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Aldo, 146 Oxford Street

A strong effort on the trend front but Aldo lets itself down with its sky-high pricing

Product 7½

Aldo picks up points on its product, showing a confident approach to the fashionability of its ranges. The Canadian retailer has clearly made progress in that area since entering the UK in September 2002. The trend element of the offer is UK-appropriate and the quality - while not perfect - is better than in previous seasons. Suede pink ruched courts, lace-up open-toe camel ankle boots and lace-effect ankle boots stand out alongside cork wedges and coral pink lace-effect courts.

Experience 5

The shelves look cluttered in this store, with 10 single shoes squeezed onto three-and-a-half-foot long shelves. Aldo should consider cutting back on volume and picking out key eye-catching styles instead. The store seemed understaffed but when Drapers was approached they did prove helpful. Mirrors are refreshingly large compared to competitors, although the store was let down by a lack of seating.

Value 4

The stellar effort made on product is seriously let down by the Aldo pricing architecture, which is way out of sync with its high street competitors, the quality of the offer and the 18 to 35-year-old target market the retailer is trying to entice. Lace-up ankle boots in camel leather and grey studded clogs are simply too expensive at £100 each. Ballet flats, which are no more detailed than those offered for £25 by New Look, start at £29.99.

Score 16½

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