Big Retailers Versus Small Independent and Customer Demand

By: Patrick McMurray

The demise of the small high street store and independent petrol service station was slow and painful. Mercilessly the big retailers wiped them out one by one and then mopped the floor with the last remaining die-hards. The same is set to happen on the internet as big retailers position themselves in the blocks preparing for the race ahead.

But there will always be a place for online independent retailers as long as customers keep demanding individuality, quality and something out of the ordinary in fashion accessories

Retailers like Dreamstone Jewellery, Simply Cufflinks, KJ Beckett and Patrick McMurray carry on the tradition of old fashioned customer service in a modern high tech environment. They know and understand their customer's needs and wants first hand and are able to supply without fuss and bother. Some are working with British designers who seek prominence for their English made products.

Dreamstone; stock a comprehensive range of cufflinks by highly respected independent designer brands, like Fred Bennett, Kt Heat and Ortak, which can also be found in big department stores but chances are in limited range, variety and stock. One thing is for certain, when buying online from Dreamstone Jewellery you are not confronted by any human barriers. Just pop the item in the shopping basket, go to the checkout and then wait for the post man to deliver your little surprise.

Historic Anecdote
No one knows exactly when the cufflink arrived. Its first mention in
writing was in 1788, but for sometime before that buttons had ceased to be
decorative and cuff-fastening slits were being cut into clothing. The
ribbons or tape ties of the past were replaced with luxurious items, often
made with gold or silver and set with gemstones. These were an extravagance
reserved for the wealthy classes and were all hand-made.

KJ Beckett: Kind of a one stop for men's fashion accessories. From ties to socks, underwear and some very stylish made to order shirts, they've even got some space age writing gear. And you will instantly recognise some of big names, like Kelvin Klein, Ted Baker and Drakes of London. However, the brand that stands out is Robert Charles and his collection of vibrant floral ties.

Historic Anecdote
1860: Bertie, the rakish Prince of Wales, ordered a short smoking jacket to wear at informal dinner parties at Sandringham from his friend, the tailor, Henry Poole. It was the first dinner jacket on record and was cut in midnight blue cloth. In 1886, a Mr James Potter of Tuxedo Park, New York, was a houseguest at Sandringham. He consequently ordered a similar dinner jacket to Bertie's from Henry Poole & Co. It was this dinner jacket that Mr Potter wore at the Tuxedo Park Club inspiring numerous copies that fellow members wore as informal uniform for stag dinners. Thus the Tuxedo was born at Henry Poole & Co. It took only eight years for an accidental style to cross the Atlantic Ocean and soon became an American institution. Its humble, royal beginnings were soon forgotten when labelled the Tuxedo.

Patrick McMurray: Possibly one of the easiest online shops to navigate on the net, uncluttered, no fancy graphics or wiz bang computer technology. The focus is purely on the product with nothing to distract or annoy the customer. Here you will find one of the most out of ordinary range ofcufflinks by British independent designers like, Vivienne Westwood, Ian Flaherty, Timothy Everest, Victoria Richards, London Badge and Button and Shane McCoubrey.

The value is in the product more so than the name.

A closing anecdote: cufflinks actually predate the shirt. According to the National Cufflink Society, evidence of their use can be found in ancient hieroglyphics in King Tut's tomb. But cufflinks as we know them were first
used during the 1700s.

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