shoes made from recycled materials with customisable straps, designed to be suitable for children who wear orthotic AFO braces. All come with the ability to fit interchangeable tabs for the best and most comfortable fit. Created by the designer behind Puma and Adidas, and using the latest orthopaedic technology, Plae works hard to make sure kids’ feet grow naturally and in comfort. MINI MODA Stand T21 02 COTSWOLD COLLECTION From Gardiner Bros, Cotswold Collection’s puddle Wellingtons are fun and bright. Ergonomically designed, they are crafted in waterproof rubber with a synthetic lining and feature pull-on handles and a non-skid sole. Stand Q31 03 SHOOSHOOS Designed and manufactured in Cape Town, baby and toddler footwear brand Shooshoos caters for boys and girls up to four years of age. Design highlights include cushioned insoles, breathable leathers and soft soles. MINI MODA Stand S29 04 SUPERFIT Superfit’s new multifaceted collection aims to provide shoes for every child’s needs and for any spring/summer weather condition. It is composed of four central themes: Street Sport, an early season story; Casual Cool, a spring story; Pastel Pretty, a spring/summer story for girls; and Heat Happy, a high summer story. Stand R29 05 PEDIPED S/s 16 sees the launch of Pediped’s floral package across all age groups. Using pastel shades and colourful materials, the Pediped design team has produced new summer styles ranging from leather pre-walkers to canvas Mary Janes. MINI MODA Stand T30 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 46
MODA | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
06 IPANEMA Key within the new Ipanema kids’ collection is the Tutti Frutti range, which includes melon, strawberry, lime and orange styles. For extra appeal, the shoes have fragrance added to them. Stand X3 07 RICHTER Richter collaborates with leading designers and orthopeadic specialists to develop shoes that meet the challenges presented by children’s feet, providing maximum support as they grow. Many of the boots and shoes use Sympatex to ensure they are 100 per cent breathable and waterproof. MINI MODA Stand U31 08 SKECHERS S/s 16 brings an array of new features led by Skechers Twinkle Toes for girls. Key is the addition of on/off switches on the lighted footwear collections as well as innovative upper materials. Comfort properties now feature in the kids’ line via Skechers Memory Foam insoles and lightweight, articulated outsoles in the Sport collections. Stand W11 09 SUPERGA The s/s 16 kids’ collection is an offering of key Superga styles in “mini me” sizes including the iconic 2750 and mid-tops. The brand will present a core range and more embellished styles based on key seasonal colours, patterns and materials. Stand V3
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 47
PRODUCT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
PLATYPUS AUSTRALIA £15.45 07967 416386 —
MAKE A SPLASH: Swimwear options to suit everything from swimming lessons through to balmy beach holidays.
Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale
BEANIE AND THE BEAR Top £13; bottoms £18.50 020 3637 3963 —
SAND DOLLAR SWIM £16 0020 33185090 —
FRUGI £13 01326 572828 —
BIG FISCH £6 01582 493393 — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 48
PRODUCT | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
01: SKINNY SKETCHER Sketching kit with instructions, tracing paper and mechanical pencil. Choice of themes available £2.50 0141 255 1988 www.skinnysketcher.com
02: ATTICUS & GILDA Children’s premium travel bag with pyjamas, nightie or kimono, eye-mask, lip balm, slippers, toothbrush and hairbrush From £54 07957 611863 www.atticusandgilda.co.uk
04: ORGANIC ZOO Don’t Panic It’s Organic poster £9.95 07800 970066 www.organiczoo.co.uk
05: ATISSU Animal-design boxed tissues £1.87 07889 357322 www.atissu.com
03: LARA & OLLIE Silicone teething necklace £8 07968 210497 www.laraandollie.com 06: URBAN JUNK MINI Fly High Junky Mini backpack £7.95 020 8558 4400 www.urbanjunkuk.com
Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 49
+44(0)2078439488 | firstname.lastname@example.org | ncwa.co.uk
SCHOOLWEAR BUYER: THE LATEST NEWS AND OPINION FROM THE SCHOOLWEAR INDUSTRY
SATCH, DISTRIBUTED BY WILLIAM TURNER
60: The promwear debate Whether it is a viable business option for schoolwear retailers
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22: Ways to pay What it takes to start selling online successfully
24 Digital marketing Growing and optimising your digital marketing AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 51
Limited spaces left for potential exhibitors of Schoolwear
New products and innovations 2015 brochures and prices New suppliers Existing suppliers face to face Three great days of networking opportunities
Smarter for longer Our eighty years in business counts, and whether you want a plain stock garment, speedy embroidery, bespoke knitwear or fastrack service we can deliver â€“ all year through.
