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Hit or miss: Womenswear Autumn 13

Our seasonal survey of the high street kicks off with a trip to Trinity Leeds to check out the womenswear ranges.

Trinity Leeds opened its doors on March 21 this year, marking the biggest shopping centre launch in the UK of 2013. It is also notable for hosting the latest store concepts for Oasis, Next and New Look, all of which have been shortlisted for Best Store Design of the Year in this year’s Drapers Awards, and includes the out-of-London flagships of Topshop and Marks & Spencer.

The centre unites the city’s three busiest shopping roads with 1 million sq ft of retail and leisure space, and with three universities in central Leeds, many of the stores housed in the Trinity centre have tailored their offer to a student customer. The visit to Trinity Leeds for this feature fell during freshers’ week, where an influx of new students are welcomed to the city, so virtually every store was heavily promoting student discounts. It was promising to see, however, that only one or two of the stores had items on Sale.

Product-wise, it should come as no surprise that pale pinks and bold pop-art blue seemed to be the key colours of the season, with 1990s grunge another strong trend.

With the Trinity centre being so new, the stores themselves are at their best, with modern interiors and fittings; virtually all of them had some kind of tablet or touch-screen technology. Retailers who picked up points were those that pushed design beyond simply being a new version of a familiar store design. After all, Trinity is the fifth shopping centre in central Leeds, so many of the retailers have at least one, if not two, additional stores merely streets away.

All stores were visited on Wednesday, September 25.


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