London fashion buyers say spending with caution
By Catherine Bosley and Kylie MacLellan
LONDON (Reuters) - Buyers at London Fashion Week said they plan to be more cautious about spending and will take on fewer new designers in the uncertain economic climate that has emerged from the global credit crunch.
Even though the single European currency has strengthened against Britain's pound in the past six months, buyers from countries which have adopted the euro said they had tightened their purse strings slightly. Reuters correspondents failed to find representatives of U.S. retail stores at the shows.
"I think we're just being more cautious about the way we spend our money," Coco Chom, a buyer for luxury British retailer Harvey Nichols, told Reuters dressed in a black fur coat.
Business consultancy Bain & Co have said sales of luxury goods could drop as much as 7 percent worldwide in 2009.
Silvia Bertocchi, who works for department store 10 Corso Como in Milan, said her budget was "almost" the same as last year's: "Just a little bit lower."
But Parisian buyer Maria-Luisa Poumaillou, who has stores in Hong Kong and Qatar, said she cut her budget by 20 percent.
"The same quality, the same selection, just slightly less," she told Reuters.
One store's representative, however, said business would carry on as usual. Continued...