IT HAS been a brutal time for the high street over the past two years, but the most comprehensive hat shop in the country shares with the Beacon their recipe for surviving and thriving on the high street.

Whilst Abergavenny shoppers are more likely to know of Alison Tod as the place to go to for that perfect wedding headpiece, they have also made dazzling contributions to the likes of Vogue House and enjoyed the glitz and glamour of runway fashion.

For the more mundane, the shop also holds a complete selection of day-to-day street wear.

Alison Tod owner and founder, Alison Tod, told the Chronicle about how the shop has navigated one of the most challenging times for UK businesses.

For wedding couture, the majority of business has just slowed down due to Covid.

Where as the wedding retail sector plans for around 250,000 weddings a year, there is currently a rising estimate of 500,000 due for 2021.

Where some business might find themselves suffering a drought one year and being overloaded with business the next, Alison is making plans to ride the waves of commerce.

Alison also shared with the Chronicle her thoughts on how high street boutiques can compete against commercial leviathans such as Amazon.

She said that often with online retailers - such as Amazon - is that whilst they can beat the high street on price and convenience, to truly understand what you’re buying, how it can be used, the alternatives, the quality, the fit cannot be explained through a screen.

The privilege of a customer appraising the metrical quality, style, shape and colour of a hat aims to bolster the usefulness of the high street.

She also explained that many people misunderstand one essential thing specific about the business, which is that there is a hat for everyone.

Not only in terms of style, but in terms of cost too, with hats ranging from £20 or £40 to a number of hats costing thousands.

The Chronicle was also fortunate to acquire a fashion hot tip, and that’s that beret and bucket hats are likely to be the ’in’ thing this winter so you know where to go.