Gap - 192 Western Road
A well-cut denim jacket, printed floral shorts and an on-trend bomber jacket are the real eye-catchers this season, while much of the rest of the product focuses on middle-of-the-road basics. Quality but standard cotton shirts, chinos in a good range of colours and denim in skinny, straight or boot cuts are laudable, but too much product, such as a host of similar patterned shirts only in a navy palette, do little to inspire spending.
The store is full of product but not overstocked. However, there are lots of similar items, which gets quite tedious and repetitive. Sizes range from small to extra large, but there seems to be no logic to how these are organised. Some rails have a lot of smalls, others have only large and extra large. While there are piles of some things, for others, like the key denim jacket, there are only a few on display.
Most of the shop is already on Sale with many items up to 50% off and it is sometimes difficult to see why similar things are or aren’t reduced, which is not commendable so early in the season. The balance between high quality and competitive pricing is generally acceptable here, with a thick basic T-shirt for £8.95, well-made shirts at £32.95 and chinos at £39.95. At £54.95, the denim jacket is well priced and cheaper to a similar style at Esprit at £59.
The men’s floor only has one member of staff when Drapers visits, so when more than one customer needs attention the rest are left unattended. Changing rooms are spacious with a comfortable seat, but one light is broken, making it dark in the cubicle. It is clean, except for some chewing gum stuck to the wall.
Visual merchandising 5/10
Four mannequins stand in front of an ad campaign in the window, and while the complementary pastel colours look good, the product and the windows themselves are quite plain and uninspiring. In the past, GAP has lost marks for ugly and overbearing Sale signs, but this season is much improved, with the windows featuring a more subtle 50%-off sign, which continues inside on small tags.