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House of Fraser, 32-48 Promenade

Premium prices require a premium experience - work to do here.

Looks 7

Linea delivers a watered-down Ted Baker circa autumn two years ago collection with floral, paisley and butterfly-print shirts. It also carries shawl-collar knits, Barbour-style jackets, and washed crinkled shirts with epaulette details. Criminal celebrates large-scale check vintage-wash shirts and delivers fashion denim while Howick embraces rugger tops and lambswool classic knits. Own label is interspersed with top brands like Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and a much improved Peter Werth.

Experience 6

Staff were helpful and surprisingly plentiful for House of Fraser. However, when Drapers asked staff where to find certain brands, they suggested the town’s indies rather than offering up alternatives - which was somewhat bizarre. Departments are also clearly marked out and easy to shop. The exterior of the store, located on Promenade, leaves a lot to be desired though - there is no signage to indicate this is a national department store chain.

Value 4

Own label is pricier than most and House of Fraser is clearly hoping to piggyback off its premium and genuine branded offer to drive margins. A hand-knitted Fair Isle in the Howick range is £75 - £30 above rivals although admittedly its production value is higher. Lambswool V-necks are reduced from £40 to £30, still above Bhs. Criminal checked shirts are too expensive at £45 and a quilted navy jacket is £79. Plain navy jeans from Linea are £45.

Score 17

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