One of the season’s standout items is found in a tiny store that maximises space
- Upper Mall, The Harlequin
Product - 8
Of all retailers in the shopping centre, Warehouse probably had the most standout item among a sea of lace, leather, military, peplums and autumnal hues (trends Warehouse also covered) in the form of a velvet-embroidered sheer top. So alluring was the garment, I witnessed several shoppers rhapsodising over it. With some similarities across different retailers’ collections, a point of difference is key. Baroque and jacquard prints also stand out among embellished tops and floral dresses in a well-edited collection for a small store.
Value - 7
The velvet top is superb value at £35 as are the floral dresses, which range from £40 to £60. A faux-leather cropped jacket at £58 is competitive but a grey blazer for £80 is far too expensive, especially when a melton, quilted coat in grey or black is the same price. Knits are around the £40 mark and are often embellished or showing an on-trend motif. Blouses start from about £38 but always have detail in a peplum or beaded collar.
Experience - 7
A lot of thought has gone into the visual merchandising of this tiny store to ensure the best experience for the customer. Big campaign images placed behind well-dressed mannequins fill the tall window displays, where a Drapers Fashion Awards winner sticker is proudly stuck on. Hero items are merchandised at the front of the store, luring in shoppers and drawing audible praise.