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Close-Up preview: Ashwin Shah and Gareth Jones

Drapers gives you an exclusive preview of this weekend’s Close-Up with Duck and Cover chief executive Ashwin Shah and the brand’s sales director Gareth Jones.

Q. Duck and Cover has been around for eighteen years now. Have you seen a big change in your stockist base during that period?

Jones: 30% of our 350 UK stockists have been with us from the very beginning, but of course there has been a natural change in terms of distribution. Envy was a big account of ours and it’s not here anymore, along with a lot of small independents. When we have the opportunity to deal with someone in a town we try to improve the quality of the account as we want it to come in at the top half of our profile. It’s a gradual and constant improvement.

Q. Duck and Cover is planning to extend its denim line for autumn 14, do you have any other product developments lined up?

Shah: We always aim to improve the collection each season and the extended denim range, which we will unveil at Bread & Butter in Berlin, is our main focus for next autumn. That being said we are known for our duffle coats and next season we have a ground-breaking product that will knock the competition out of the water, but it is top secret at the moment.

Q. How has unseasonable weather effected Duck and Cover over the last 12 months?

Shah: If I could do one thing I would change Christmas from December 25 to February 25, I swear on my life. The weather is changing but the industry isn’t changing with it. Last year we had snow in March and it was freezing cold but come December 26 everything is marked down by 30%. It’s a huge problem. We need to move the sale period as we have reached the stage where customers will wait for the discount. Brands need to be more responsible and supply a bit less to retailers to create that demand again.

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