Once a destination for pocket-minded preppy guys, Gap’s product is a little stale for spring.
It feels like Gap’s been doing the sort of product at the Bluewater store forever. And while there is something in the “if it ain’t broke” mentality, even the most conservative retailers still need to innovate. There are flashes of newness but they’re so few and far between that when taken as a whole the collection still feels lacking. The basics are fair quality - standard for Gap - but when the range goes beyond that into, say, slim-fit chinos that are no snugger than straight cut, it loses its way and feels disjointed.
What the offer lacks in excitement it makes up for, to some degree anyway, in quality. The chinos are well made so at £39.95 seem well priced. Basic polos feel good for £16.95 as do the £8.95 T-shirts in a range of colours. An Oxford shirt at £27.95 seems a sound investment but the selvedge chinos and summer jeans are dear at £49.95. A Harrington jacket is too much at £65.95 - we’d want something a little more interesting or better quality for that price.
On entering the store it’s unclear where the womenswear ends and menswear begins - the front is dominated by womenswear with the men’s way down the back. The same can be said about the windows: the Diane von Furstenberg kidswear gets far more space than menswear. Some VM boxes are scuffed as are the changing rooms but the gentleman that aided Drapers was a star, looking manfully for a chino size he couldn’t find and then alerting us to a 15%-off promotion.