Good comfort styles are undermined by bad colour choice and store environment.
A swathe of brown and black comfort styles and not much else makes for an underwhelming product mix. These styles, mixed with the occasional pewter lace-up flat or mid-heel olive court shoe, doesn’t make for a compelling offer. Some styles, such as lace-up ankle boots, are accomplished in design but the dowdy colour scheme drowns them out. Black buckle boots and patent Mary Janes stand out, as do olive green comfort loafers.
The footwear area is hard to find and is nestled in a corner of the store. The footwear shopfit is a white box that needs lifting with colour, display material or graphics. With practical rather than fashionable product on sale here, the shopfit needs to do a lot of the talking to attract customers. The area is too cramped - there is little room to move around or to try on product, and product is too densely merchandised. No one assisted Drapers during the visit. The store is well lit, though.
The design-led styles pale in comparison with M&S’s fashion offer but the basic comfort offer at Bhs is superior, therefore the retailer can afford to build a higher price into its comfort styles.
Black courts are £20, patent Mary Janes £39 and military-style lace-up boots come in at £40. All of which is not bad value for money. Olive green comfort loafers are fairly priced at £28 and cosy leather fur-lined styles are a tempting winter investment at £45.