Although there is an adequate mix of trends, the store’s merchandising fails to excite.
- Level One, The Guildhall
Most trends are ticked off with a number of styles on offer, making trends accessible for the Dune shopper. The key grunge boots are here, with cut-out panel, multi-buckle and Chelsea styles and an embellished option with studded and spiked chains. There is a strong offer of practical knee-high boots, and pointed courts come in different variations, including basic low and high heel styles, as well as an embellished metallic-heel version. Desert boots in the usual suede and a new leather version with brogue detailing are winners for men, and chunky brogues in navy, beige, black and burnt-out red also impress, alongside Chelsea boots, trainers and casual hi-top sneakers, although the men’s section is much less interesting in terms of product in comparison with women’s.
Dune reaches the higher end of Bluewater’s prices, but this is mostly justified for some good quality pieces. Solid men’s brogues for £99 is pushing it slightly, alongside higher-quality £135 and £149 versions. Leather-lined suede desert boots at £89 are acceptable for the quality, although a leather version at £99 is a bargain. Women’s cut-out buckled boots are £89, more expensive than the likes of Topshop. Chelsea boots are accessible thanks to a price range of £55 to £125. Pointed heeled court shoes come in three options from £69 to £79 and £89, which is reasonable quality.
The completely open frontage makes entering the store appealing. However, the offer focuses on blacks and neutrals, with only one pop of red, a couple of burnt-out shades and leopard print, which results in the product looking boring and flat. The Sale section is simply a disorganised pile of shoes, which is a real letdown, while staff do not approach customers.