It's Time to Have YOUR Say!

Posted on 23rd Jun 2017 Categories: News

If you’re a House of Cheviot customer you’ll know we start the year with a new collection. There’s nothing more satisfying than returning from a refreshing Christmas break to boxes of shiny new brochures. Usually the brochure is a culmination of hard work, blood (almost never), sweat and tears. It takes time to produce something great, Rome wasn’t built in a day! So, we decided to start the process on Wednesday allowing us enough time to analyse the products, consider new shades, conduct some research and get creative!

Wednesday’s meeting was primarily based on product analysis. Ian (our business improvement consultant and self-confessed spreadsheet lover) prepared an in-depth report on our current sock range. We know certain styles sell well every year, our Rannoch shooting socks for example, have been a staple House of Cheviot style for many years and Lewis kilt hose continue to fly off the shelves. What’s interesting is the change in popular colours; greys have grown in popularity within the Highland market. Grey hair, grey accessories, grey jackets and kilt socks – is fashion having a Fifty Shades of Grey moment? Let’s hope so! It is less monotonous than black or cream and looks incredibly smart with kilts. Spoiler alert - guess what colour is set to feature heavily in 2018’s Highland collection?

The country market has continued to favour green, red and mustard – traditional country shades which look great with tweeds and country shirts. But we sense a change coming! Technical clothing is on the rise – google ‘technical country clothing’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Musto, Schoffel and John Norris are all fans of water-repellent, machine washable and lightweight tweed clothing. There’s even such a thing as a technical tweed cap! Who knew? With that in mind, should we expand our range of tech socks? If so, does that mean including new colours? There are so many thoughts and questions. Luxury socks is a complicated business!

Having put a lot of time into expanding our ladies market in the last few years, it’s encouraging to see the sales continuing to rise. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Lady Fairisle is our best seller to date. It’s a fantastic design and the colour choice is perfect! I’d go out on a limb and say it is the best country sock on offer for ladies at the moment.

Ok, I am biased but I love House of Cheviot socks. When I started working here 5 years ago, I remember Ann saying to me on my first day, “You’ll become obsessed with socks.” I thought she was completely mad (sorry Ann) because who could fall in love with socks of all things? Shoes yes, but socks? However, she was right and I’m now completely besotted with them. No others come close and wearing another brand would feel like the ultimate betrayal. I find myself peering at pipe bands on TV to see if I can figure out which brand of kilt hose they’re wearing and scour Fieldsports magazine for a glimpse of our Chessboard country socks. Ridiculous, I know. Back to our product analysis before I embarrass myself further… It seems girly colours are on the decline! Dusky pink, once our most popular ladies colour has been replaced with dark olive. An interesting discovery. When we’re working on colour combinations we’ll have to bear these facts in mind.

As a company, we employ a lot of talented and creative people so we have a host of design and colour ideas for 2018. Samples are being knitted as I type which is very exciting. But we’d like some feedback. Whether you’re a retailer, a gamekeeper, a keen shot, a dog walker, a kilt wearer, part of a pipe band or just love our socks – we’d like to hear from you. Is there a certain style we’ve taken off range that you’d like to see reinstated? What tartans are most popular? Is there a colour trend within the kilt hire sector? Are there certain colours we should include in our ladies’ range? Do men prefer patterned shooting socks or plain?

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It’s time to have your say!

~ Ashley