The Retail Week Conference in London has seen top fashion executives express their views on the struggling UK retail landscape over the past few days. Here is a roundup of some of the most memorable and insightful comments made.

"A lot of product that we all source is often priced in dollars, but sterling has collapsed and so things are 25% more expensive to source than they were. In some ways that dwarfs the smaller percentages of consumer decline and other pressures" - New Look executive chairman Phil Wrigley.

"The words 'down-trade' conjure up the image that, one morning, someone wakes up and they stop shopping in Harrods food hall and they start shopping in Aldi. That's not what people are doing. They are sticking with the shop they are used to shopping in - provided it's doing a good job for them - and they are changing what they buy. It's not about down-trading; it's more subtle than that" - Justin King, CEO, Sainsbury's.

"This is a time where leadership and vision are more important than management process" - Debenhams chairman John Lovering.

"India represents a fantastic opportunity for us. Even before we'd opened our first store our research showed that 80% of the Middle classes in India had already heard of Mothercare" - Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon.

"International expansion doesn't necessarily need to be expensive or costly, depending on your mode and method of entry into the marketplace. If you want to have company-owned it can be very expensive, if you go for franchises you're limiting your initial cash outlay. The fact that we're in a difficult economic climate worldwide doesn't necessarily mean you should stop expanding" - Mike Shearwood, deputy chief executive of Aurora (the newly formed unit that owns many of Mosaic Fashions' former brands).

"[Environmental] legislation has to come up behind to level the playing field for those people who are doing it right. There will always be somebody who is less scrupulous and looking to make a fast buck and will continue to cash in on the free resources and therefore legislation has to come up behind" - Richard Gillies, director of Marks & Spencer's Plan A eco strategy.

"Our model is franchising, it's not capital intensive and there's no question that some markets out there are being more affected than others and a number of markets are not feeling the heat we're feeling here" - Francis McAuley, international director of Debenhams.

"There is going to be more tightening yet for consumers and more pain to come before we start talking about recovery" - Alan White, chief executive of N Brown Group.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.