New Look - 188-191 Western Road
New Look ticks off the key trends. All the spring 14 staples are present and correct, from bomber jackets and printed shirts, to graphic tees and statement sweaters. The more directional street-meets-sports style seen at Topman and River Island makes an appearance here, with mesh and faux leather updating pieces.
It is quite inconsistent this season, with some rails tightly packed and others left oddly bare. There is a good spread of product and all categories seem well represented and sizing options are generally suitably spread.
Some products offer good value for money, beating the likes of Primark on quality and coming in cheaper than Burton, Topman or River Island. A bomber jacket at £24.99, patterned shorts at £19.99 and statement sweaters for £19.99 are good. However, in some instances the quality of the materials and finishes let the store down - such as a PU that looks particularly cheap.
Staff are chatty when Drapers arrives, but are nowhere to be seen when changing room assistance is needed. The changing rooms are untidy - a cheap rail has used clothes flung over it. Size is only shown on the tags, which is annoying because they are often difficult to locate.
Visual Merchandising 4/10
There is only one menswear mannequin in the window, but it looks attractive backed with a sunny campaign shot and artistic use of props. As you enter the menswear area the first products seen are brown and blue chinos and a white T-shirt, which
is rather boring. Other display areas let the store down, such as a large central poster holder that is left empty.