Rowlinson Knitwear Limited Woodbank Mills, Turncroft Lane, Stockport SK1 4AR t: 0161 477 7791 â€˘ Free Fax Orderline: 0800 072 0217 e: email@example.com
SCHOOLWEAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
Schoolwear NEWS: The latest news from the schoolwear industry. CHARITY TO PROVIDE SCHOOL UNIFORMS Manchester children’s charity Wood Street Mission has launched an initiative to kit out all local children living in poverty for school. SmartStart Manchester & Salford will distribute £1m worth of school uniform and kit in the next four years. The charity aims to raise the money primarily from the city’s business community and has been given a £100,000 donation from the Zochonis Charitable Trust to launch the fund. It is also using a £100,000 legacy gift to support the initiative. “We want to grow a fund in partnership with the city’s professional firms and businesses, to help children fit in and achieve in school so they grow up to fulfil their potential and contribute their skills and talents to our growing economy,” says Roseanne Sweeney, chief executive of Wood Street Mission.” —
BACK TO SCHOOL WITH YOUNG SOLES London kids’ footwear brand Young Soles is targeting the Back to School market with its a/w 15 collection of comfortable, yet classic, lightweight shoes that combine British heritage with contemporary style. Responding to customer demand, it has also introduced new winter boots – a Chelsea Boot for both boys and girls and a lace and zip-up brogue boot. “For a/w 15, we have moved on from the traditional styles of our first two seasons, mixing our heritage cuts with contemporary prints and high shine leather, mostly seen on formal shoes,” says Young Soles’ founder, Louise Shill. —
NEWS IN BRIEF
NEW UK-CERTIFIED ORGANIC KNITWEAR BRAND Cornish Organic Wool has launched a British, certified, own-brand organic knitwear collection, offering an innovative solution to sustainable style. Both branded and own-brand solutions are available, as well as a wide selection of knitting and dyeing options, giving full flexibility on colour and style. The company was launched in 2005 by Matt Hopson, who purchased organic wool direct from farmers and produced certified organic hand-knit yarns on a small scale. With no organic dyers in the UK, he approached Yorkshire yarn-dyer Paint Box Textiles, who he persuaded to become certified with the Soil Association. Ten years on, with a certified hand-framed knitwear factory, Cornish Organic Wool and Paint Box Textiles are still working together to produce organically certified knitwear for the industry. For more information email info@ cornishorganicwool.co.uk. —
BLUE MAX BANNER MANAGEMENT BUYOUT
UK LAUNCH FOR SATCH
The shareholders of schoolwear specialist Blue Max Group have announced the sale of the business. The buyout has been led by Blue Max Group’s managing director, Nigel Plenderleith, and backed by growth capital investor MML Capital Partners. “MML was our preferred investment partner because it promised long-term commitment and investment in the business,” says Plenderleith, who will continue in his role as Blue Max Banner MD under the new ownership. “The MML team is also flexible in its approach and will allow us to get on with the job,” he continues. “It’s very much business as usual.” Blue Max, which was founded by Mary Fawcus in 1987, has been majority owned by the Fawcus family since its inception. Mary Fawcus, her husband and former CEO, David Fawcus, will be retiring from the business. Their daughter Fenella will also be leaving to pursue other interests. —
William Turner & Son has been appointed UK distributor for German school accessories brand Satch. “We are well known in the schoolwear industry for our range of Unicol school bags,” says William Turner’s sales director, Andy Smith. “Distributing Satch allows us to offer both our existing, and hopefully new customers, a range that combines fashion with functionality.” The Satch range includes a backpack, pencil case, duffle bag, gym bag and wallet in a wide selection of colours, with all fabrics made from 100 per cent recycled PET bottles. Key within the offer is the Satch Classic backpack. Ergonomic features allow the bag to be adjusted to the height of the wearer. It also has a height adjustable chest strap, broad hip belt and breathable back padding. Reflective material throughout the bag ensures visibility. —
A Skipton primary school pupil was responsible for coming up with the new name of A Skip to School for a local, recently reopened schoolwear shop. Store owner Alison Greenwood hosted a competition to rename the shop - formerly Top Marks - with the prize of a £100 Argos voucher for the winning name.
Discount supermarket Aldi launched its Back to School range in July, with a school uniform costing £4. The price included two polo shirts, a round-neck sweater and a skirt or a pair of trousers. The uniform, which was made in Bangladesh, was available in a range of colours.
This summer saw the launch of Urban Junk’s new Back to School backpacks. The launch added ten new additions to its Urban Junk range, totalling a collection of over 40 designs. The new series includes bags named Fly High Junky and Jiggy, which features a jigsaw design of embossed material.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 53
THE SCHOOLWEAR SHOW 11 - 13 OCTOBER 2015 CRANMORE PARK, SOLIHULL THE UK’S ONLY NATIONAL SCHOOLWEAR SHOW PLAYS HOST TO BRITAIN’S LEADING SCHOOLWEAR SUPPLIERS.
