Quality is key at Clarks, but the well-manufactured shoes lack design inspiration.
- 47 Market Street
Clarks’ women’s range surprises with unusually trend-led styles including metallic cut-out brogues, alongside leopard-print pumps and shoe boots. For men, the offer shows promise, with some paler styles than those seen elsewhere feeling fresh for spring, and Clarks Originals looking good with herringbone and Union Jack desert boots. By contrast, the more traditional Clarks offer, with its glut of comfort fit and Velcro styles, has very little design inspiration, although there is obviously still a customer for this type of product. A tad bipolar.
Clarks Originals desert boots are around £89, but solidly made and with fun designs, so are worth the investment for men. Boat shoes at £39.99 are real leather and comfort fit, so are better value than cheaper alternatives. Women’s brogues for £54.99 aren’t as fun design-wise as elsewhere, but solid wooden heels and a choice of fit make them suitable for the Clarks customer. The same applies to wooden-heeled wedges, which at £59.99 aren’t cheap but contain ‘dual cushion technology’ and have real leather uppers. In terms of design, there’s less bang for your buck, but the quality across the store is admirable.
Clarks has an attractive spring window display, where pastel colours and a vintage-style table and chairs form a stand for the best new styles. Once inside, the front of the store is trend led, while more traditional styles are at the back. Most customers were older and some seemed a little lost, as if they couldn’t find what they wanted. Perhaps the merchandising should consider the core customer more, as well as pushing trend-led product.