Could have scored higher but is let down by a lack of new product and an extensive Sale in Topman.
- Arndale Centre
Despite camo desert boots and leopard-print lace-ups being in the Topman Sale, showing potential for the spring range, the general lack of new men’s product is a big letdown. Herringbone lace-ups are fun but only basic desert boots and trainers comprise the rest of the offer. Design is no problem in Topshop, where there are trainers with ponyskin uppers, mesh and rubber cut-out trainer/sandal hybrids, patent flat-form boat shoes and blue velvet lace-up ankle boots. Fresh, and unique compared with that seen elsewhere. The only thing missing is a little more femininity in a very masculine range.
Basic women’s pumps in an impressive range of styles cost between £16 and £32, and plain leather ankle boots are £40, all of which are great value. Some more fashion-forward pieces such as floral-print leather cut-out boots go up to £85, but these are twice the price of River Island’s, with the floral pattern the only difference between them. The innovatively designed range usually justifies the higher prices, and the quality is also good. Men get cool herringbone lace-ups for £40 and leather brogues with contrast laces at £50. Add basic lace-up trainers at £16 and you have a broad price architecture.
The in-store music was so loud that the sale assistant had to shout to ask if I needed help. However, staff were helpful, particularly when it came to advising on heel heights, of which there are many. Plenty of customers were browsing, but no one appeared to be kept waiting for service. The Topman shoe section is very small, and with the Sale taking up most of the space, it feels messy and cramped.