Although there are some references to trends at Gap this season, notably the nautical and floral trends, the retailer’s main focus for spring 09 is on bright colours, with acid bright vests, brightly coloured jeans, including green and lilac, and coral the shade of choice. Shift and utility-inspired dresses touch on the architectural trend.
Womenswear takes up half of the shop floor and the mix is predominantly basics- and casualwear-led, with brightly-coloured and nautical-inspired product at the front of the store. Tailored pieces take up the back third of the shop, while denim, hoodies and jersey tops dominate the middle third.
Gap goes to the trouble of dressing a mannequin in a cute, nautical-inspired outfit but neither Drapers nor the sales assistant can find the item in-store. Drapers eventually finds it – hidden in a rail behind a large table display – even after the assistant assumes it’s out of stock. A 30% off Sale rack at the front of the stock carrying what looks to be spring product – red and blue vests and coral tunics – isn’t particularly encouraging.
Gap’s pricing on basics is spot on: acid bright vests are £8, a cotton and linen mix utility-style dress is £39.50 and cardigans are £12.50. But its more trend-led pieces are more expensive than its direct competitors and even some contemporary retailers – an A-line cotton, pixelated floral skirt was a little too much at £45.
I like Gap but the quality has gone down. It used to be smarter and you could buy work clothes from here but now it seems to be all cheap T-shirts. Having said that I do like the children’s clothes. I get a lot from there, as it’s just that bit different from M&S and Debenhams, more cool and stylish.
Jenny Smith, 45, Receptionist