1880 STAND 2 This season, 1880 CLUB is continuing to build on its reputation by creating and presenting their most comprehensive range of Schoolwear yet. By ensuring every piece is built for the classroom, yet durable enough for the playground, the 2016 Schoolwear Collection is made for the long-term. Tel: 028 9332 7777 Email: schoolwear@1880CLUB.com www.1880CLUB.com Another quality brand from Douglas and Grahame
BALMORAL KNITWEAR STAND 25 High quality school knitwear in Wool-Acrylic, TPA 100% Acrylic, Cotton-Acrylic and Wool-Nylon. Stock styles with embroidery; bespoke styles 24+. Pullovers, cardigans, hats & scarves – UK & off-shore manufacture. Tel: 01900 829 229 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.balmoralknitwear.co.uk
ASSOCIATED INDEPENDENT STORES LTD CRANMORE PARK, SHIRLEY SOLIHULL B90 4LF Proud to be hosting the Schoolwear Show at Cranmore Park for the 17th successive year, AIS is the largest non-food buying group in the UK. Members include Department Stores, Garden Centres and Intersport UK sportswear stores; who sell specialist schoolwear. email@example.com Patrons of The Schoolwear Association
BLUE MAX BANNER LIMITED STAND 21 & 26 As the largest supplier of Schoolwear to the independent market, we offer a wide range of Bespoke and generic product of the highest standard of quality, service and value. Tel: 0845 23 00 888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bluemaxbanner.co.uk
AMAYA SALES UK LTD STAND 52 Suppliers of Melco/Amaya XTS Embroidery machines, Texjet Plus Direct to Garment Printers, Graphtec Vinyl cutters and Vinyl. See how the these products can drastically improve your production. Amaya Sales UK Ltd Tel: 02392 590281 Email: email@example.com www.amayauk.com Showrooms in Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
BO-BELL STAND 8 Be-Bell with over 25 years experience developing leather children’s shoes all produced in our factory in Portugal. Specialising in leather School Shoes sizes 24-39. Boy’s FGH fitting, Girls DEFG fitting. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07809 426922 Email: email@example.com Tel: 07836 559688 www.bo-bell.pt
CANDY BOWS HAIR ACCESSORIES STAND 44 Candy Bows specialises in hand tied traditional hair bows and hair accessories for school, Ballet, Brownies and Rainbows. We offer a made to match service for individual Schools and school wear retailers. Tel: 0113 203 7194 / 07768253267 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.candybows.co.uk
Caribee offers a wide selection of backpacks, schoolbags and accessories. Caribee have a reputation for great quality, stylish and practical backpacks that offer excellent value for money. Tel: 0131 554 5555 Email: email@example.com www.caribee-uk.com
Cartasport: UK made, skortz, skirts, ath. briefs, gym knickers, lycra shorts, special design football socks. Cricket & rugby clothing. Masita: Tracksuits, rain jackets, football jerseys/shorts, polo & T-shirts, Bags. Tel: 01535 600342 Fax: 01535 611489 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cartasport.com
CHADWICK TEXTILES LTD
STAND 5 & 6
“Brand quality” performance teamsport garments, a fully coordinated stock range. Meeting the growing demand for high quality functional sportswear in the education sector – “fit for purpose” – talk to the experts. Tel: 01619272565 Email: email@example.com www.chadwicktextiles.co.uk
Charles Kirk is a family business manufacturing, supplying, embroidering and printing specialised knitwear, sweatshirts and accessories to create a distinctive school uniform giving pupils a sense of pride, identity and belonging. Tel: 01903 244863 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.charleskirk.co.uk
David Luke are a leading supplier of School Uniform and Sportswear to Retailers throughout the UK. With a focus on products with Eco credentials that make a difference environmentally through the supply chain; we’re #totalecool ! Tel: 0161 272 7474 Email: email@example.com www.davidluke.com
DIAMOND TEXTILES LTD
Over 20 years of experience in manufacturing high quality, durable fabrics and garments. Specialists in the fleece and schoolwear market. Tel: 0116 2510121 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.diamondtextiles.co.uk
Eskimo EPOS is the multi-channel till and stock control solution with integrated e-Commerce for the Schoolwear Industry. Retailers across the UK are benefiting from the many Schoolwear specific features that come as standard with the Eskimo EPOS System. Tel: 01202 477111 Email: email@example.com www.eskimoepos.com
G AND D GARMENTS
Large stock range and specialist manufacturers of school clothing. We can develop your designs and supply the ready to wear garments complete with logo’s embroidery / print. Contact: Ian Beach Tel: 0116 288 1105 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.europasports.co.uk
GARDINER BROS LTD
New for 2016- EncoRe range stocked in six garments and four colourways. Spirit range introduces a new stock colourway. Interested in the new Falcon Primary range? Visit our stand 33. Tel: 01274 306440 Email: email@example.com www.falconsports.co.uk
The Dunairn and Glengarnock brand Bespoke school wear School Kilts, Skirts, Pinafores, summer dresses, ties. Junior and senior trousers, shorts Bermuda shorts, Breeks and cord garments. Any garments can be made in tartan. Bespoke school wear Tel: 0141 774 5900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Gardiners offer a complete footwear range from wellingtons to school shoes including plimsolls and trainers backed up with a comprehensive range of accessories and bags. Tel: 01452 727300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.gardinerbros.co.uk
HALBRO SPORTSWEAR LTD
HELIX / MAPED
Gymphlex Ltd and GFORCE Sportswear, have over 100 years of experience producing high quality sportswear, and work with some of the biggest names in UK sport and fashion. Tel: 0116 255 6326 Email: email@example.com www.gforcesportswear.co.uk
