Move over, pool sliders: it turns out kimonos are the surprise hit of the summer. Maybe it's because it's been warm enough to make them a pleasing evening cover-up, or maybe the nation's women have got a taste for the oriental - either way, figures by retailer New Look published this morning showed it sold 40,000 kimonos a week during its first quarter. That's 5,700 a day. That's one every five seconds.
No wonder group revenue rose 8.1% to £392.5m, while group like-for-like sales rose 8.9%. Underlying operating profit rose 28.4% to £43.6m, while online sales rose 39.2% (28% on its own website - New Look is also sold through Asos).
Anders Kristiansen, its chief exec, said much of the rise was down to 'key trends' like kimonos and this summer's other Big Thing, the printed trouser (wear both together for ultimate 'just returned from my gap yah' chic), as well as the good weather.