Outerwear and basics are strong but there is a lot of discounting, which cheapens the offer.
Lucky for Bhs, Drapers walked through the set of doors that opened onto its more trend-led Sophie Gray and W collections featuring lurex, leopard-print blouses, shift and lace dresses and colour blocking on jersey dresses. But it’s outerwear and basics that dominate the floor space. Long-line cardigans sit alongside simple knits, while outerwear ranges from pea coats and funnel-neck styles to macs. Own brand Vanilla Sands offers paisley tunics with embroidered collars.
It’s hard to see why anyone would buy full-price merchandise here when the majority of the offer seems to have some discount attached to it, including on-trend product such as a long-sleeved lace dress. Large red signs dangling from the ceiling or on shelves alert shoppers to different discounts, while sometimes price reductions are shown only on swing tickets, but there seems to be no cohesive Sale strategy. No one offered assistance to Drapers.
With price reductions on so many pieces, shoppers certainly get the feeling of having bagged a bargain, but Bhs risks cheapening its offer when most of its rivals only have limited Sale merchandise. A lace dress is down from £25 to £17.50 and a pink mac from £45 to £36, while paisley tunics are reduced from £18 to £12.60. Drapers overhears a customer say that a wool-blend coat is good value at £80, showing that if the product is right, customers will buy full price.