Halbro supply bespoke technical sportswear and stock items ideal for all team/school sports and associations. Always at the cutting edge of garment design and using the latest technical fabrics to produce a wide range of performance clothing, all finished to the highest specification and with short lead times. Tel: 01204 696476 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.halbro.com
MAGICFIT KNITWEAR & SOCKS
Kwik Tapes complete label printing solution means that you can now produce a wide variety of labels, from iron-on and sew-in clothing labels to shoe labels, trophy labels and even ribbon printing. Please contact John or James Tel: 0121 689 2211 www.kwiktapeslabels.com
Lollipop’s extensive range of quality hair accessories for school enable stockists to gain valuable additional sales. Cotton mix, velvet and ginghams plus many styles of quality basics, all in 12 colours. Colour brochure available or order from our trade website where products can be seen in fine detail. Primrose Marketing Ltd Tel: 01494 447000 Fax: 01494 447052 Email: email@example.com www.primrosemktg.co.uk
Helix has been synonymous with quality educational products for over 125 years and now offer a choice of 3 of the world’s most recognised educational brands; Helix, Oxford and Maped. Tel: 01384 286 860 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.mapedhelix.co.uk
The Preferred choice for Knitwear and Socks. Magicfit offer the largest range of School Socks, Tights and Sports Socks as well as their unique and often imitated Magicfit School Knitwear in plain colours or with special trim. Magicfit, the preferred choice. Tel: 0116 2779789 / 2773857 Fax: 0116 2784395 Email: email@example.com
MAKURA SPORT LTD
Makura Sport are a mouthguard manufacturer based in the UK, since its inception the brand has developed a reputation for producing high quality products at affordable prices accompanied by excellent customer service. Tel: 0330 333 8940 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.makurasport.com
Supplying premium quality school bags for over 25 years. At this year’s show we will be introducing our new revolutionary school bag fabric, TUFFlite ®. Visit our stand to learn how we are achieving a lighter, stronger school bag whilst maintaining our superior quality standards. Tel: 01932 359 188 Email: email@example.com www.marathonss.com
Textile manufacturers Marton Mills offer a wide range of compositions and designs when choosing school wear fabric. Tel: 0113 2843364 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.martonmills.com
NATIONAL WEAVING COMPANY
STAND 15 Quality Woven Name Tapes, Iron-on Name Labels, Name Tape Printing Systems, Same-day Despatch, Proud to be a UK Manufacturer! Tel: 01834 861 446 Email: email@example.com Redstone Mill, Redstone Road, Narberth, Pembs, SA67 7ES VISIT US ON STAND 15
Three unique brands all available from the OPROGROUP: OPRO self-fit, the most advanced self-fit mouthguards in the world with great margins achievable, Maru, the perfect choice for stylish yet functional swimwear and Mueller sports supports and accessories.
Orion specialise in team & leisure wear.. Our high quality, short delivery times and value for money pricing alongside outstanding customer service all stand us apart from the competition. Our in-house design team can produce bespoke logos, themes and even design kit from scratch to your exact requirements. Tel: 0191 266 7651 www.orionteamwear.com
Tel: 01442 430690 ext.1042 Email: Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org www.oprogroup.com
PERFORMA COURTELLE WOODBANK
School socks and tights in every colour and design and always in stock, for the best quality and service. Tel: 0116 2861616 Email: email@example.com www.pexwholesale.co.uk
POD FOOTWEAR Quality footwear since 1976 Come along and visit us to preview our 2016 collection of quality leather school shoes at competitive prices. • Infants’ • Boys’ & Mens’ (up to size UK17) • Girls’ Tel: 01234 240440 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.pod-footwear.com
SATCH BY WILLIAM TURNER
Leading German manufacturer of high-grade leather children’s footwear. Functional durability with that all-important fashion element for recreation and school. Tel: 0116 2597427 Email: email@example.com www.ricosta.de
William Turner & Son has been appointed UK distributer for the German brand of fashion backpacks Satch. Other accessories include a pencil case, duffle bag, gym bag and wallet. Tel: 0161 480 8582 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ergobag.com/satch
SPOT ON GIFTS
SKIDS™ School Shoes are a New and Exciting Brand offering high end quality without the high end price tag. Two parents quest to find tough, stylish school shoes that are able to withstand the rigours their son puts them through is the inspiration behind the Brand. SKIDS School Shoes are handmade 100 percent leather. Tel: 07973831289 / 07866532901 Email: email@example.com www.skidsforkids.co.uk
Spot On Gifts supply ideal products for School Shops. Our top sellers include Backpacks, Gym Bags, Lunch Bags and also some major brands Speedo, Shock Doctor and others. Tel: 0208 573 0803 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com www.spotongifts.net
STABILO have developed a range of ergonomic products that have a different version for left and right handers. From starter pencils to a ballpoint pen with integrated touch-screen stylus, the range focuses on comfort and efficiency to help children when they are both learning and improving their handwriting. Tel: 01753605656 Email: sales.UK@stabilo.com www.stabilo.co.uk
THEMAGICTOUCH (GB) LTD
STAND 51 Suppliers of Schoolwear, and in particular knitwear, plain or bespoke with special stripes. Speedy personalised embroidery, quick delivery, small minimums, and excellent customer care. Tel: 0161 477 7791 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rowlinson-knitwear.com
STAND 50 Meet the SA team. Hear our plans for 2016. See what we are doing for the industry. Tell us how we can serve you better. www.schoolwearassociation.co.uk
