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Hit or miss: Monsoon - 19/30

Monsoon’s premium positioning gives it a point of difference, although prices may be too high.

  • Upper Mall, The Harlequin

Product - 6

Excluding some of the brands you might find in John Lewis (Hit or Miss analyses multiples’ own-label offers only), Monsoon has arguably the most premium offering in the Harlequin, with silk dresses, down and feather-filled coats and plenty of wool coats. Autumn 12’s print and embellishment trends lend themselves well to Monsoon’s handwriting, with florals and paisley prints, embroidery and jeweled necklines, seen on tops, dresses and tunics. It’s Monsoon all over but the wow factor is lacking.

Value - 6

The premium fabrics and embroidery come at a price – and rightly so for the quality. A paisley-print silk dress is £99, the down-filled coat £119, a faux-fur gilet is £79, an Aztec-embroidery jumper £65 and a poncho – not seen anywhere else probably because it’s not an autumn 12 trend – is £75. While the prices are justified, many are so much higher than those at other retailers that you wonder whether Monsoon is losing out on its share of the Watford shopper’s purse.

Experience - 7

This was among the quietest stores in The Harlequin centre. But it’s a great-looking store, with ornate lamps dotted along a mirrored wall. The windows are impressive and draw you in with confident signs – The Statement Jacket and The Silk Dress – that pick out Monsoon’s autumn winners. Shame there is no statement jacket in the window itself though.


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