James Crabtree, Associated Independent Stores
James Crabtree
Head of Fashion
Associated Independent Stores

James Crabtree is the Head of Fashion at Associated Independent Stores. AIS is the UK and Ireland’s largest retail buying agency covering multiple categories from Furniture to Fashion, it’s a membership organisation made up of independently owned department and specialty stores. AIS also curates and hosts the INDX retail trade shows.

James’ remit covers Womens, Mens and Kids fashion, Intimate Apparel and Fashion Accessories. James focusses on managing the supplier base, developing close supplier relationships, tailoring brand assortments and exclusive offers for our member stores. In addition, James collaborates with our member stores to oversee the development of our exclusive womenswear own brand, First Avenue. He also manages a team of buyers who provide a bespoke buying service to selected stores and curate the successful INDX Fashion Shows.

Coming from a wholesale background, in a career at AIS of over 20 years, James has progressed through the business and gained a unique insight into the ever-changing requirements and importance of family owned, independent retailers across the UK and Ireland.