In this clean and crisp store, the H&M group’s minimalists almost go too plain.
Cos has carved its niche in bringing minimal to the masses. Yet this autumn the retailer may have gone too far down the clean route as some of previous seasons’ unexpected offerings have been eschewed in favour of more autumnal colour options for some quite standard pieces. The joy of minimal dressing is in the detail and Cos does well here, with interesting 3D knits, smart hooded jackets, leather sections, and cut-and-paste panelling all working well. Slouchy boiled-wool knits and thick wool trousers look particularly fresh.
Prices are gently creeping up at Cos, the store even boasts outerwear that tops out with a coat for £225. But most other pieces are a lot more competitive, slotting in nicely under Reiss but above Zara. Cotton bombers are great value at £59, as are jeans at £69, and chinos £59. An on-trend and unique ombré sweatshirt is equally enticing at £59.
However, some frumpy flannel shirts at £55 look out of place when pitched against a cashmere-mix jumper for £59.
The simplicity of design can give the impression less work has gone into garments, so higher prices might seem not so good value.
About a third of the store is given over to menswear, with standard Cos fixtures and fittings running around the perimeter of the two main sections. The jolly-tone-of-voice signage is also present and correct but the interior does feel a little uninspired considering it’s changed little since the store opened. In a similar way the changing rooms look a little tired, and staff are busying themselves without engaging. Windows are functional but have slightly more flair thanks to a capsule wardrobe display.