Whistles conquers the 'middle market' of British womenswear
While Marks & Spencer announced a 6.8% drop of general sales last month, another corner of the British high street has been quietly flourishing. Whistles, the clothing brand set up by Lucille Lewin in the 1980s, announced this week that it had bought back the majority of its shares from the Icelandic government, a move which has underlined its growing strength. Whistles, which has been independent since parting ways with the retail group Mosaic in 2008, has gone from strength to strength despite a tough economic climate. Sales were up 13% in 2011 and there was "consistent double digit like for like sales growth," this year, according to a company statement. Whistles is also the bestselling premium high street brand on Asos, the online retailer. It had been part-owned by the Icelandic government since the banking crises of 2008, when shares owned by the collapsed bank Glitnir were transferred to its ownership. Since then, the clothes have gradually gained a recognisable slickness.
Related: Whistles/ Trousers
• WHISTLES - Buying & Merchandising
• Whistles Research