Ted Baker - 19-20 Dukes Lane
Colourful pastels and retro geometric prints are the major directions in Ted Baker’s spring 14 offer, although some important trend-led pieces, such as printed swimming shorts and bomber jacket shapes, are also here. A suede bomber and leather jacket are key outerwear styles, alongside some good smart-casual blazers. Linen shirts and chinos with a nice printed turn-up are also top buys.
There are many options and styles, with a good mix of smart and casual. Pieces are arranged by trend and outfit rather than category, but in a shop this size the approach works. However, where multiple styles are placed on the same rail, this becomes awkward as they become too full and it is difficult to get to the pieces at the back. The sizes on display are quite varied, with some showing a good spread but others focusing on just one or two sizes.
On the whole, Ted Baker strikes a balance between quality clothing and competitive pricing. A well-made suede-detail bomber jacket is impressive value at £139, while jeans cost £95, £5 more than French Connection’s but of a similar quality. Chinos start at about £40, which is good value, while printed short-sleeved shirts at £75 seem a little pricey.
Ted Baker’s sizing system uses numbers, which isn’t explained anywhere, though staff were helpful. The store’s changing rooms are large, clean and tidy, with a boutique vibe featuring plush curtains, oversized mirrors and a comfortable sofa. However, the lighting in store is a little dim.
Visual Merchandising 8/10
The corner location means there is additional window space, which is taken advantage of. It has some of the most eye-catching and unique windows of the stores visited, thanks to the use of props and mannequins. However, the windows, like the interior, look overloaded and would benefit from some editing.