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Hit or Miss - French Connection

Simple, unfussy style in smart, clean surroundings makes for a decent French Connection store.

  • Lower Mall, The Glades

Product - 7

Product is arranged by shade and category as shirting, trousers and polos share a narrow palette making for a colour co-ordinated collection. The base of taupes, greys and navies are pepped up by hints of camouflage (a key autumn 12 trend) as well as a sprinkling of speckles on shirts plus ombréd, cable and tweed effect knits. The trend items haven’t been backed deeply enough though, which means overall the collection plays it too safe - some editing out of the filler items would make this a much tighter offer.

Value - 6

Where chinos (£55) are better quality than most of its rivals and the polo shirts (£27 to £30) hold their own, some of the collection is a little pricey. Top-of-the-range knits cost £125 while some of the jeans are £110, a lot of money to spend on one item in an FC store. That said, on the whole the quality is better than the retailer’s womenswear range; a good indicator of this is the shirting, 90% of which is £40 to £65, made from good quality cotton.

Experience - 8

It’s a neat and tidy store where the zones of products are clearly merchandised on ceiling-hung rails. Finish is good with brushed steel, glass and wood, as the store mixed table displays at the front that didn’t block the view to the back of the shop. This premium feel is carried through to the changing rooms and staff were friendly but not over-friendly. The small markdown rail in the centre is visible but discreet as shoppers go about their business.

21/30

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