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Hit or miss: Banana Republic - 19/30

A smart and grown-up offer but a little more experimentation would add interest.

Product 6

Distinctly at the premium end of the high street and only one of eight branches in the country, Gap’s smarter sibling has some nice touches on offer. At first the collection full of smart tailoring, chinos and Oxford shirts could seem a little too safe but camo-print trousers, a good denim shirt and some well-chosen colours just about stop it looking beige. Suits are good if a tad sober, but the blazers and some of the mélange knits are good options to stretch the Banana Republic customer.

Value 6

Prices are a little on the high side, with staples such as the Oxford shirt retailing for £49.50 holding its own yet still not representing great value in comparison with Uniqlo.

A 100% wool blazer at £200 is pricey compared with a similar Marks & Spencer version, but a smart full wool suit is better value at £275, and tailoring on the whole comes in a variety of fits. An on-trend canvas bomber at £150 is too much considering the level of synthetic fibres in the jacket but quality buttons and finish figure elsewhere.

Experience 7

The rather hot store is nicely appointed in a New England-esque style, and has a good flow, even if there are a few awkward nooks. Visual merchandising isn’t too bland, yet one display suffers for having a sign flagging up ‘must haves’ in a female tone of voice. Staff greet at the door, but then shoppers are left to browse in peace. However, the expanse of similar fittings does nothing to draw customers through the store and the eclectic song selection is slightly off-putting.


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