TOP TO TOE
Target Dry’s collection for 2015 includes the new Carter boys’ and Charlotte girls’ coats. Perfect for casual and schoolwear, with the usual Target Dry high quality and excellent value. Stand contacts Ian Ambler and Colin Adams. Tel: 028 90 790588 Fax: 028 90 792164 Email: email@example.com
TheMagicTouch Toner based image transfer process enables the decoration and personalisation of a vast range of printable items including garments, textiles and so much more using professional heat pressing equipment, Colour Laser Printers and Copiers and coated Image Transfer Papers. David Pearce, National Sales Manager Tel: 01582 671444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.themagictouch.co.uk
Our unique system provides instant stock, sales and order information. Designed specifically for schoolwear retailers, Top to Toe has web integration, easy size/colour reports and links with eBay and Amazon. Tel: 020 3376 5888 Email: email@example.com www.toptotoe.com
UNICOL SCHOOLWEAR ACCESSORIES
TRUTEX STAND 49 Trutex will be launching an innovative blazer at this year’s Schoolwear Show, which is unlike anything else currently on the market. We will also be presenting a new fleece and senior boy’s trouser. Contact Trutex on 01200 421 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.trutex.com
STAND 27 William Turner & Son will be displaying our usual wide range of school ties, bags, winterwear, craftwear and much more. Tel: 0161 480 8582 Email: email@example.com www.unicol-schoolwear.co.uk
URBAN JUNK UK BACKPACKS STAND 9 Cool trendy backpacks for the back to school season. Tel: 0208 558 4400 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.urbanjunkuk.com
Wren Schoolwear Ltd WILLIAM LAMB FOOTWEAR STAND 12 William Lamb is a privately owned business that has grown since 1887 to become a leading footwear distributor. We will be showing: Buckle My Shoe, our premium leather school shoe brand. Goody 2 Shoes, our budget range. Licenced school shoes, including Hello Kitty, Peppa Pig, Minnie Mouse, Spiderman and many others. Tel: 01924 836954 Email: email@example.com www.wlambwholesale.co.uk
WINTERBOTTOM SCHOOLWEAR STAND 41 Full “Stock Supported” ranges are available from Winterbottom Schoolwear including School Blazers, Shirts & Blouses, Girls Pinafores, Skirts and Trousers, Boys Shorts and Trousers, Knitwear, Sweatshirts, Polo Shirts and Outerwear. Plus Specials Made to Order. Cultural Uniform. Tel: 01254 390700 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org www.graham-winterbottom.co.uk
WREN SCHOOLWEAR LTD STAND 36 Wren Schoolwear is an independent manufacturer of school dresses, blouses, tunics and skirts using long established British fabrics made to customers own individual requirements. Contact: Keith Farrer Tel: 01206 841222 Fax: 01206 841118 Email: email@example.com www.wrenschoolwear.co.uk
ZECO LTD STAND 14 Schoolwear suppliers. Range includes school skirts, pinafores, girls trousers and bootleg, boys trousers, shorts, t-shirts & polo’s, sweatshirts & knitwear, gingham dresses & accessories, hair accessories, leotards, rugby jerseys & football shirts, socks & tights, plimsolls, swimwear, bags & belts, ties, blazers & jackets, aprons & outerwear. Stock all year round. Tel: 01708 739 390 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.zecoschoolwear.com
11 - 13 October 2015 Cranmore Park, Solihull
Sunday 11th October 2015: 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday 12th October 2015: 9:30am - 5:00pm Tuesday 13th October 2015: 9:30am - 4:00pm For more information on the show or to register visit www.theschoolwearshow.co.uk
PROMWEAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
THE PROMWEAR DEBATE With primary and high school proms now a solid fixture on UK school calendars, costing parents almost £90m a year, could the schoolwear sector viably tap into this lucrative market? CWB investigates. — WHAT THE PROMWEAR SUPPLIERS SAY:
JO WHITEHOUSE OWNER, KISS ME KATE DESIGNS — Who do you typically sell to? We have sold to schoolwear shops previously and have found it to be very successful. Schoolwear shops tend to purchase little and often, starting with three or four designs and re-ordering upon sales. What is driving the promwear industry? America is still a massive influence on the UK market, and schools are using proms as an incentive for pupils, dangling them as a carrot to make sure they achieve their grades and attendance. If not, they cannot go to the ball. We have heard of schools cancelling proms if targets were not met. How is the promwear movement evolving? Kiss Me Kate Designs has seen the fairly new pageant scene coming through – which has also crossed over the ocean from America. Girls compete in these contests from a very young age, and it is influencing the promwear industry, as is celebrity culture, which is an ever-increasing influence – girls want to look like their idols. Celebrities use social media more than ever to get images of themselves out there – which sets trends immediately. In terms of styles, prom dresses have changed and evolved from ball gowns
to chiffons, and now to show-stopping eveningwear-style gowns. Girls, and not forgetting the parents, would spend hundreds – maybe thousands – on promwear a few years ago. However, as the recession hit, so did the way people purchased; many looked to gain overseas eBay bargain gowns, but this often wasn’t successful. We have heard many a horror story of “what is in the picture is nothing like the package received”, and seen many heartbroken prom princesses. Girls and their parents then have to shell out more hard-earned cash purchasing another gown, making these so-called “bargains” not much of a deal after all. More recently, as girls are looking to go into their local retailers to get a personal service and secure their exclusive gown, prices have come down slightly with some UK manufacturers and retailers. Currently, 75 per cent of our business is promwear, but our gowns can also be used for eveningwear, bridal and the hugely growing market of pageants. Do you have to follow guidelines on appropriate school promwear? With senior school leavers, we tend to follow trends and what has been popular the previous year. The year 11 leavers tend to follow their idols, and are increasingly looking for more red carpet gowns rather than the traditional ball-gown style. With junior prom year 6 leavers, we as a company have strict guidelines that we adhere to, to ensure the gowns are age-appropriate including no boning nor shape to the bust line. We don’t currently do short gowns but, if we did, the dresses would have length restrictions, too. What are your current bestsellers? The current prom season, 2015, was called The Glam Collection. It was red carpet, film-star ready gowns inspired by celebrities, pop stars and TV personalities. Dresses that were very sparkly and jewelled with silver and gold were popular. The fishtail gown style was our bestseller. Junior prom continued to grow
at a fast pace, as it does every year, with girls still wanting to be a fairytale princess. What do you think is the future of promwear? It’s a growing industry. It is a “touchy-feely” type of product, where girls like to try before they buy. Purchasing a prom dress is a massive deal for a 16-year-old, and something they plan for from the age of 13. They spend years thinking of their dress, hair and shoes etc. I can’t see the appeal changing – girls love to dress up whatever their age. Overall, do you think promwear is a viable product offer for schoolwear retailers? Yes, I think it is. When parents and students are in the schoolwear shop purchasing uniform, they could look to order their prom gown, too. Girls like to get their dresses earlier and earlier to enable them to get their choice, style and colour gown of their dreams. —
AMEET SHAH SALES DIRECTOR, DYNASTY UK — How have you seen the prom industry change? Prom has been around in the UK for over 10 years, but the popularity and status of proms have been growing year-on-year. I would say prom is now one of the most important events a teenager girl will go through, and a lot of my customers compare the experience to that of getting married. Most girls will research prom dresses heavily before committing to a AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 60
PROMWEAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
purchase, and have quite a good idea of what they want. They will shop with their mother or father, or other close family members, and it will be a real experience. By the time they’ve bought their dress, accessories, had their fake tan, hair and makeup done professionally, hired a car and bought their ticket to the prom, it really is almost the experience of getting ready for one’s wedding. The budgets allocated to prom have delicately grown over the years, too. Additionally, fashion trends are evolving – five to 10 years ago, big ball gowns were the norm, but now the majority want the more sophisticated look. What is driving the promwear sector? I definitely think America is driving the promwear industry. The market is so much bigger and established there than in the UK and, with most teenagers following the trend there, it pushes the market forward here. The red carpet drives prom designs, too. In recent years, prom dresses have become more elegant and sophisticated and so girls are looking to the red carpet and celebrity icons to give inspiration for prom dresses. What percentage of your business is attributed to promwear? Prom sales account for over a third of our business, and we see the trend only growing; it is a lucrative part of our business. Does Dynasty follow any guidelines on age-appropriateness for school promwear? Our design team doesn’t have any guidelines per se; it’s more common sense. They are very good at forecasting trends within the prom market while, at the same time, our sales team has a huge wealth of industry knowledge. Together, we feel we understand what is considered “appropriate dress” but, at the same time, fashionable for our target market. Currently, the more fitted, sophisticated, backless styles and mermaid silhouettes are performing best. Who do you typically sell to? Our main client base is independent specialist boutiques. Do you think promwear is viable product offer for schoolwear retailers? I don’t think it would work as well. Prom is all about the experience and feeling special. For me personally, to put promwear in the same shop you would go to buy your school uniform would somehow taint the whole experience. How do you rate the future of the promwear industry? Prom has cemented itself as one of the main events as part of children growing up, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Currently there are two main established proms – the high school leavers’ party and the college leavers’ party. However, there is another prom still in its infancy but growing – junior school leavers’ proms. The market is on its way up and there is still plenty of opportunity there. —
KISS ME KATE DESIGNS
HAYLEY RORRISON MEDIA ASSISTANT, BLUSH BY ALEXIA DESIGNS — How have you seen the prom industry change? The prom industry is ever-changing. Proms are becoming the most important night of a youngster’s life, and some are even planning the night months, and even years, in advance. The dresses are becoming more and more glamorous each year, and the whole night is becoming extremely luxurious. The teenagers are setting their expectations of the night extremely high. What do you think is driving the trend? America and celebrities are fuelling the prom culture in the UK. Blush is an American collection and, although the brand started up there, we are catching up in the UK. How much of your business is attributed to promwear? The promwear market is growing massively, and the Blush range is a huge part of our business. We would estimate that around 45-65 per cent is attributed, as we do wholesale bridal and bridesmaid dresses, too.
