We are facing lean times, say retailers

TWO retailers reported signs of consumers shifting upmarket in their buying patterns yesterday though they said higher interest rates, falling tax reliefs and increased competition would make 1998 a difficult year on the high street.

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer which owns a string of stores including Savoy Taylors Guild and Blazer, said men were turning their backs on sportswear and shifting instead towards buying smarter casualwear and formal clothing such as suits. "It's Adios Adidas," said Rowland Gee, managing director. "People just don't think it is as trendy to wear sports labels for fashion any more."

He said men were shifting towards upmarket labels such as Hugo Boss, Yves Saint Laurent and Georgio Armani, though they still wanted keen prices. Other hot sellers include tactile fabrics for shirts while formal suits were proving increasingly popular among students and other groups in the Moss Bros hire departments.

"Men are spending in a more design-conscious, strategic way," Mr Gee said. "Sales of brands such as Hugo Boss are rising sharply while formal wear is also growing, particularly among the more upmarket demographic groups."

Separately Goldsmiths, the jewellery chain, said the lower end of the market and the top end were slow but that jewellery such as Omega, Gucci and Cartier watches were selling well. Sales of Rolex watches fell by over 20 per cent as a result of the strong pound. However, the company said this impact had been distorted by higher Rolex sales in the previous year when tourists had taken advantage of a weaker pound.

Goldsmiths said it was achieving high sales of its "Millennium" range of jewellery. An American design to which Goldsmiths has exclusive UK rights, the collection is expected to sell pounds 3.5m worth of goods at Goldsmiths this year with the average sale around pounds 1,000. Goldsmiths reported a 15 per cent rise in profits to pounds 6.9m.

At Moss Bros, profits rose by 23 per cent to pounds 19.6m. Like for like sales were up by 7.3 per cent last year and by 5 per cent in current trading.

Also reporting yesterday was Oasis, the women's fashion retailer whose shares have been hit by two profits warnings in the past year. Reporting a 33 per cent fall in profits to pounds 10.4m, the company said like for like sales in current trading were down by 3 per cent on the same period last year. This compares with a 9 per cent fall at Christmas when the company had been hit by stock and range problems. The company said the figures showed "an improving trend".

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

JQuery Developer (JQuery, C#, front-end, JQuery, UI, Tomcat)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organ...

Linux Systems Administrator - UNIX, Linux, Shell, Bash

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...

UNIX Systems Administrator - Oracle DBA, UNIX, Scripting

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Systems Administrator - Orac...

Linux Systems Administrator - (Support, Linux, UNIX)

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - (Su...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil