Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Burton needs to embrace its mainstream positioning
Burton has long found itself caught on the cusp of young fashion and mainstream retailing. It desperately wants to rid itself (still) of its old tailor’s image but it cannot bring itself to fully embrace the new. Nylon knitwear puts it closer to Bhs than Topman but other items are bang on trend: a colour-blocked check shirt is faded and worn, a Harrington jacket acquires a blue check and a navy double-breasted cardigan is redolent of many a catwalk piece.
This is not the best of Burton stores - it is a funny shape with the store in two parts linked by what could be a corridor - and the main entrance is via a Dorothy Perkins which means it’s not immediately welcoming to men. The soft metal music might have gone with the skull T-shirts but it was a strange choice. Also, staff were reluctant to help, preferring to talk among themselves.
Pricing is on a par with other high street chains, if not slightly lower. Graphic tees are between £12 and £15, short-sleeved shirts with pocket and placket detail are £22 while the colour-blocked check shirt is £20. Particularly good value is the £40 check Harrington. The double-breasted navy cardigan was marked ‘reduced to £25’. Maybe the customer doesn’t want on-trend items.