Our collections are selling themselves – they have proved to be extremely popular over the past five years. Though, at the moment, we are only wholesaling the dresses to promwear and eveningwear stores. Our designers always have the right target market in mind when creating the designs, ensuring they are age-appropriate for the young prom girls. They have to take the styles and fabrics into careful consideration to make sure they are suitable for our young audience. Would you consider stocking schoolwear retailers? I think if schoolwear retailers were to sell prom dresses they may be stepping on boutique retailers’ toes. Also, because the prom industry is growing so rapidly, I think girls are more interested in going to a prom boutique rather than a schoolwear shop so they can fully enjoy the experience of choosing their dress. Prom dresses are almost becoming as important as wedding dresses, so the young adults are wanting to visit specialist boutiques. How are you keeping abreast of competitors? We have six different collections within Blush to cater for a range of different personality types, shapes and sizes. So that we don’t disappoint potential stockists that want to sell our dresses but can’t because they are in proximity of a current Blush by Alexia stockist, we can offer them a variety of different collections. This is working well for us as many bridal shops are wanting to stock prom dresses. We have had to grow our collections to keep up with the growing industry. — >>> AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 61
PROMWEAR | WWW.CWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
WHAT THE SCHOOLWEAR RETAILERS SAY:
prom customer evolves into a regular customer of the future, as we do a great range of casual and formal clothing for everyday use, too. Where do you do your buying for prom attire? We purchased this year’s prom suits in-store from a new supplier who visited us. However, we are part of a buying group and attend trade shows regularly both in the UK and abroad. We keep an eye out online as well. SALLY STEPHENSON OWNER, THE PENCIL CASE, COWBRIDGE, VALE OF GLAMORGAN, WALES — Would you consider stocking promwear in-store now or in the future? No. For these simple reasons – we are a schoolwear and stationery retailer, not a fashion retailer. Our customers do not want to buy promwear from us; they want to enjoy the experience of browsing the high street fashion shops for a special outfit. Secondly, we do not have enough space in-store to hold several outfits in multiple sizes. We would have to stock a wide variety of styles as customers would not want to turn up to their prom in the same dress as their friends. And thirdly, I do not have any experience in fashion buying, and do not want to tie-up cash in stock that will most likely have to be heavily discounted and written off at the end of the season. Do you think schoolwear retailers having the space to carry promwear in-store would be their main problem? Yes, this is one of the biggest reasons as to why we wouldn’t stock promwear. As I previously mentioned, we don’t have enough space to hold several outfits in multiple sizes. What do you think is driving the promwear industry? It’s definitely a trend coming from America. Both primary and secondary school pupils want to celebrate leaving school and moving onto the next stage in their lives. It is undoubtedly a growing market. The big leaving celebration has moved from being just for university graduates to sixth form, year 11 and increasingly year 6 leavers. In your opinion, do you think promwear could ever be a viable product offer for schoolwear retailers? No, it’s not what our customers want from us. Children and young people are very fashion conscious and would never dream of buying a prom dress from the same place that they buy their school uniform. —
PETER HUBKA DIRECTOR, COES, IPSWICH, SUFFOLK — What do you offer in promwear? We do not sell prom dresses, we cater for young men. What changes have you seen in promwear trends? In recent years, there has been an increasing move towards non-dress suits and a much slimmer shape. This has shifted the pattern from hiring to purchasing in many cases, as the diversity of styles to hire would not be commercial and year-on-year the trend changes more quickly. We still hire a lot of dinner suits for proms, but demand has increased for suits that are a bit more colourful and unusual. Roughly what percentage of your sales are attributed to prom attire? Promwear for us would be a small percentage of our business. However, it is still useful. It isn’t highly profitable, as we keep prices keen and have plenty of high-street competition for prom suits. We see it as more of an introduction for young men to come and see us and hopefully share their experience. We ensure the suits fit perfectly and this does take some adjustment at times – which we don’t charge for. But if the customer looks great on the day and feels good, we know we have done our job. And we may create a new customer for the future. Do you have to adhere to any school guidelines on prom attire? No, there are no guidelines. We look at market trends and follow those as far as we can. The internet has made it a bit more difficult in recent years, as greater choice and the influence of celebrities have increased expectations. What are your bestselling styles? For the young men, we found silver and blue were very good, with some interest in burgundy. Light embellishments such as satin lapel and pocket trims were also popular. Generally, the suits have a sheen, unless they are dinner suits, which have a matte look. Lapels are narrow and can either be step or shawl style, but the main thing is that the suits are very slim-fitting. Do you sell any other products off the back of proms? White shirts, narrow black ties and dress shoes complete the look – plus a silk handkerchief to finish things off. We always hope that today’s
