In the next month there will be three exciting additions to the high street, and their timing couldn’t be better.

There has been little in the way of newness for some time. The slow down in the economy and reluctance of banks to lend money has done little to encourage too many new entrants to the high street.

The coming weeks will see the opening of George Davies’ first GIVe stores, Peter Davies’ Mint Velvet and American sister to Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie.

All hope to fill what many feel is a gaping hole in the market for wearable, fashionable clothing than can be worn by more than just very slim, very young women.

Mint Velvet and GIVe will both target the over thirties; GIVe with a more tailored range playing to Davies’ strength, and Mint Velvet with everyday pieces that can be easily mixed and matched and worn day to night.

Anthropologie is less well known here but anyone who has visited its US stores will know its quirky shops offer an older customer the Urban Outfitter’s proposition with homewear and gifts thrown in to their eye catching stores. 

In Europe the roll out will be headed up by former-Selfridges marketing director James Bidwell.

Many good businesses have been born during past recessions; and with many high profile closures in the retail market there is the space for those who can to come in and make a go of it. The high street is also in great need of something fresh and new and it will be interesting to see how the customer reacts.

All retailers I speak to say that although customers are still cautious they are spending money on pieces that they perceive to be good value. They are parting with their money, just not as easily as in growth times.

All of these new offers seem strong and will bring the customer something different with very different signatures. They also have the backing of true retail minds with great experience and success stories behind them.

Hopefully this will be reason enough for customers to get excited and start spending again.

Lumley for M&S

So far unconfirmed reports suggest that Joanna Lumley is to be the face of Marks & Spencer’s Christmas ad campaign.

There are few who optimise glamour and class the way Lumley does and having seen her speak at events before she has a wicked sense of humour and is very engaging. Her popularity has also soared with her recent Ghurkha campaign where she took on the Government and won.

What better British role model to have for M&S, the former model and star of Absolutely Fabulous not only mocks the fashion world but loves and embraces it. As Patsy would say, fabulous darling!