Lazy merchandising and a strictly limited range of product leave this branch of Barratts out in the cold.
- Arndale Centre
Everything is based around the mid-heeled court shoe in the women’s collection, with some variations such as Mary Jane straps or a slightly pointier toe. Colours are limited to basic tones with not much sign of trends anywhere, apart from some basic cork-heeled wedges. With no boots to speak of and only some paper-thin studded flats carrying any semblance of ‘fashion’, this isn’t the place to find innovation. Men’s shoes offer more variation, with brands such as Rockwood and Pod providing relief, through black leather-look trainers and some two-tone boat shoes. There is a reasonable range of practical styles for men, but otherwise the
offer is limited.
Faux-suede courts are around £35, with wedge versions at £20, which can’t compare with similar styles in New Look.
Cork wedge faux-leather sandals for £25 are no competition for Next’s real leather option for £30. Poor quality flats at £15 to £22 are definitely overpriced given the socks are unlined and soles paper-thin. Men’s leather brogues are £29, or two for £45, which is good, as are two pairs of espadrilles for £18. Taken as a whole, the men’s offer far outweighs the women’s in terms of value.
Huge Sale signs dominate the windows during my visit, blocking out any kind of display behind them.
Confidence doesn’t improve when looking at the product itself, with shoes covered in stickers stating that ‘re-heeling should be expected’. Multiple Sale stickers stuck on top of each other seem lazy and suggest discounts have been occurring for some time, and the lack of value inherent in the product is transferred to the displays, which are less than inspiring to say the least. Racks containing women’s pumps aren’t filled, while packaging is also strewn around.