What do you think is driving the prom industry? Although there is a heavy influence from America, and celebrity culture does play a part, I believe that proms in the UK are developing in their own right and the young men and women see it as a special occasion they can dress up for and enjoy with their friends. A lot of effort is put into the outfits, makeup, hair and even the mode of transport. It’s a day that will never be forgotten and, with social media, it is something that can be shared in many ways. Do you think schoolwear and promwear can comfortably sit in the same store? I believe they are two separate markets that are only relevant to each other because it is students that are wearing the garments. As we are a large stockist of school uniform, there may be some benefit, but I believe the prom business is separate and therefore our marketing differs. We do mail schools to make them aware of our prom offering, but most customers will be looking at us and our high-street competitors to make a prom suit purchase. Main competitors are the likes of Next, Burton and other multiple retailers. With regards to stock, we would prefer to run out of prom suits, so it is a bit different to schoolwear in that respect. What do you think is the future of the prom industry? It’s a much more competitive market than it used to be, and we have our share. I don’t see it particularly growing in overall volume, as the schools that organise proms already do so. But we may grow our own share if we excel at what we are doing – which is basically ensuring we have what the consumer wants. Overall, do you think promwear is a viable product offer for schoolwear retailers? Personally, I don’t see promwear as an add-on to our schoolwear business. If anything, being a schoolwear stockist may be a disadvantage, as we could be perceived as just a uniform shop by some of our student customers. However, we have a substantial hirewear business and fashion trade, and that is where I see the demand coming from. Having made that observation, we are able to contact the parents of our student customers via our loyalty scheme, so this is beneficial. —
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JAMES NEW Designer and co-owner of Jessie & James James New reveals the story behind Jessie & James, the result of two designers – himself and his wife Jessie – who met while working for Vivienne Westwood. The pair fell in love and, after having children, were inspired to launch their own luxury childrenswear label. Laura Turner: What is your career background, and how did it lead to childrenswear? James New: My wife and business partner Jessie (pictured) and I both gained degrees in fashion and went on to begin our design careers with Vivienne Westwood in London. I turned down a place at the Royal College of Art for a master’s degree to work with Vivienne on Man Mainline and Japanese Licence. Jessie, meanwhile, worked closely with Vivienne on new designs and patterns as head creative pattern designer. Vivienne had been Jessie’s teacher while she was studying at the Berlin Arts University, and she asked Jessie to join her in the Battersea London Design Studio. Jessie and I spent five years working together at the Vivienne Westwood Studios and ended up falling in love. We had our first child, Billy, and that’s when we started putting a few childrenswear designs together. It seemed such a natural progression. Jessie loved designing garments for our son, and that’s when we first realised the vision that is Jessie & James, which launched in 2011. LT: What is the brand concept? JN: Our ethos is to create unique and fashionable garments and, for us, luxury is comfort and fashion combined. For the collections, only the finest fabrics from the UK, Portugal and Italy are sourced, and we strive to work with the best manufacturers and mills that understand our standards of quality and design. We design clothes for boys and girls aged 2-12 years old. Humour and clever, unconventional cuts are at the core of our collections. We like to have fun with our designs and incorporate influences from other contemporary designers and trends. In terms of colours this season, we’ve focused on blues
and greys, with elements of pale pink for the girls. Stripes, tartans and florals are also huge for us this season. For a/w 15, we are all about romantic glamour and sparkle, with a King of Spades and Queen of Hearts theme, combined with court jester elements for that added bit of signature Jessie & James fun. Colour-wise, expect to see deep autumnal hues, soft pink jerseys, casual grey mélanges and vibrant tartan prints. LT: What are the brand’s signature design features? JN: I’m a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin, and we have incorporated the theme throughout our designs, from the bowler hat emblems to twisted-seam baggy trousers teamed with fitted blazers and unconventional layering. Our company ethos is, “A day without laughter is a day wasted”, and the Charlie Chaplin design elements capture this perfectly for us. Overall, the range incorporates unique silhouettes, mixing historical shapes with modern pattern cutting principles that are timeless in their originality. Every piece is considered in its detail and design. Kids’ clothes should be fun and wearable – which is what we have tried to achieve with the collection. LT: What’s key for s/s 16? JN: The s/s 16 range is our most colourful summer collection to date. We introduced two personalised prints that have been designed in-house, inspired by our British garden tea parties in summer. Both stories of our fun-loving Flutterbies and elegant Cascading Roses showcase the true essence of summer with pop reds, pinks and signature navy blues. This season’s key detail features our Storm Bow, which is a new and innovative cut that runs throughout the collection with its clever one-piece cut and folded bow applied onto blouses, dresses and even trench coats. We believe that this unique development effortlessly upgrades classic styles into statement must-haves. We also love the new Adonia dress with its heart-shielded belt, offered in soft pink and cream stripes, adding a touch of extravagance to any occasion. LT: Which is your favourite Jessie & James piece to date? JN: It has to be the Squiggle dress. It was the first girls’ dress we designed, and it’s still loved by our customers today – it has become our signature piece. LT: Which other brands do you admire? JN: We like Petit Bateau for babies and think the quality is amazing. Stella McCartney is great and is how childrenswear should be –
NAME: James New JOB TITLE: Designer and co-owner of Jessie & James DATE OF BIRTH: 09/09/1980 PLACE OF BIRTH: Portsmouth NOW LIVES: Hampshire
lots of fun. Jessie’s favourite shoe brand is Chapter 2. She loves the designs, which are crafted by hand in the brand’s workshop in London. LT: What was Jessie & James’ big break? JN: We designed a small collection of babies’ and kids’ clothes from our home on Lordship Lane in London and, very proudly, Liberty London stocked us straight away. Now other stockists include the Step2wo concession in Harvey Nichols and Childrensalon, to name but a few. LT: What are the plans for the business? JN: We’d really like to expand internationally, and are excited to share the news that Jessie & James will be stocked in Bergdorf Goodman in the US from s/s 16. It would be great for us to see Jessie & James in other similar, high-quality stores around the world. We plan to keep our growth continuing and develop Jessie & James into a lifestyle, rather than just a brand. Launching our first London flagship store is part of our five-year plan. LT: Name a memorable career moment… JN: Taking care of Vivienne Westwood’s beloved dog when I used to work for her. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 - 66
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