Every trend is ticked off, but the store is confusing, cramped and badly laid out
With so many Designers by Debenhams designers - Ben de Lisi for Principles and H by Henry Holland are both new for spring 10 - you could realistically expect to see all the key trends here. Red Herring ticks off sequined shoulders on jersey sportswear, H by Henry Holland offers sporty bodies while Mantaray takes on plaid tie shirts and J by Jasper Conran features tailored grey dresses with black corsetry banding. The Principles collection fails to really stand out.
This is not a good-looking store. Low ceilings give it a cramped feel, fixtures and fittings are old and branding is confusing - Drapers spotted rails of messy Sale product under J by Jasper Conran signage. Womenswear is split across three floors, which seems unnecessary and confusing when mixed with menswear and make-up. H by Henry Holland offers laptop and iPhone cases and these stand out as the most noteworthy add-on options.
Red Herring keeps its prices in line with previous seasons with little over the £40 mark, and sequined tops sitting at £28, flowery skirts for £22 and stretchy maxis at £35. Skinny jeans at H by Henry Holland are a competitive £25, checked bikini sets just £30 and super-short tube skirts an easy tenner. Principles’ stripy handkerchief-hemmed maxi dress is £60 and brightly patterned silky Star by Julien Macdonald tops seem on a par with previous seasons at £45.