A straightforward strategy lacks originality and quality at a retailer saved only by its low pricing.
This is range planning by numbers. All the favourites are here - chinos, hoodies, Oxford shirts, denim and photo-print T-shirts all feature extensively - but the concept of creating one style and reworking it in as many colours as seems sensible will only get a retailer so far. There simply isn’t enough surprise and delight, which means the collections come across as a touch generic and cynical, chasing the so-called ‘key items’. Denim is fiddly but the speckled T-shirts and punchy fisherman-style jackets add at least a modicum of something different.
Some of the finish and trim is dubious at best. Cheap plastic buttons adorn shirts, jackets and chinos alike, while the toggles on the drawstring of the £45 fisherman jacket are incredibly poor quality. The prices are competitive though, somewhere around 10% to 15% cheaper than Topman. There are some odd anomalies like the £20 Oxford shirt that comes with two different types of buttons, one much more attractive than the other.
Everywhere in-store the value message is hammered home with the windows leading the way. In front of the mannequins are three separate messages: two printed T-shirts for £28, 70% off Sale continues and suits at £99 or two for £179. This sets the tone for what’s inside but it’s a bit strong and uninviting. With a clear strategy comes clear VM as each product category has its own defined space, and rails are well stocked with a variety of sizes but some fixtures look tired.