Despite improvements in quality, there is still far too much product on the shopfloor.
- Lower Ground Floor Unit 4, Ground Floor Unit 78
Quality this season at H&M is surprisingly good compared with similarly lower-priced stores such as Internaçionale. Although the basics are still flimsy, the stitching and fabric on heavier autumn pieces are sturdier. As usual, the range is massive, covering everything imaginable, including most of the key trends. Grunge, bold blue, pastels and leather are all accounted for but shoppers have to really rummage through densely packed rails to find standout pieces.
A purple blouse comes in about six different designs, for example, which is confusing.
Jeans are around £19.99 and are quite thin, but there is a good variety of patchwork or printed styles that catch the eye. Knitted jumpers start at £9.99 in viscose/cotton to £29.99 for an angora-blend cardigan, but they are fairly shapeless. Coats start at £29.99 for a parka, which is a good deal, but £69.99 for a single-breasted coat with loose threads is not. Dresses start at £7.99 for very thin basic jersey, with better quality, lined lace dresses for £34.99.
Major pieces include a chiffon tunic with sheer voluminous sleeves for £34.99 and a real leather skirt for £59.99.
When H&M gets it right, the pieces look great, but it’s finding those pieces that is the problem. The rails in the Trinity store are densely packed with far too many options - it’s exhausting trying to make your way through them. Half of the shop is on Sale, which is messy and there are hardly any sales assistants in sight on the shopfloor.
Trends are not always kept together, which means you don’t know if you’ve seen everything you may be interested in. The windows are helpful in that they pick out some key pieces and prices.