H&M - 181-185 Western Road
There is a lot on offer here, although a sizeable percentage of it feels quite repetitive, while other key styles only come in one or two options.
The season’s most important trends are dotted throughout, with a very good sports-focused section with mesh T-shirts, bomber jackets and neoprene-like fabrics, alongside worn denim and acid washes working the grungy look.
Some rails are so jammed it’s impossible to find the correct size or even remove hangers, although on closer inspection there is a good range of sizes. In some parts of the store it feels like there are lots of similar products, so allocation could be better in some cases.
The price architecture is good, with basic T-shirts starting at £3.99, going up to more expensive pieces like a lined mac for £69.99. Chinos at £14.99, short-sleeved shirts and statement-printed sweaters at £14.99 are reasonably well-made and at such competitive price points offer decent value. A real leather biker-style jacket at £99.99 is a highlight, although other pieces let the store down, such as a £9.99 foiled T-shirt on which the design is already peeling off.
Staff don’t approach customers, but are pleasant when serving on the tills. Changing rooms are an acceptable size, but look neglected. Used clothes are left in cubicles and even on the dirty floor.
Visual Merchandising 7/10
The windows look particularly strong this season, with a clean and clear feel. Four mannequins stand in front of corresponding outfits from the campaign images and illustrate four key looks that are pushed inside the store. Neat signs highlight key items and their prices, such as the £99.99 real leather jacket. This continues inside, with a distinctive table display and three mannequins greeting customers as they enter the menswear floor. However, all the other displays feel quite cramped.