H&M - 20 Ground Level Mall, Union Square Shopping Centre
Another season of far too much product leaves it difficult to dissect the trends in H&M. The most obvious is the sports trend, coming through via jersey sweaters and slogan T-shirts, although nautical is also apparent with red, white and blue-striped separates. Some smart monochrome and metallic pieces, such as blazers and skirts, stand out but are mostly lost among the excess.
There is far too much product on the shop floor, and overstuffed rails make browsing difficult. When I asked a staff member about a particular jacket, she had no idea where to search in the four areas it “might” have been in. There is no continuity between areas - for example, there is a denim area, but also denim throughout the store.
When key pieces are found, they look good in terms of quality, but the presentation lets them down. After a thorough search, key items include an oriental-print blouse for £14.99 that would look at home at Next in terms of quality but is cheaper, or a £49.99 57% wool coat in a navy and camel check that beats Zara’s outerwear on price. At £7.99 a cotton T-shirt dress is great value, but everything looks as though it needs ironing. For casuals, quality appears lower and some knits are snagged.
Staff on the tills seemed bored and barely acknowledged customers. A sales assistant on the floor was friendly but had no idea what embroidery was when I asked about a particular item.
Visual Merchandising 3/10
Window mannequins highlight some key pieces, although several are not in store. Inside, signs advertise jeans for £7.99 above a stand where the cheapest pair is £9.99. Much of the product on display looks crumpled because of the crammed rails.