Timmy in Czech: Moda z Anglie

Here\’s something you don\’t see in many countries.

Pottering back from topping up the internet account this morning, going past an advertising banner for a womens\’ clothes shop. Which advertises:

Moda z Anglie

I\’m not really sure that I\’ve ever thought of, either myself or in any other country, the English looked upon as style icons. For mens\’ suits, perhaps, but for women?

In another burst of journalistic observation there\’s a second hand clothes shop down the road. They get through container loads of stuff too. I went in looking for a winter coat: something between the crombie I\’ve got and the suit jacket. Found a reasonable enough padded cotton thing. M&S actually.

So I had a closer look at the stock. And it seems to come from the UK. Lots of Next, TopShop, M&S etc. Some of it still with charity shop labels on. Can\’t remember which ones but these had definitely been priced up at some point to be sold in UK high street charity shops.

I assume that the volume being donated is higher than the volume desired in the UK so some portion of it gets sold off to here.

I\’ve no idea what the margins are like but the volumes from just this one shop seem pretty healthy. Maybe 20 metres by 30 and there\’s never fewer than 20 people in there and they\’re shopping seriously, not just a dilettante, well, if I see something nice then maybe manner.

I knew that the bottom end of this food chain was market stalls in Africa. But I hadn\’t realised that there was a mid-level too.

7 comments on “Timmy in Czech: Moda z Anglie

  1. On my pre-Christmas wine buying trip to France I saw shops selling Irish fashion.

    Looked like standard British winter wear; tweed jackets, moleskin trousers and cable-knit wooly pullys. Much what I was wearing in fact.

    Presumably describing it as Irish avoids negative connotations of English fashion to the froggies? Unless some Irish government agency has been flinging a bit of cash around.

  2. MNS is all over eastern Europe, Czech and Slovakia anyway. It’s run of the mill, frumpy, heading towards C&A territory in the UK but in eastern Europe it’s positioned as the chic, exotic, foreign stuff, slightly expensive but affordable fashion there, rather than the cheap togs (desperately pretending to be something better) it is perceived as in the UK.

    It’s simply because UKites have more money thus different position in different markets. Nothing else.

  3. “I’m not really sure that I’ve ever thought of, either myself or in any other country, the English looked upon as style icons. For mens’ suits, perhaps, but for women?”
    Have you never gone to Spain? There is a shop called “El Corte Ingles”
    http://www.elcorteingles.es/ The English Court – not really a seller for me but they seem to be doing ok.

  4. Here in Ireland we regularly get letters through the letter box with a sticker stating they are collecting for charity XYZ and to leave your clothes, bedding etc in a black bag outside the front door with the sticker on for collection the next morning. Charity XYZ gets wind of it, and goes off in a huff stating that they are getting ripped off by gangs of Eastern Europeans (amazing charities can get away with that). Perhaps this is the start of the supply chain for the shop you mention.

  5. Is this because we is fashionable, or because we is a populous country (because of immigration)? I suspect the latter – look at the US, whether or not they’re cool, weight of numbers counts.

  6. Here in Canada, we have a chain store called ‘Value Village’ which sells all the same kinds of stuff the Sally Army ‘Thrift Stores’ do in the USA or the British high-street charity shop (which are multiplying rapidly, I understand, due to local planning regs that exempt the shop owner from paying business rates if the unit is let to a ‘charity’).

    Value Village sells clothes and housewares – all used and donated – and gives a %age of its profits back to local good causes within the community. Surplus, that they cannot sell, is bundled and donated on to international aid organizations in time-honoured fashio.

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