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High street Hit or Miss: Birmingham

We evaluate the autumn menswear offer on the high streets and shopping centres of the UK’s second largest city
For the second instalment of our High Street Hit or Miss analysis, Drapers visited Birmingham to see how its high street menswear retailers have interpreted the season’s key trends. Often considered England’s second-largest city, Birmingham now has a resident population of more than a million, according to a 2006 estimate, providing retailers with plenty of potential shoppers to lure into their stores.

The hottest battlefield this season is outerwear, where trench coats and pea coats compete with parkas and nylons for best-value buys. The knitwear category has the heaviest shop floor footprint in the city. Birmingham is also home to three universities, and the student population drives demand for streetwear-inspired trends such as diluted neons.

To establish the success of each retailer’s offer, we have awarded marks out of 10 in four categories. ‘Looks’ examines how well the store’s trends are tuned to its target shoppers, while ‘Mix’ looks at the weighting of product or trend categories on each shopfloor. ‘Store’ examines the rest of the experience: music, service, location and, crucially, shopfit. Finally, ‘Value’ focuses on the quality-to-price ratio and how well it serves its target customers’ wallets.

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