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Hit or miss: French Connection - 12/30

Uninspiring product and a 75%-off Sale that wasn’t attracting shoppers.

  • Upper Mall, The Harlequin

Product - 4

Rails of product merchandised by category, with the exception of two tables showing “looks”, offer a rainbow of chinos, blouses in block colours or leopard and python prints, and dresses, from body-con to shift shapes. Five sequined or studded dresses hung against a mirror shine at the back of the shop, next to the accessories area. There is little reference to trends and the product is generally uninspiring.

Value - 4

With everything up to 75% off you’d think you might bag a bargain, but I failed to see any transaction or more than three customers in the shop during my time there. Chinos are reduced from £72 to £36 and a sequined dress down from £260 to £65. Such deep reduction raises the question: will the customer ever believe a French Connection dress is worth £260, when the retailer clearly doesn’t so early in the season? Have confidence in your collection and price it right first time.

Experience - 4

Two huge 75% Sale signs take over the windows – no product is on display – and say ‘Oh look. The Collection is on Sale’. Other than Gap and H&M, no other retailer visited was on Sale. Rifling through Sale rails at the start of the season doesn’t make for an inspiring shopping trip.


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